Since before the Middle Ages, the fragrance discipline has been passed down through the relationship of master and apprentice in which one talented pupil with the right connections was chosen from the masses to study under the tutelage of a veteran. However, this dynamic, like many aspects of the fragrance industry, is changing. Where once the relationship of the master and apprentice was the only way to gain entrance, academic courses are now growing in influence.
In recent years, the fragrance industry has become increasingly salient in the mind of popular culture. From books such as Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York, to increasingly available online information, what was once completely secret is slowly becoming more well-known. However, accurate information regarding the fragrance industry, when compared to info on other disciplines, remains rare and expensive.
Within the past few decades there has been an increase in the popularity and number of academic institutions that offer degree programs in fragrance and flavor. While they are dispersed throughout the world, notable examples include the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, and the Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, de la Cosmétique et de l’Aromatique alimentaire (ISIPCA; www.isipca.fr) in Versailles, France.