Artist, chemist or alchemist of the XXI century?
The profession of “Nose” started more than 4000 years ago, when fragrances were created to please the gods.
Then from “maestro glove-perfumer” in the XVII century to pillar of powerful and articulated industries, passing from exclusive creator for fragrance houses (just think of Jacques Polge for Chanel, Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès, Jean-Michel Duriez for Patou, etc...) the context changes, the instruments for creation increase, technology opens new olfactory pathways, legislation on the other hand creates new limits, the market imposes its own rules, but the “profession” doesn’t change, the balance between technical knowledge and talent, constructed with patience of an apprenticeship and experimenter.
It is a very facetted profession, a complex “composition” of technical, chemical and scientific bases, an artistic education enriched through the discovery of art and its history and an exasperated sensitivity, sustained by a strong memory and willpower, which allows the transformation of life experiences into artistic creations.
In order to gain access to this profession, the training solutions are limited, often requiring living abroad for some time.
Only a few years ago, education was based on the passing of knowledge in a family environment or during an apprenticeship along side an experimental creator. Many of today’s talented creators remember their first steps in the “School of Grasse”, under the guidance of Jean Carles, as the Roure school (now Givaudan Group) was defined, the greenhouse of the French and international perfumery. Leading creation companies have formulated comprehensive training programmes for their graduate trainees in order to ensure a continual turnover of talent within the company.
From the beginning of the ’70s new training opportunities have been developed in France by frequenting quasi-university training institutes or through long professional qualification programmes.