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The Trials and Tribulations of the Perfumer

Contact Author Paul E. Johnson
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The general theme requested by the program committee, Creation Through the First Production Batch, began my thinking on the trials and tribulations the perfumer has to face up to in creative work, before the product actually goes into production. Having thus set the stage for my act, so to speak, I could not think of a better title than The Trials and Tribulations of the Perfumer. Please, do not expect me to tell you how I go about creating—the subject is too abstract to put into words--but I can tell you some of the problems inherent to tbe perfumer’s profession.

I shall keep my paper geared to the problems of the perfumer of an essential oil-compound house in Europe exporting a major part of its production worldwide. I am purposely stressing the point of worldwide exports because this has a direct bearing from the outset on the modern perfurmer’s code of conduct. Before getting into the thick of the subject, I think it would be interesting to make a comparative survey of the practice of the perfumer of a finished goods house and that of the perfumer of an essential oil-compound house. In the course of my career I have been on both sides of the fence and thus appreciate what distinguishes these two types of perfumers.

The expertise of the resident perfumers in finished goods houses plays an important part and contributes largely to the success of their firm. This success is shared with all the departments of the firm involved in launching new products, be they perfumes, toiletries, or skin care products, in short, any product where fragrance is a decisive factor in the quest for success. In other words, the modern resident perfumer has to fit into a team and follow the roles of the game in any creative work.

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