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Technology and the Perfumer

Contact Author F. Louis Schmitt
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We have all heard stories about, and some of us remember the advent of the gas chromatograph. In those early days, the GC was often met with suspicion. To some its very existence was intimidating. In our insecurity we were sure that our art and our jobs would be gone with the wind! But perhaps it wasn’t just the GC, perhaps it was any number of technical innovations. Maybe we just thought that science was infringing a bit too much into an artistic area.

Today, however, we are faced with perfuming the myriad of products which flow from the minds of creative marketing. We now view technology as a God-send, a collaborator, a friend in need and sometimes a scapegoat.

Of all art forms, and I speak of perfumery as an art form, perfumery is one of the most technically oriented, an artistic extension of pharmacy perhaps. My father having been a pharmacist I remember fondly the compounding rituals and the many fragrant materials that were used to make the various prescriptions more palatable or more fragrant in order to cover some God-awful “unguentum.”

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