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Inside Symrise’s Perfumers’ Academy

Posted: October 12, 2007

Seeking to create “a network of knowledge among our perfumers that ultimately will benefit our clients,” Symrise’s Roberto Ascoli (vice president Scent & Care division, president Symrise France and director of the Beauty Care Creative Centre) recently spoke with P&Fnow about the company’s Perfumers’ Academy, its goals and how it will grow the skills of its perfumers.

Looking to nurture its noses, Symrise’s new program establishes what Ascoli describes as “a lifelong exercise whereby we keep our perfumers motivated, trained and updated.” Broken into three tiers—undergraduate (Symrise Perfumery School, run by Egon Oelkers), graduate (intermingling of junior and senior perfumers in mentoring scenarios and continuing education) and post-graduate levels (exchange programs with customers and global cultural intelligence-gathering excursions)—the program primarily focuses on continuing education and client-service skills.

Tier 1: The undergraduate level program lasts two to three years. Graduates then become junior perfumers.

Tier 2: The graduate level commingles junior and senior perfumers, some of whom may require “refreshment in one area or another or may benefit from specific training,” explains Ascoli. Junior perfumers will take part in mentoring and cross-regional exchange programs that will allow them to relocate for three to six months to learn from more experienced staff.

“More senior perfumers will benefit from coaching training for mentors,” says Ascoli. In addition, some participants will learn skills in communication, presentation strategies, teamwork, finance and numerous levels of chemistry. Ascoli explains that the program reinforces perfumers’ existing skills, while adding new competencies and refreshing technical abilities as some staff may not have taken a chemistry course in some 20 years.