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The Mysterious Brain of a Perfumer


Everyone heard the word “perfumer”, but what does it actually mean? Did you know that perfumers create almost everything you use in your daily life? Including dish detergent, laundry powder, hand soap, candles, body lotion! Yes, fine fragrance perfumers might be the ones that pop in your head, but let’s give respect to all of these perfumers who work tirelessly on other products.


In the current industry, perfumers from fragrance houses are given briefs to create fragrances for brands. And much like ghostwriters for musicians, perfumers rarely receive any credit from the consumers due to the lack of education and attention.


Now let’s talk about the process for a fine fragrance perfumer to create a fragrance. Some perfumers might want to start with 1 singular raw material, and slowly build the entire perfume composition, while others might construct what is called an “accord”, which is basically a few raw materials that combine to form a foundation for the perfume composition. Multiple accords can be combined, elongated, stretched, and eventually transformed into the final composition. Depending on the time limit, the budget, and the perfumer’s style, a perfume can have as little as 10 raw materials to 1000 raw materials (quite an exaggeration).


Written by Long (Tony) Ye

MSc. Scent Design & Creation - ISIPCA

BEng. Chemical Engineering - McGill University

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