Monday, March 10, 2014Portraits

Manufacturing operators... in soap school

© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

Grasse, SE France, the capital of perfumes. In the ASFO facilities, a training centre for skills in perfume, aroma and cosmetics industries. Carole André is the trainer for the full morning, giving a lab course about the manufacturing of soap. Theory, recipe, putting into practice … some foiled results and some beautiful bath soaps come after this 4-hour practical training that CosmeticOBS-L’Observatoire des Cosmétiques attended.

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~ 6 minutes

They arrive, one by one, clothed in white lab coats, then sit around a large table and open their notebooks like schoolchildren. Yet these ten students (mostly women) have left their schooldays behind them. In professional retraining or work placement programmes, they are undergoing training here to become ‘manufacturing operators’: ‘ Here we train the future employees of fragrance, flavour, and cosmetics companies, ’ explains Isabel Torrente, the ASFO training assistant. ‘ These are the people who, in the manufacturing and production workshops or laboratories, will execute the recipe devised by a formulator. After they are trained, they will be given a qualification certificate that allows them to work in all kinds of businesses, all over France. Demand for qualified personnel is very high in the industry .’

So here they all are today, gathered around Carole André. As a perfumer and formulator, and also a CosmeticOBS-L’Observatoire des Cosmétique expert , she gives her training courses here regularly, in addition to her consulting activities.
On the agenda for today: soap making.
Once everyone is settled, the class begins.

Soap theory

To get everyone started on equal footing, Françoise is asked to write down the basics of saponification on the board. …

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