Perfumers on Becoming a Perfumer

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We are often asked about our perfumer’s backgrounds, their inspirations or how they became perfumers. Typically, in order to become a perfumer for a fragrance house one needs an extensive chemistry and science background. However, we have observed that the role has evolved and the Perfumer today must be adept at a full suite of skills beyond those of the lab and the scientific method.

This new skill set encompasses the traditional aspects of creativity and artistry of perfumery with chemical science, and extends beyond the basics to incorporate marketing, innovation and business management. It combines these with specialized applied sciences & technology relevant to the Fragrance industry, design experimentation and personal development.

The School of Scent Design & Creation 

It’s one of the reasons we have partnered with one of the world’s leading perfumery schools, ISIPCA, to offer a new program -- School of Scent Design & Creation (MSc).

In a recent press release, Nicolas Mirzayantz, IFF Group President, Fragrances, said, “This partnership combines IFF’s 127-year creative legacy with the proven academic excellence that has made ISIPCA the world’s premier fragrance school. It’s a wonderful opportunity to participate in the training of future perfumers and scent designers.

Nicolas Mirzayantz, IFF Group President, Fragrances
This partnership breaks new ground in our industry, building on IFF’s legacy of pioneering firsts. We look forward to expanding and diversifying our fragrance talent pipeline to meet the increasing demand of consumers for new and exciting scent experiences. This is an incredible time for our industry and we are thrilled to partner with ISIPCA to help power our ability to meet the opportunities of the future.” (via

This alliance “creates a best in class program, which can be adapted to industry and market needs,” adds Catherine Bru, EAME Creative Center Director, at IFF.

 Transforming the Everyday 

Every day, we use the power of inquiry to create sensorial experiences that invite consumers to discover something new. But more than that, we tap into the power of curiosity—of passionate, sustained questioning—to turn exceptional ideas into extraordinary firsts.

Franc Schiet, Senior Perfumer, VP, Research Perfumery, in R&D at IFF, shared, “As a perfumer, my favorite part of the job is the freedom to create something new.”

From the creative center in the Netherlands, where Franc continually raises the bar on scented consumer products, to our in-house naturals operations, IFF LMR Naturals located in Grasse, or our collaboration with NASA, exploring the effects of zero gravity on fragrance, to our most recent, pioneering the digital future of scent, our people have always pushed the boundaries to solve the day’s most immediate challenges.

Mastering Perfumery

For Carlos Benaim, Master Perfumer at IFF and recipient of numerous awards including the Fragrance Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, his career spanning 48 years at IFF has been an odyssey of fragrances.

A native of Tangier, in Morocco, who later moved to France to pursue chemistry and engineering studies, Carlos applied for a management training opportunity with us in Holland.

At IFF, he developed his acumen, working and learning alongside some of greatest talents of IFF – Ernest Shiftan, Bernard Chant, Max Gavarry and Dr. Braja Mookherjee, to name a few.

He has created or collaborated on a string of iconic fragrances, including the original Polo by Ralph Lauren; Euphoria and Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein; Herrera for Men by Carolina Herrera; White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor; Very Irresistible Givenchy by Givenchy; Prada Amber by Prada; Armani Code for Women by Giorgio Armani; and both Flowerbomb and Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf.

“I have no doubt that through the combination of the IFF curriculum at ISIPCA, followed by mentorship at IFF, we will produce the best professionals in our industry,” Carlos expressed. 

This June, we’re thrilled to honor Sophia Grojsman, Vice President Senior Perfumer, at IFF, next in line to receive the Lifetime Achievement Perfumer award.

Join us 

Think you have what it takes? Explore how you can become a Perfumer. [Tweet this]

Discover more about the School of Scent Design & Creation (MSc) and apply today

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