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Becoming a Perfumer

How Do I Become a Perfumer

Time and Commitment

Becoming a Natural Perfumer is similar to becoming a musician or artist, and much like those modalities, often reaching the level of master or professional perfumer can take many years of dedicated training.

Training and Knowledge


Learning to create natural perfumes that are safe to wear on the skin is crucial. This involves understanding the properties of each raw material, including any potential allergens or irritants. Study the safety guidelines set by regulatory bodies such as the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and experts in the field. Ensure you are well-versed in proper dilution techniques and the safe concentration levels for various components. Taking our course and reading extensively on raw material safety can provide a solid foundation in this essential aspect of natural perfumery.


Familiarizing yourself with the vast vocabulary of natural perfumery is another vital step. The world of perfume has its own language, filled with specific terms that describe scents, materials, and processes. Start by learning the basic terms, such as top notes, heart notes, and base notes, and gradually expand your knowledge to include more complex concepts like sillage, accords, and olfactory families. Reading books, joining online forums, and taking specialized courses, like those we offer, can help you build a robust perfumery lexicon.

Recording and Measuring

Developing skills in accurately recording and measuring ingredients is fundamental to the art of perfumery. Precision is key when it comes to creating consistent and high-quality fragrances. Invest in good-quality measuring tools, such as pipettes, scales, and graduated cylinders. Keep detailed records of every formula you create, noting the exact quantities of each ingredient, the methods used, and the results obtained. This meticulous approach will enable you to replicate successful formulations and learn from any mistakes.

Formulating and Dilution

Mastering the art of formulating different materials and diluting them appropriately is where creativity and technique come together. Start with simple formulas, combining just a few raw materials to understand how they interact. Experiment with different ratios and concentrations, and observe how the scent evolves over time. Practice making dilutions to achieve the desired strength of scent.


Training yourself to identify and name raw materials by their smell is a skill that will set you apart as a natural perfumer. Begin by familiarizing yourself with common essential oils and extracts, taking time to smell each one individually and note its characteristics. Use blind testing to challenge your recognition skills, gradually increasing the complexity of the scents you test. Building a scent library with labeled samples can be a helpful tool in this process. Regular practice and exposure to a wide range of materials will sharpen your olfactory senses and enhance your ability to identify ingredients by smell.

Practice and Persistence

Consistency is key. Create something every day, embrace mistakes as learning opportunities, and continue to practice relentlessly. The journey to becoming a perfumer is one of continuous learning and experimentation.

Professional training in natural perfumery is essential for achieving your educational goals, as it provides a structured and comprehensive understanding of the art and science behind fragrance creation. Such training offers access to expert knowledge, hands-on experience with high-quality materials, and exposure to industry-standard practices. It ensures you learn the crucial aspects of safety, formulating, and ingredient recognition while developing a refined olfactory palette. Professional courses and mentorship can significantly accelerate your learning curve, helping you master the techniques and skills necessary to become a successful and knowledgeable perfumer.

An education from the Natural Perfume Academy comprehensively addresses all of these points.

  • Job Duties of a Professional Natural Perfumer

    • Evaluate the raw materials used in natural perfumery to determine authenticity and quality of scent.
    • Establish and enforce production safety standards.
    • Source or produce ethical, pure natural perfumery materials, and review production data to ensure compliance with standards.
    • Evaluate perfume formulations for specific characteristics such as strength of scent, balance, longevity, and hedonics. 
    • Assess ongoing perfume trials.
    • Reject batches that do not meet criteria, and record these rejections.
    • Approve batches for finishing, sign off, and record them.