Did your dream job as a child involve donning a mad scientist-y attire and blissfully mixing seemingly potent bubbly solutions in test tubes? Are you now a bored and over- worked science student who fancies himself/ herself as a bit of an artist at heart? Don’t let the lackluster reality of a dull college lab break your dreams. Explore a career where your scientific background supports your creative ability, like molecular gastronomy, chocolatiering, and many more.
One such career option is that of a perfumer. If you’re a person who can, in just a whiff, identify fragrances ranging from a popular Davidoff perfume to a rudimentary essential oil scent, then your strong olfactory senses and a creative disposition coupled with the knowledge of chemistry can make you the perfect perfumer.
A perfumer, in simple terms, is person who combines various scents and designs new ones. The job is like that of an alchemist and painter combined, you work with existing materials to come up with something truly unique. As exciting as this sounds, the science/ art of devising new scents requires immense patience, and the knack for understanding and correctly deciphering the briefs provided by customers. One person’s ‘fresh’ may be another person’s ‘fruity’. Getting the right blend could take hundreds of tries. Creating a new perfume has also been compared to making music. Anybody can pound on a piano, but it takes practice and passion to know which notes to put together to form a beautiful symphony.
For entry into the field, a degree in chemistry or cosmetic science is most relevant, and a specialized course in being a perfumer follows. Apprenticeship is one of the most important steps in learning the tricks of the trade in this case. Aggressive interning is a sensible way to form a career as a perfumer. Perfumers find employment at all levels of the production chain, From laboratories to big organizations that develop scents for consumer products like shampoos, lotions etc or small businesses which deal with customers directly.