How to Become a Perfumer

The profession of a perfumer is a rare and unusual one. There are no more than a hundred high-class perfumers around the world. Naturally, such specialists are valued by the weight of gold, are always in demand, and earn good money.

In addition, the creation of fragrances opens up great opportunities for creative self-expression and making friends with interesting people.

It’s not surprising that more and more people dream of mastering this wonderful profession.

But before you ask yourself how to become a perfumer, determine whether you have the necessary prerequisites for this business and if there are no contraindications.

Frequent headaches, immune and endocrine system problems, and some skin conditions (e.g., eczema) are severe obstacles to the goal. And for asthmatics and allergic people, the road to the world of fragrances is closed.

As you can see, there are not many contraindications to working with fragrances. But the essential abilities for mastering the profession are worth discussing in more detail.

The necessary qualities for working as a perfumer

Of course, the essential asset of a future perfumer is their excellent sense of smell.

However, the ability to feel smells does not guarantee success in this business.

To learn how to create a good perfume, you will need:

  • A good memory to learn and remember hundreds of different fragrances.
  • Analytical skills to work with formulas and mentally “disassemble” and “assemble” ascent.
  • An understanding of human psychology to capture your clients’ emotions and desires.
  • Creativity to be able to translate these emotions into fragrances and create genuinely original creations.
  • The persistence and perfectionism to make hundreds of attempts and go all the way to recreate precisely the scent the customer wants.
  • Self-confidence, in order not to pay attention to critics and envious people, which all creative people have.

As you can see, the work of a perfumer is not as easy as it seems at first sight. It takes a lot of effort and time to master creating fragrances, but the effort expended will be compensated in the future. Have you changed your mind about learning yet? Then let’s move on to the central question of the article.

Where do you study to become a perfumer, and what does it take?

The best place, where they professionally teach in perfumery and issue a diploma, is the International Institute of Perfumery, Cosmetics and Fragrances ISIPCA in France.

But to get there, you need to know French, have a chemical education and 12,000 euros to pay for training, and a minimum of one year of free time and preferably an apartment in Paris, because the training lasts almost a year. In addition, the competition there is very high: about 200 applicants for 18 places.

On the other hand, the knowledge and diploma received in ISIPCA will open almost all the doors before you. So if you have the opportunity to study there, be sure to use it.

Also, high-class perfumers are trained by large perfume companies in their private schools.

Diploma there you will not get a state-type, but good knowledge and practice in production – for sure. The best graduates will be offered a place in the company.

For applicants, training at such a school is free. Still, to pass the interview, you must have a solid knowledge base, so this path is not suitable for beginners.

If perfumery is just a hobby for you (and now there are quite a lot of such people), you may well learn the basics of perfumery on your own.

There is a lot of information on the Internet about fragrances, their properties, and the principles of working with them. In addition, there are many perfume forums and communities in social networks, where people communicate, share their knowledge and experiences, help with advice and inspire with their example. Join them and learn!

Of course, after such training, you won’t become a professional, but you can learn to create original perfumes for yourself.

Suppose you feel that the creation of fragrances – your vocation, and you want to make this hobby a profession. In that case, you have to study more seriously.