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The Hidden Perfumer

Contact Author Edward J. Shuster
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Within the subject of "Perfumery Training,” I will devote myself to what I consider of prime importance: the choice of the candidate with the best potential and chance for success.

Most people have a sense of smell but not many have excellent “noses.” Few can think in odor terms and even fewer can think creatively. An analogy in another art form would be music where most people can distinguish a melody; many can remember and even hear it in their mind, but few can create one in their mind.

In all other art forms, the prospective practitioners can readily avail them selves of the tools needed. Their time, energy and the materials used are important only to themselves, and their successes or failures similarly are also important only to themselves. In our industry, the tools are not known or available to the general public so self-training and the development of perfumery ability is impossible. As a result, no pool of potential perfumers exists. The choice of trainees, in many cases, has been made on a purely subjective basis, from people already in our industry, i.e., lab assistants, compounders, and others. The training is time consuming and costly. Consequently, the result must be, but often is not successful.

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