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Perfumery

Reimagined

Whether for medicinal purposes or for sheer pleasure, people have mixed and experimented with aromatic essences from flowers, herbs, and other plants since antiquity. This blending of art and science takes many shapes and forms in modern day perfumery. Twenty-first century perfumers range from creative hobbyists to highly trained professional perfumers specializing in fragrance development for fine fragrancepersonal care, air care, and household products (click on category for more info.)

In addition to being artistically inspired, today’s perfumers face greater complexity than in the past due, in part, to the sheer increase in the number and type of raw materials, the array of end-use products, and regulations that need to be considered.

Through training, dedication, and practice, bona fide perfumers develop in-depth knowledge of the physical, chemical, and aesthetic proper uses of hundreds of olfactive raw materials. This knowledge enables them to develop a multitude of fragrance compositions.

painting

Whether for medicinal purposes or for sheer pleasure, people have mixed and experimented with aromatic essences from flowers, herbs, and other plants since antiquity. This blending of art and science takes many shapes and forms in modern day perfumery. Twenty-first century perfumers range from creative hobbyists to highly trained professional perfumers specializing in fragrance development for fine fragrancepersonal care, air care, and household products (click on category for more info.)

In addition to being artistically inspired, today’s perfumers face greater complexity than in the past due, in part, to the sheer increase in the number and type of raw materials, the array of end-use products, and regulations that need to be considered.

Through training, dedication, and practice, bona fide perfumers develop in-depth knowledge of the physical, chemical, and aesthetic proper uses of hundreds of olfactive raw materials. This knowledge enables them to develop a multitude of fragrance compositions.

SOAP BARS
LIQUID SOAP
LIQUID SOAP
SHAMPOO
CONDITIONERS
LOTIONS
CREAMS
BODY GELS
HAIR GELS
BODY OILS
HAIR COLOR

Personal Care

Once the apprentice develops a strong olfactive memory, they develop their formulations skills by performing countless experiments. These experiments involve the study, observation, and mastery of the effects of ingredients both alone and in complex fragrance compositions. Second only to household perfumery in the difficulty of incorporating fragrance into the media, personal care perfumers create the fragrances for products including:

Air Care

Whether creating fragrances elicit a certain ambiance or mood or to mask or neutralize mal-odors, the air care perfumer is behind the scents that make the air in homes, businesses, and vehicles fragrant and delightful. A master of fragrance chemistry who infuses a wealth of creativity into their work, they develop formulas for several unique media bases from candles to room sprays.

The air care perfumer is the creative mind behind:

CANDLES
REED DIFFUSERS
ELECTRIC DIFFUSERS
AIR FRESHNERS
PLUG-IN AIR FRESHNERS
ROOM SPRAYS
POT POURRI

Household

The nature of the media in this category requires chemical expertise. The most challenging of the perfumery categories, the household perfumer applies their extensive knowledge base and skillset to create the fragrances for the cleaning and household products found in homes and businesses everywhere.

They must account for human and environmental safety, reactivity with surfaces and other materials, product stability, packaging compatibility, and potential interactions with other ingredients. On top of that, the malodorous bases of household products are often strong and difficult to cover.

With trends in consumer demand requiring that they maintain creativity, the household perfumer develops the scents found in products such as:

LAUNDRY DETERGENTS
FURNITURE POLISH
SURFACE SANITIZERS AND WIPES
CLEANERS
DISHWASHING DETERGENTS
FABRIC SOFTENERS

Fine Fragrance

An expert at telling the story of human experience through scent, a fine fragrance perfumer creates the luxury fragrances one might find at their favorite department store fragrance counters.

With their expertise of the notes and combinations known as accords, they achieve scent combinations that inspire and intrigue. Artistic masters, fine fragrance perfumers have the talent to elicit emotion, evoke a precious memory, or tell a captivating tale with their fragrance creations.

glass bottle

The Perfumer

Before becoming perfumers, American Society of Perfumers members studied, apprenticed with a master perfumer, and worked in a fragrance laboratory for many years.

The training process to become an ASP perfumer is intense, rigorous, and lengthy. The first task for an apprentice perfumer is to study hundreds of natural and synthetic materials, committing them to memory.

Once the apprentice develops a strong olfactive memory, they develop their formulations skills by performing countless experiments. These experiments involve the study, observation, and mastery of the effects of ingredients both alone and in complex fragrance compositions.

As a result of this intense training, they can instantly identify hundreds of ingredients, fragrance structures, and types by smell alone. Hence, we sometimes refer to perfumers as a “nose.”

Their expertise provides ASP perfumers the ability to develop fragrances for a multitude of cosmetic and consumer products while also balancing cost, stability, strength, and regulatory parameters with agility.

Most ASP perfumers are adept at creating across all categories, but some choose to specialize in one or more of the following perfumery categories: personal care, air care, household, or fine fragrances [hyperlink to relevant pages]. While the materials utilized in these specialized practices are the same, their approach and techniques may vary considerably.

liquid soap
cosmetic

Personal Care

Focused on creating the scents for everyday personal hygiene products, the personal care perfumer touches the life of nearly every consumer. By combining their chemical expertise with their in-depth knowledge of application bases, they can adapt or reformulate fragrance combinations to achieve the desired outcome. They must consider solubility, stability, and reactivity while ensuring that the original properties of the base media are maintained.

Second, only to household perfumery in the difficulty of incorporating fragrance into the media, personal care perfumers create the fragrances for products including:

Soap Bars​

Liquid Soap​

Shampoo​

Conditioners​

Lotions​

Creams​

Body Gels​

Hair Gels​

Body Oils​

Hair Color​

cleaners

Household

The nature of the media in this category requires chemical expertise. The most challenging of the perfumery categories, the household perfumer applies their extensive knowledge base and skillset to create the fragrances for the cleaning and household products found in homes and businesses everywhere.

They must account for human and environmental safety, reactivity with surfaces and other materials, product stability, packaging compatibility, and potential interactions with other ingredients. On top of that, the malodorous bases of household products are often strong and difficult to cover.

With trends in consumer demand requiring that they maintain creativity, the household perfumer develops the scents found in products such as:

 

Laundry detergents

​Fabric softeners

​Dishwashing detergents

​Cleaners

​Furniture polish

Surface sanitizers and wipes

reed diffusers

Air Care

Whether creating fragrances elicit a certain ambiance or mood or to mask or neutralize mal-odors, the air care perfumer is behind the scents that make the air in homes, businesses, and vehicles fragrant and delightful. A master of fragrance chemistry who infuses a wealth of creativity into their work, they develop formulas for several unique media bases from candles to room sprays.

The air care perfumer is the creative mind behind:

Candles

Reed diffusers

Electric diffusers

Air fresheners and plug-in air fresheners

Room sprays

Pot Pourri

flower
bottle
perfume

Fine Fragrance

An expert at telling the story of human experience through scent, a fine fragrance perfumer creates the luxury fragrances one might find at their favorite department store fragrance counters.

With their expertise of the notes and combinations known as accords, they achieve scent combinations that inspire and intrigue. Artistic masters, fine fragrance perfumers have the talent to elicit emotion, evoke a precious memory, or tell a captivating tale with their fragrance creations.