The Perfumer - A Path to the Art


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Photographer - F. Martin Ramin


A fragrance is based on a perfumer's skill to be able to select, and arrange a wide variety of

aromatic materials, bases & essential oils in a pleasing matter.


Fragrance - The Heart of the Art

If you found my site thanks for visiting.  The work here was a tremendous challenge in terms of ideas that I had and the time it took to assemble.  I read over a hundred fragrance books before creating my early first notebook.  Learning the in and outs of graphic arts, desktop publishing and web design also took a great deal of time and effort that led no where.  There are just to many folks out of work within most professions and arts. 


Each of my books has been copyrighted with the Library of Congress .  If you are pursuing the dream of becoming a nose in the fragrance industry I would persuade you that it is a waste of time.  Three of the big five have their own perfume schools and of course this includes Givaudan, IFF and Symrise.  Only the most connected reach these few coveted training programs.  Gaining one of the trainee positions is very competitive.  The IFF Perfumers School is only open to employees. 

Fragrance is a wonderful art, but takes many years to learn.  I learned fragrance as a written language.  My wonderful memory I inherited from my mother whereas my organizational skills came from my father.  Not clear as to how the art it is taught anymore taking into account that essential oils are being marginalized out of use through strict regulations.  As simply as I can put it a composition or formula that creates a scent, or fragrance is an association of aromatic ingredients.  If assembled correctly in proper proportions creates what we find in household products to fine fragrances. 


What drives the creative process today is marketing data that determines trends, and gives insight to the noses.  Surrounding them are evaluators, test panels, advertising, public relations, analytical laboratories, usage limits, sales and of course creative directors and upper management.  Essential to all of this are factors to keep costs low so profits can be maximized.  The only way costs can be maximized is to use fewer ingredients within any given fragrance blend.  Givaudan, Symrise, IFF operate creative centers in Shanghai, China. 


"Noses"  are held in the highest esteem in the perfume industry and reaching this coveted position is envied by all.  If you want to really know what its like to work as a nose in today's creative environment just follow this link, and a new one just posted.  A perfumer today has to sign a confidentiality agreement that all work he or she creates is owned by the house that employs you.  Perfumer's are restricted from seeing the formulas that they create on a computer due to this ever present paranoia and distrust.  Each house has literally millions of formulas on hand yet they keep creating new ones with less materials.  This is a vain attempt to showcase that today's fragrances are intoxicating when in reality there is nothing new except the endless hype.


The days of an artist preparing a composition that creates a fragrance or formula by pen and paper are long gone in the big five.  Few artists are trusted where they have access to anything outside a limited area in which they work.  Cameras that include sophisticated computers track with spy wear, or data entry recorders every move entered on a key board into a software program that weighs and costs out the individual ingredients that create a fragrance.  In house security works like WW II's Germany's former Gestapo is ever present.  Say or do a wrong thing and you can find yourself black balled like me.  Sounds like a glamorous profession although it is a well paid if one can work creatively within this paranoia.


It is my opinion that the fragrance industry is in the slow process of strangling itself.  Any time artistry is curtailed the quality of the finished product decreases.  A single successful scent has many thousands of off spring and permutations.  Why would one need new ones?  In the not to distant future I see a day when artificial intelligent computers such as HAL in Stanley Kubrick film a 2001: A Space Odyssey creates a scent, and the formula is mixed in a completely automated laboratory. Companies today are doing everything they can to automate work and reduce payrolls. Why would a fragrance house pay for something that they already have in their vast data bases?

The work that I did on my own was not performed in a sponsored industry training program, and is why I was black balled. I was promoted to a Junior Perfumer's position by an unscrupulous former employer who made certain through clever subterfuge that I would never work again in this coveted profession.  Unfortunately outside this industry my work was useless in terms of finding a new job.  If you are seeking a coveted training program don't waste your time.  It is only opened to those individuals who are the most connected, and can work within a fear generated creative atmosphere. 

Utilizing search engines for information at best is a hit and miss operation.  Google is one such program that ranks very highly irrelevance and something recent including those who pay for a high ranking.  Another factor is how the search engine controls that data within a site.  You can be ranked on page one today, and then pushed to five or ten depending on what new information that becomes popular including facebook, twitter and other social mediums.

Again, I am sorry that I set the view of each of my books at 50 %.  If they were set at full view my work would be down loaded, and I would loose control.  This has happened to several of my files, and I chuckle at other's out right theft of my data particularly when they don't quote where they got it.  Anyway I haven't found a program that can convert a desk top publishing program accurately into full view that isn't copyable.  That's the nature of the www and the internet.

Good luck in your search for fragrance knowledge, and your career if you are so fortunate to be working in this fascinating profession.  Thanks for visiting my site.