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Tuesday, November 17, 2015Portraits

Profession: perfumer of cosmetics (1/2)

© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

Determining in the act of purchase (and even more of re-purchase), the perfume of a cream, a shower gel, an oil… builds loyalty like no one else! Who are these"men of the shadows" who perfume our cosmetics? Immersed in an unknown profession… and in the secrets of brands that particularly care for their olfactory identity.

Reading time
~ 8 minutes

In perfumery, we distinguish several professions: Fine Perfumery (or alcoholic), Cosmetics and Toiletries (creation of fragrances for care and toiletries: shower gels, soaps, shampoos, deodorants…), Home Perfumery, Detergents (detergents) and food flavors (everything that is developed in the food industry). Every perfumer, whatever specialization he chooses at the end learns these different trades during his apprenticeship. For people in the profession, there are actually two really different careers: perfumer or aromatician (food flavours). But the university career remains the same: after a degree (BAC + 3), future perfumers join a school like ISIPCA (Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, de la Cosmétique et de l'Aromatique Alimentaire) in Versailles, become assistant perfumers (under the supervision of a senior), then senior perfumers (junior, then senior). They can also envisage a very complete training (it can last from 7 to 8 years!) proposed by the big groups of the industry of perfumery and flavours (Givaudan, Robertet, Mane, Symrise, IFF, Firmenich, Scented Expressions…) which have their own schools.

A less well-regarded profession?

Technology and creativity are as important in fine perfumery as cosmetics. In both cases, perfumes are created. As Jean Guichard points out director of Givaudan's fragrance school in Argenteuil," the perfumer is always …

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