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Where to study for a perfumer in France and how to create fragrances for people


Where to study for a perfumer in France and how to create fragrances for people

Rosalie MOULET, 33 years old, hometown — Verdun, perfume teacher, creator and perfumer of the company SYNAE COLLECTION


About career choice

I have always been sensitive to the smells around me. At six years my favourite game was guessing the ingredients of a certain flavour. At the age of eight, I first tried to create a perfume by mixing essential oils that my father brought from a business trip to Provence. It is a great gift to use sensitivity to smells, to create a unique fragrance that evokes excitement and pleasure. From that moment I decided to become a perfumer.

After graduating from international business school in 2007, my passion for perfumery made me get a master's degree in the most famous perfume school in France – ISIPCA. I entered marketing and management in perfumery and cosmetic industry. After the perfumery school, I joined the international fragrance house Takasago in France in the position of marketing manager.

Due interest in perfumery I entered the well-known perfume school GIP, located in Grasse. This city is considered as the capital of perfumery all over the world. I studied there for a year and then created my own brand of scented candles SYNAE COLLECTION.

About perfumery in France

The origins of the perfume industry start from France, therefore many companies are trying to open their branches and offices here.

If you want to become a perfumer in France, you have only one way is to enter the perfume school. The most popular and respected are two schools:

— ISIPCA — is located in Versailles, education there lasts two years

— GIP or Grasse Institute of Perfumery. This school is located on the French Riviera. GIP specializes in admitting students from all over the world and provides quality education in English.

To become a successful perfumer, you need to work hard, love this business, get lucky and meet the right people.

About working conditions

Mostly full-time employees work 35 hours a week. However, often perfume is a life-long business and many specialists do not focus on the number of working hours.

In the perfume house, specialists create a fragrance that can satisfy the client. Traditionally, the client sends a request, and perfumers have to offer a fragrance that will match the request. In this case, involved the managers in the development of fragrances, they also called appraisers. They know the market and help to choose the most suitable flavour option.

The salary depends on the company you work for. Beginners usually get about 1800 euros per month and master perfumers from 10,000 euros and above.

About plans

We plan to promote the company and improve the quality of customer service.

Nathalie Feisthauer, 53 years old, hometown — Strasbourg, director of perfume company LABSent


About career choice

Everything started with an unexpected revelation. I was 16 years old, and I wasn't really interested in perfumery. Once I tried the perfume Opium and I realised the perfume can be so beautiful and sensual. It felt like I was looking at a beautiful picture.

In 1981-1982 there was no Internet, no interviews with perfumers. So I guessed that Mr Yves St Laurent created Opium perfume himself, and maybe he needs an assistant. I never thought about perfumes and did not expect I would become one of them.

I went to the post office, wrote out all the addresses of famous perfume houses from the catalogue and wrote them a letter about my passion for perfumery. They were all kind and responded to my letter. They explained to me that perfumes are created by perfume companies. So I sent a letter to a perfume company. One day I got a call: someone liked my letter because it was different from the others, full of love and passion. I had an appointment. Before hanging up, I was asked which perfume I like the most. I have no doubt saying — Opium, then the person on the call said that he created this perfume.

About perfumery in France

For centuries, perfumery has been an exclusive activity in Grasse. Basically, in perfumery was involved people from the perfume dynasties. I was one of the first who came to this industry from outside without family history in this area. I studied at the Roure Perfumery school in Grasse, where I was lucky to learn the experience of the famous master Mr. Jean Martin, who was a student of the other eminent masters in France, Mr. Jean Amic.

Perfume business is expensive, many ingredients are expensive. Also, perfume bottles, all laboratory services and frequent trips to Paris seriously affect the budget.

About working conditions

I have worked in several large companies, so my experience is related to the corporate world, but now my work is very different from this. Two years ago I became an independent perfume producer and lived in Montmartre. My laboratory is 50 meters away from my house.

It is not so easy to become a perfumer, there are many candidates for the position but not enough good positions.

Also, the industry is open to foreigners, so perfumers from around the world adopt the experience of large companies and then return to the homeland to use this knowledge in a familiar market.

The salary depends on the position and your responsibilities, but you can reach such a level that you can get from $100,000 to $500,000 or more.

About plans

We plan to develop our own business and discover new, incredible flavours that can cause customers special emotions.

Cecile Zarokian, 35 years old, hometown — Marseille, professional perfumer


About career choice

One day I met a friend of my friend, who studied at the perfume school ISIPCA. Initially, I studied medicine, although I was always sensitive to flavours, I did not consider it as a business of my life. My friend inspired me to take this step, and I decided to become a perfumer.

About perfumery in France

I got my master's degree in Grasse, the capital of perfumery. There I studied from a senior perfumer who worked in a leading perfume house in France.

In my opinion, the best way to learn something is to find the right teacher who can talk about the perfume industry, teach how to approach customers and how to take care of your body, create comfort in the house.

There are no special conditions for perfumers in France, but there is a reduced tax for trainees.

About working conditions

It is difficult for beginners to find themselves in this area, as there is a lot of competition.

I work as an independent perfumer for more than eight years and never regretted my decision.

If you have opened a business, you do not have specific working hours. Most often you have to work day and night and on weekends. You try to do your best to complete the order or finish the project, but since I love my job, it doesn't matter to me.

Also, if you are an independent perfumer, you will have to combine several responsibilities. Personally, I have to be responsible for everything. I work as a perfumer, also engaged in sales, marketing, public relations, Finance, office work.

About plans

Plans are to continue working, develop business and to enjoy the business.

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