The world of perfume – more than a culture, an olfactory art form
The world of perfume is very mysterious. Like chemical geniuses, perfumers create bold fragrances for us to wear every day. This sophisticated industry also places great emphasis on craftsmanship and the use of outstanding raw materials. When it comes to your favorite bottle of perfume, many different people are involved at every stage of its manufacture. Learning how to be a perfumer, researching essences and raw materials: the world of perfume is as subtle as it is varied.
The perfumer: it all starts here
Although techniques and technologies may be changing and revolutionizing the world of perfume, perfumers are the mainstay of the industry. Without a perfumer, it’s impossible to create the eaux de parfum from Bon Parfumeur that you love so much. Because only he or she can combine the right essences to create a well-balanced fragrance that leaves a delicious scent in your wake. The perfumer is also responsible for choosing how the perfume should be stored.
An unusual sense of smell
The perfumer is a true artist and is capable of recognizing and memorizing four times more scents and essences than a “normal” individual. This super power enables him or her to create unique and well-balanced eaux de parfum, along with other types of fragrances (scents for cosmetics or household products, for example).
Born with a sensitive sense of smell, a professional perfumer must nevertheless be trained to develop and improve his or her sense of smell and memory of different scents. Ideally, a perfumer will have an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a Master’s degree in the chemistry of perfumery. This is an opportunity to further his or her knowledge and become an incredible creator of fragrances. He or she will learn everything there is to know about combining essences and scents and will then be able to develop his or her own perfumes, influenced by the latest trends.
Back to school
Globally, there are few schools which are recognized by the perfume industry. The most famous fragrance houses, based in France, only train a handful of perfumers every year. In fact, there are only 500 or so perfumers in the world.
Surrounded by a world of scents
Although a perfumer is a genuine artist, we’re all capable of recognizing some smells and appreciating a fragrance. The world of perfume surrounds us every day. More than just bottles of perfume, we are constantly interacting with a wide range of scents. So it’s easy to develop your own sense of smell. But you do need to pay attention. Short and simple exercises can help you achieve this. For example, start by trying to recognize a few scents (mint, rose, vanilla) with your eyes closed. With practice, you may be able to identify the scents, that the perfumer used to create your fragrance.
A true art form
Today, the world of perfume is an integral part of our daily lives and an art form in its own right. There are exhibitions and museums dedicated to perfume and some iconic perfumers are renowned around the world for their unique talent.
What if you were to explore fragrant notes and accords for yourself? The world of perfume is all around us, but you do need to pay attention.