How To Become a Perfumer

Individuals whose favorite category at any department store is the fragrance aisle may enjoy learning how to become perfumers, also known in the business as a perfumists or "noses", the nickname given to experienced perfumers.

Although you don't need to have a degree in chemistry to succeed as a perfumer, most successful perfumers are trained as commercial chemists.  At the very least, have some understanding of chemistry and  aromatherapy. This will help you understand the wide range of nuances involved in essential natural oils to create different smells and fragrances that elicit different moods or feelings.

If you have an idea for a new entry into the perfume category, locate a fragrance and flavor laboratory in your area.  These people are specialists at creating blends of oils made to your exact specifications to create the next blockbuster perfume fragrance.

It's a good idea to get some experience first by experimenting in your own kitchen before you start spending money on professionally created perfume formulas.  All you need is an assortment of essential oils that you can purchase from your neighborhood health foods store.  These can range from orange and rose to cinnamon, frankincense and lavender.

A perfumer must train his or her olfactory sense to eventually recognize more than 1,000 different scents.  Test your ability to recognize different fragrances by sniffing the bottles without seeing the labels.  Because testing  different smells within a short amount of time will limit your ability to note differences in aromas, refresh your "nose" after each smell with a bowl of dark chocolate chips or coffee beans so that you are not holding onto the aroma of one oil while you go on to smell the next.

Test your "nose" by walking through an outdoor garden and really taking notice of how each particular flower smells different than other varieties. See how many aromas you can detect when you just take a walk around your block.

Get your favorite perfumes out of closet and carefully read their labels to see exactly what combination of fragrances go into making each specific perfume.

Now you are ready to experiment by combining two or three oils together to create a new fragrance.  Perhaps you want to blend carnation, cinnamon and ylang ylang.  Creating a new fragrance can sometimes be an accident or a matter of trial and error.

Once you have decided on the right combination of oils, you're ready to work with the fragrance lab to create sample bottles of your very own perfume.

Test the market by selling bottles of your very own fragrance at craft fairs and flea markets. If the reaction is favorable, investigate setting up a formal business that will produce and market your new perfume.


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