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  1. #1

    Default How does one get into professional perfumery

    I completely understand if I receive no constructive advice from this forum, because I highly doubt there is much experience in the professional perfumery field, but I just figured I would ask.

    I love creativity, and just find perfumery immensely interesting and full of depth, how does one work for a top scent design house?

    How does one start out? Is there a school from which one graduates and applies for jobs???

    how does one get to carnegie hall..... practice practice practice right???

    Akk, I have no clue.
    Last edited by lyrictenororbust; 6th September 2008 at 05:39 AM. Reason: not clear enough

  2. #2

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    I think it would be so cool to get into, but I am a music student, and that is my love.

    Eventually I plan on getting the resources to make my own in the comfort of my home and hone my creations to perfection. Some successful beer brewers started out in their own homes.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    I think you need to have a major/degree in chemistry before you can apply to perfumery school. Please correct me if I'm wrong though.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    in what aspect? do you want to make perfumes or deal with other aspects such as marketing?

  5. #5

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    To work for a large fragrance house, one must have a degree in chemistry (w/ an emphasis in organic analysis/synthesis) and then secure a job as a lab tech/chemist. Then one must be recommended by one's supervisor to go to the (highly competitive) perfumer's education programs these companies offer. After a few years of studying scents and developing a better nose you might get the chance to make perfumes for laundry detergent or flavorings for food and drink. If you do that well then you might have a chance at getting to prove yourself by developing a perfume.
    Last edited by surreality; 8th September 2008 at 03:20 AM.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  6. #6

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    3 other possibilities :

    - 1 year in Grasse (The Grasse School of Perfumery)
    - 1 year in Versailles (IPSICA) - These two schools now accept people with no background in chemistry.
    - A few months in Thaïland (PerfumersWorld course).

    In all cases, it is not as a perfumery degree + 2 or 3 year of perfumery.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  7. #7

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    thanks Night for the hint..

  8. #8

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    PerfumersWorld has a small course for beginners which is free.

    Any other ideas ?
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  9. #9

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    What do the perfume schools look for in prospective students aside from a good degree and work in someone's lab? I read on one school's web site that about 200 people a year apply, but under ten are admitted in any given year. There are entire books about how to get into the Ivy League, but there is a dearth of information (in America, at least) about schools of perfumery.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    You can also apply to work with an independent perfumer (rather than the Big Boys) and if you are very lucky and show aptitude, you can become an old-fashioned apprentice and be taught in-house.

    Some beginner's courses (which would probably increase the likelihood of gaining such a position, or would be nice to do as a supplement to any in-house training):

    - Any basic chemistry courses (optional, but useful) - in UK, these are available through adult education in local colleges,or via the Open University. Some of the Open University courses can be offered internationally as distance study.

    - Plymouth University offers the IFEAT diploma in perfumery developed in association with British Society of Perfumers (available distance study; they send you course books, projects and raw materials)

    - Profumo.it does a 2-day perfumery course in Rimini (he is a Basenotes member)

    - Cotswold's perfumery in UK does a 2-day perfumery course, lab time and factory tours. Mostly aimed at tourists/enthusiasts, but I believe the second day is more hands-on.

    - Aromantic (a cosmetics raw material supplier for the small crafts-style businesses) does basic cosmetic-making courses, as well as a basic perfumery course.

    There are many, many others aimed at enthusiasts who never intend to go "pro", but are fascinated by the concepts.

    As far as I understand, the following division exists at present:

    Group A) "Old school" route: you're born in Grasse (or into a perfumer family elsewhere) and have probably worked your summer jobs compounding, or doing other tasks directly related to the industry. When you progress, you progress from this basis of family tradition and may then go into the family business, or onto schooling and career elsewhere.

    Group B) You have obtained a degree in chemistry, get a lab job with one of the big boys - etc - this route described above in previous posts.

    Group C) You go to the first "official" perfumery school that has opened its doors to non-chemists (again, described above) and if you are lucky, get an industry placement.

    Group D) You get a job working for an independent perfumer (or a cosmetics manufacturer that does their scents in-house) and get taken on as an apprentice.

    Group E) Autodidact: You learn as much as you can from the selection of courses, books and websites available and start your own business. You will have to go through the process of safety testing and certifying your products (plus obtaining liability insurance) before you're allowed to sell your perfumes; you will have to keep up with your region's safety regulations, come up with the capital, marketing and all other systems - but this route can be rewarding in the current climate when the niche perfumery is enjoying a nice golden age in face of the overwhelming avalanche of dull mainstream launches. Be prepared to have critique from the perfumers in the first 3 groups for "not being a real perfumer".

    Hope this is helpful.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    I have just recently been awarded a very limited place to study at the NNAPA (Nature's Nexus Academy of Perfuming Arts). The focus of the course is to provide education to aspiring perfumers and the course focuses purely on the use of natural materials.
    By the end of the course (of which only 10 students are taken on each year), we will be able to create perfumes and perfumed products. It is offered as an online course as well, so distance learning is not a problem.

    As a future perfumer, I do not aspire to work for the "big boys", but the opportunity exists to create and market my own scents. This is all the motivation I require to do the very best I can.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    Congratulations, Dimitri!

  13. #13

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcery of Scent View Post
    I have just recently been awarded a very limited place to study at the NNAPA (Nature's Nexus Academy of Perfuming Arts). The focus of the course is to provide education to aspiring perfumers and the course focuses purely on the use of natural materials.
    Dimitri, how have you found the courses at NNAPA? I recently studied with Ayala Moriel in Vancouver, but I feel traveling long distances to attend courses is highly impractical and these days unnecessary. On the other hand, I've been thinking about Grasse, and I would commit to it based on its reputation and also depending on its placement program for graduates. I would love to hear your insights on this.
    Last edited by pearlfingering; 1st June 2011 at 06:21 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    You know what I've always wanted to do? I'm an English major, and I would LOVE to write the descriptions and press releases for fragrances, since currently companies do such a horrendous job of describing scents.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    Nukapai, thank you for that explanation. After following through on some of your suggestions, it seems going indie is the only way to break in unless you luck out and meet someone who will help you.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How does one get into professional perfumery

    To a degree that's correct, pearl, but I think options C and E (as detailed in my post above) can be pursued independently. I'd say the catch is for those options is that you have to have the financial resources to obtain a degree in chemistry and/or start your own business.

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