Fragrance’s Future: Symrise launches a perfumery training program

Symrise (Holzminden, Germany) has just announced the launch of a new perfumery training program to boost its Scent & Care division. Beginning next month, the first crop of five recruits will begin the three-year program, studying raw materials, perfume chemistry and applications. 

The company has tapped senior perfumer Egon Oelkers as program head. Oelkers has been a perfumer for 40 years, previously with Symrise predecessor Haarmann & Reimer in Holzminden, Paris, Geneva, Cannes and New York, where he concentrated on personal care and fine fragrance.

“The age pyramid of the Symrise perfumers needs to be rejuvenated,” says Oelkers, adding that the company is looking to give “young and talented people a chance to get into this challenging and interesting business,” and, “to ensure the future success of the company with [the] best trained people on the background of the Symrise philosophy.”

New Generation, New Program

“The [program’s] ultimate goal is to get well-trained people to ensure [Symrise’s] future success,” says Oelkers. Following an extensive olfactive trial and personality profiling, Symrise has selected five initial recruits. “Some of them went through ISIPCA and several stages in the industry,” says Oelkers, “[while] others worked as assistants of experienced perfumers. Some already worked for Symrise in a chemist's function.”

Based primarily in Paris and Germany, the Symrise program, according to Oelkers, will be broad-based: “The trainees will acquire comprehensive knowledge of all raw materials, accords and bases, the structures and interpretations of historical and modern fine fragrances, as well as the technical and aesthetic needs of functional fragrances. Together with the mentors, my function is to support them in developing their creativity and teach them how to work in a business-orientated way.” (Mentors will include a range of Symrise senior perfumers with previous experience training students.) At the start of the program, participants will be exposed to all fragrance categories, though each student will eventually narrow focus on specific areas of expertise.

Asked if this program has any future beyond this inaugural student crop, Oelkers says, “If it proves to be a success, I can well imagine offering this opportunity to more perfumery students in the future.”

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