Our guide to perfumery

Our guide to perfumery

Published May 27 2014

Art can touch the emotions and sense of people around the world, but there are also other things that can touch people on a more sub conscious level. Many people consider perfumery to be an art. Choosing the right ingredients is no easy feat, and the different smells gained can touch our deepest emotions, from memory to pleasure and sometimes even sadness. It is estimated that 75% of human emotions are triggered by our sense of smell. Learn the secrets of perfumery with one of our perfumery courses.


What will I learn?

On a perfumery course you will learn how to choose your ingredients and create unique blends to make the perfect perfume. You will learn how to use natural ingredients along with alcohol and oil bases. To help you do this you will look at samples of existing perfume and study how they created their smell, this is where you will develop your good nose. There will be theory work too and this will give you the basics of the perfume world, you will learn; history of perfume, different fragrance ingredients, where ingredients come from, training your nose, different perfume notes.

There will be plenty of time allocated to individual, and group work, to apply everything you have learnt and to create your very own perfume. You will need to bring in your own ingredients, and remember it doesn’t matter if you mess up, your tutor and course mates will be there with advice on how you can improve.  


Why create your own perfume?

While most of us wear perfume and love the smell, unfortunately it’s an expensive cosmetic. This is why creating your own perfume is a great idea, and a perfumery course will teach you everything you need to know about making your own unique scent. Making your own perfume will give you the perfect opportunity to create a smell that is right for you and having selection over the ingredients that you put in the perfume is also a huge benefit, particularly for those with sensitive skin. Many perfume manufacturers use synthetic products, but you’ll have the power to choose your own natural ingredients, which will be healthier for you.


A career as a perfumer

If you are serious about becoming a perfumer, there are extra qualifications you can take that will greatly help your chances in your job hunt. To succeed as a perfumer you must possess a wide variety of skills and talents but you will also have to show you are qualified. Many employed perfumers are actually trained chemists so it will be a good idea to take an undergraduate chemistry course and postgraduate organic chemistry course. Once you have completed these you can then search around for trainee and junior position as a perfumer.

However it is possible to become a freelance perfumer. This would involve selling your own perfume in a shop, a local market or over the internet. This can be hard as you will be up against big brands but it is certainly possible if you build up a following. Just don’t expect to earn a living to start with – it’s more that you might get a little bit of pocket money out of your hobby before you make it big time.


What does perfumery involve?

Perfumery is a surprisingly complex skill to master. To successfully create perfume you will have to possess various skills and talents...

Imagination: To create unique perfume you will need a lot of imagination. You will need to create new smells and tap into emotions through creativity and imagination.

Patience: You will be mixing a lot of different ingredients and it may take a while to find the perfect blend. You will need patience and composure until you find the ideal perfume. Trial and error is key.

Know how: You will have to posses some chemical know how. You will be mixing chemicals to create different smells, so it is important to know which ingredients blend well, keeping note can help.

Endure failure: Creating perfume is a very difficult task. Creating a great smelling perfume that can appeal to lots of people is even more difficult. You will fail more than you succeed, but when you succeed it will feel amazing.

A good nose: You will need to have a good nose to know what smells good and what smells bad. Practising this by smelling other perfumes and training yourself to pick out the different ingredients will help you to learn what components go well together. Training your nose can be very similar to how you train your taste buds in a wine tasting course.