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Perfumer / Fragrance Chemist

Who is a Fragrance Chemist?

A perfumer or a fragrance chemist is an expert who creates perfume composition and flavoring. A fragrance chemist needs to have a thorough knowledge of a large variety of fragrance ingredients and should be able to distinguish each of them.

What does a Fragrance Chemist do?

A perfumer's main job is to research and experiment with a wide variety of scents. They develop formulas to produce various kinds of different smells not limited to perfumes but also add fragrance to everything from automobiles to air fresheners to antiperspirants, personal care products, and cleaning or laundry.

What are the skills required?

The most important requisite for anyone, who wants to become a perfumer is developing a good sense of smell. So, the most important skills a fragrant chemist requires:

  • Strong knowledge of a large variety of fragrance ingredients

  • Team-work skills

  • Time-Management skills

  • Good communication skills

  • Strong sense of smell

Fragrance chemistry can be your leading platform for higher education in India. If you have a strong sense of smell and interest in perfumery, then you can apply for the job. However, since the exam requires basic understanding of Chemistry, you need to have taken Science in class 12.

Top colleges offering courses on Perfumery

There are quite a few institutes in India which offer courses in perfumery. Fragrance and flavor development center at Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh has a one year course which specializes in Technology Department program in Aroma and its diverse management, open to students from both non-chemistry and chemistry background. You can take fragrance chemistry as your preferred higher education in India to become what you are and excel at that. The center offers short term courses as well.

The top colleges offering a course on fragrance chemist are:

  • Fragrance and flavor department center Kanauj, Uttar Pradesh.

  • Fergusson College, Pune

  • Presidency College, Chennai

  • Hindu College, New Delhi

  • Elphinstone College, Mumbai

There are many Institutes abroad which teach perfumery to its candidates. Most perfumers are being employed by a major fragrance producer and perfume houses, with a small exclusive number of perfumers who make exclusive perfumes. This is why perfumery is soon projected to become a leading platform for higher education in India.

Career scope for Fragrance Chemists in India

There are very few fragrance chemists in the country, hence the demand for perfumers is good in the market as the supply ratio is less than average.

The job of a perfumer is very similar to that of a food flavorist who composes smells and flavors for many commercial food products. We have given you extensive career guidance on perfumery so that you can make an informed decision before choosing any subject as your higher education in India.

A fragrance chemist is a researcher who experiments and analyses different kinds of scents. As a researcher, you will have to smell the fragrance, recommend particular changes and decide whether it will be a profitable venture if released in the market and carry out activities accordingly.

Big perfume houses mainly have three departments namely the creative, valuation and application department. The perfumers who are allotted in the creative department are responsible for creating new perfumes. The rough career hierarchy of a fragrant chemist is as follows:

  • Creative Perfumer

  • Consumer Insight professional

  • Research and developer chemist

How much does a Fragrance Chemist make?

An entry-level perfumer with less than a year of experience earns an average of Rs 2,35,900 per year.  Average salary is Rs 2,95,040/yr. A senior perfumer with more experience earns around an average of Rs 3,50,193/yr. The estimates are according to salary experts.

What are the books and study materials available?

To become a perfumer, you will need to have a thorough knowledge of the different chemicals and flavors used to make a perfume. You will also need the proper career guidance to succeed. The different books and study materials that are available are:

  • Chemistry and Technology of Flavors and fragrances.

  • Poucher's Perfume, Cosmetics, and Soaps, W.A Poucher

  • The Chemistry of fragrances, Charles S.Sell

  • Understanding Fragrance Chemistry, Charles Sell

  • Perfume and flavor chemical, Steffen Arctander

Major recruiters

There are many major fragrance companies as well as other industries that recruit perfumers. The major companies that recruits perfumers are:

  • International Flavors and Fragrance Inc(IFF)

  • Givaudan

  • Firmenich

  • Takasago

  • Ungerer and Company

Interesting fact 

Ambergris is the most valuable raw material in perfume chemistry. It is taken from the intestines of a sperm whale. Today, Perfumes like Dolce and Gabbana include a synthetic version of Ambergris on their perfume called Light blue escape to Panarea.