If you have a great nose and a passion for fragrance, a career as a perfume designer may be a good fit for you. However, becoming a perfume designer requires more than just a keen nose and the ability to pair scents. Perfume designers undergo an intensive amount of training and should have an education in chemistry to get started. They also need to have a good understanding of fashion trends and marketing strategies.
So, how does someone become a perfume designer? There are a few different career paths you can take.
Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Perfume Designer?
Some people are born with a natural talent for fragrance creation, or they have a naturally sensitive nose. They can easily identify scents and their components. But you don’t have to necessarily have this natural talent to become a perfume designer. You can train your nose to be sensitive and assess scents.
Having a passion for fragrance and a desire to learn is a great place to start if you want to become a perfume designer. But there’s one thing you must have that you can’t learn: creativity.
If you want to succeed as a perfume designer, you have to be willing to think outside of the box, experiment and take risks with your scent choices.
Start with a Degree in Chemistry
The path to becoming a perfume designer often starts with a degree in chemistry. Once you complete your degree, you may attend a perfumery school for two years. Next, you may work as an assistant, and then an apprentice studying under a perfume designer.
It can take years to become a perfume designer yourself. Around the world, there are only about 1,000 official perfumers.
Attend a Perfumery School
After completing your undergraduate degree in chemistry, you can attend a perfumery school to specialize in perfume creation.
Some of the most popular perfumery schools include:
· Institut Superieur International du Parfum, or ISIPCA, was founded in 1970. The ISIPCA was the first official school specializing in perfumery. In order to attend the school, you must first pass an exam and complete organic chemistry courses.
· In 1998, Perfumer World opened its doors and began offering courses for fragrance creation as well as the marketing and business aspects. Courses from the school are now available in colleges all over the world.
· The Grasse Institute of Perfumery opened in 2002. Anyone attending the school must have a background in pharmacy or chemistry.
In most cases, the programs at these schools last two years.
Take Courses or Workshops Online
Earning a degree in chemistry and attending a perfumery school is the traditional path to becoming a perfume designer at an established fragrance house.
But what if you want to work independently? What if you just want to create your own little brand and make your own unique scents. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be an indie perfume designer. You’ll enjoy more creative freedom and the ability to control your career.
If you’re going the independent route, it’s essential to learn as much as you can about your craft.
· Read books
· Take courses online or in person
· Attend workshops online or in person
Experiment and really focus on the creation process.
For independent perfume designers, it’s important to also focus on the business and marketing aspects. You won’t have the reputation and history of an established fragrance house behind you, so you’ll need to build up your own brand and market your products. Marketing and branding can be just as intensive as designing your fragrances.
Advancing in a Career as a Perfume Designer
If you choose the traditional path of working for a commercial fragrance house, there are many opportunities for growth. At the start of your career, you may have to take an entry-level position that isn’t high paying. But revered perfume designers who have created famous fragrances can make six figures or more.
A career as a perfume designer can be fulfilling and rewarding. After all, you’re helping people smell their best and give them a confidence boost each time they spray your fragrances. While the path to becoming a perfumer may be long, it’s worth the effort to do something you love and enjoy a fruitful career.