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Understanding
Throughout the world fragrances are perceived as an essential part of life. Fragrances are the product of a deep partnership between the fragrance industry and owners of consumer brands. Every fragrance is a unique combination of science and artistry. Through their complex properties, they form “platform technologies”, facilitating innovation by brand owners throughout the consumer goods sector. In Fine Fragrance, Personal Care and Household Care markets, most products rely upon fragrances to deliver valued emotional or functional benefits, to communicate product performance, to differentiate brands, or to create added value.

Fragrances create important benefits that are ubiquitous, tangible, and valued. They solve important functional problems and they satisfy valued emotional needs. On a functional level, the complex properties of fragrances allow individuals to control or remove malodour: the bad smells that afflict the everyday lives of millions. Control of these smells, using fragrances embedded in household and personal care products, improves the physical quality of people’s lives. As well as combating malodour, fragrances communicate complex ideas – creating mood, signalling cleanliness, freshness, or softness, alleviating stress, creating well-being, and triggering allure and attraction.

Fragrances are “platform technologies”: they create benefits for manufacturers of consumer products and luxury goods because their properties meet the highly-valued functional and emotional needs of end-consumers. Through an extended process of initial purchase and subsequent re-purchase, this creates added value for brand owners through the creation of new product categories, new products, greater differentiation between one brand and another, higher sales volumes, greater margins, more loyal customers, and improved brand equity.

Our industry has a highly developed sense of understanding, which is vital if we are to be successful as a platform technology. We need to understand all the elements of our customers businesses and the impact we have on people’s daily lives in terms of delivering value and emotional needs.

Education

There are few official courses for perfumery in the world and consequently it can be a difficult industry to break into. The most famous independent school of perfumery is in Versailles, France and is called the Institute Supérieur International du Parfum de la Cosmétique et de l’Aromatique Alimentaire (ISIPCA).

This institute runs a range of courses related to the fragrance industry from perfumery to evaluation and marketing.

Other perfumery schools are run privately by some of the large fragrance houses and are used to train future employees. There is strong competition for places and no guarantee of a position afterwards. The average course length is four years.

ICATS is an organization that exists to provide flexible quality learning to professional and aspiring professionals in the Aroma Trades, Perfumery and Flavor industries. They provide distance learning on a global basis leading to the IFEAT (International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades) Diploma. They also provide occasional workshops exclusively focused on the Aroma Trades, Perfumery and Flavor industries. ICATS learning material is written by international industry experts with long experience of training and education.

Fragrance Foundation and Sense of Smell Institute

The Fragrance Foundation which has offices in New York, USA, London, England and Dubai, was founded to promote the fragrance industry and also to provide help to those wishing to study the industry as well as the olfactory sciences via the Sense of Smell Institute.

Below are some useful links for people wishing to find out more about becoming a perfumer:

Education & Research
ISIPCA
Fragrance Foundation
Grasse Institute of Perfumery
Monell Chemical Senses Center
ICATS

Other useful links
Osmoz
Glass Petal Smoke blog
Grain de Musc blog
Now Smell This blog
Sniffapalooza