Perfumery Academy

Creativity, Skill and and Hard Work Await Future Perfumers

Training to become a Perfumer is such a serious challenge that we take the matter into our own hands.  Even aspiring candidates fresh out of fragrance-centered schools are expected to go through two years of training here at Eurofragance.  After an arduous process, those who succeed get to face a new challenge: winning your briefs and your heart.

Isabel Gil Trujillo
Senior Perfumer

Having a Nose Is a Good Start to Becoming a Perfumer, but It Is Not Enough

At Eurofragance we are proud to have in our ranks Perfumers who have over thirty years of experience in the industry, just as we are also proud of nurturing Trainee Perfumers who will fragrance the world for the next thirty years… and beyond.

In an Industry Where Creativity Rules, Applying a Creative Approach to Learning Only Makes Sense

Henry van den Heuvel is not only one of our most senior and accomplished Perfumers, he is also responsible for training and coaching perfumery aspirants. Henry applies a novel and disruptive approach centered on self-discovery to learning the métier of Perfumer.

To become a Perfumer it takes passion, curiosity, perseverance, memory and… it helps to have a nose.  Candidates in our Perfumery Academy train their nose to smell, smell and smell some more every day.  It begins with learning the ins and outs of the raw materials of our palette—between 1,000 and 1,200 ingredients.  It is one thing to identify a raw material (natural or synthetic), but it is another to develop a vocabulary to describe it.  And it is yet another challenge, to group different raw materials into cohesive olfactive families.  At this point, the apprentices are expected to think for themselves, to begin proposing their own answers and defend the choices they make.  We do not pre-condition them with industry dictates; this is where they must link their nose to their brain. At this initial stage of learning, the Trainees should also be able to correctly recognize the ingredients in the quintessential perfumes, and not only in fine fragrance products.  After two years of training, our future Perfumers are expected to know by heart at least a thousand raw materials and innumerable different fragranced brands, from a famous designer perfume to the scent of a classic dish washing liquid.

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Trial by Error and More Trying

Passing the raw materials test at the end of the first phase of learning is a sine qua non for continuing in the Perfumery Academy program. In the second phase of their apprenticeship, students begin creating.

Trainee Perfumers are asked to design small accord to “recreate” the smell of an ingredient (e.g., a Granny Smith apple, a rose…) using other raw materials.  Here too, Henry applies his pedagogical philosophy of learning by trying and doing and trying some more.  Readymade answers are not provided.  Students must uncover—under Henry’s coaching—the keys to solving the olfactive challenges presented to them.  They succeed if they exploit all their creative and intellectual resources.  There are a handful of ingredients in perfumery that students must be able to duplicate by creating their own accords.  The time spent on these basics, creating simple accords leads the way to studying classic fragrances. In this phase of learning, Henry insists that young Perfumers master how raw materials interact with one another and how they behave in a particular matrix.  The notions of contrast and depth in a perfume must be well assimilated.  The aspirant Perfumer is then challenged to recreate some of the perfumes that have made history.  After two years of training and having passed a comprehensive exam, the apprentice will become a Junior Perfumer. While Junior Perfumers can begin writing their own history, working on the projects you assign to us, the Perfumery Academy is not quite finished for them.  We require them to spend another two years abroad in one of our Creative Centers applying and perfecting what they have learned.  We encourage this mobility as it fosters intellectual agility, openness and will feed the insatiable inquisitiveness of our fragrance creators.

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