A perfumer or fragrance chemist is an expert who creates perfume compositions and flavouring. It is one of the most challenging professions in the Flavours and Fragrances industry. A perfumer must have a keen knowledge of a large variety of fragrance ingredients and their smells, and be able to distinguish each of the fragrance ingredients whether alone or in combination with other fragrances. An understanding of chemistry is important to decipher the properties and reactivity of ingredients when making a fragrance.
Job and duties of a Perfumer:
A perfumer's main job is to research and experimenting with different types of scents. They develop formulas to produce different smells not only in perfumes; they also add fragrance to everything from automobile air fresheners to antiperspirants, cleaning, laundry & personal-care products etc.
To become a perfumer, one should have at least a degree in chemistry and a master degree or doctorate can increase the job opportunities and help you in getting the job in big perfume houses. After the degree, one needs to go through a training period. The training process is intense and rigorous and takes years of complete, but it is mandatory to get the deeper knowledge of this industry and get expert at work.
There are some institutes that offer specified courses also.
To become a perfumer, the following skills are mandatory:
- Strong knowledge of a large variety of fragrance ingredients
- Knowledge of combining smells in an attractive manner
- Good nose for scent
- Excellent Laboratory skills
- Time management skills
- Team work skills
- Good communication skills
- Good memory will be a plus point
Who should choose this career
If you have a good nose, memory for fragrance and can spends hours in a chemistry lab, then this could a perfect career for you. The aspirant should also have the patience and passion for success in this field.
How to be there?
- Earn a degree (UG or Master) in chemistry Or
- an apprenticeship with a fragrance company is a good way to gain the prerequisite experience
A beginner can get a pay scale ranging from Rs 2 lakh to 3 lakh per annum. One, with several years of experience can earn around 6 lakh or more. The pay scale also depends on your education qualification and the department (creative, application or evaluation).
Well, there is not many perfumers available, so there is a good chance of a good lucrative career for the aspirants. The jobs are available in big perfume houses or companies in different departments. Big Perfume houses or companies mainly have creative, application and evaluation departments.
Those who worked in the creative department, involved in the process of developing new fragrances. Those who work in the application department should study the product to understand its performance, constancy and legal compliances in terms of environmental pollutants and toxicity. The evaluation or testing department involved in analyses and evaluates the performance of the product in actual use condition and recommend changes needed if any.