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IFRA UK celebrates National Fragrance Week

18 March 2019

IFRA UK, the trade association for the fragrance industry, is encouraging people to become more aware of the creative process behind their favourite fragrance during National Fragrance Week, which runs from the 18-23 March, organised by the Fragrance Foundation.

The career opportunities are endless for those keen on scents. From fine fragrances to household cleaning, the market is diverse and is worth an estimated €1.7 billion in Europe alone and with over £12.6 billion of retail sales in the UK, the sector is booming.

Yet most users of fragrance don’t think about all the different jobs there are within the industry, or that they aren’t all solely formulaic calculations of regulated chemicals. IFRA UK wants to show the importance of this career in significantly contributing to the UK and global economy and the many opportunities that exist for people to work in the sector including:

Quality Control technician: This job involves a high level of detail to check the consistency of incoming materials against previous batches from colour to the physical state of the oils. It also involves analytical tests and ensuring the fragrances have been manufactured to the exact specification through odour test comparisons over a 24-hour period of smelling and specific time points!

Perfumer: Working your way through the training ranks for about 7 years, learning about 3000 or more individual raw scents, the perfumer creates the fragrance to meet the customer project, in line with trends and fashions.

Evaluators: If you love fragrance and know what’s hot or not, this is the role for you. From liaising with clients and monitoring timelines and providing creative direction, this role is all about the product being created. The training period is around 1-2 years and involves describing the odours available, being aware of new trends and conducting focus groups. It even means managing the company’s perfume library, and always keeping on trend for perfumers.

Marketing: This role monitors trends from descriptive, fashion and design, as well as presenting the face of fragrance without the smelling expertise. These individuals are responsible for strategic marketing and preparing the business plans for the company.

Regulatory Affairs: This combines technical knowledge with commercial responsibilities. Those who look for a varied role and a great deal of multi-tasking would enjoy pulling together technical, safety, quality and developmental information on a product. Often this role involves managing special client requirements and following IFRA guidelines and other regulations.

Lisa Hipgrave, IFRA UK’s director, said: "During National Fragrance Week, we really want more people to become aware of how many roles there are in the industry from those who create the scent to those that do the marketing. One spritz of your favourite fragrance in the morning has actually been created by a vast team of people, from analysing the raw materials to designing the final packaged product.

"Working with fragrance is absolutely fascinating and these are just some of the opportunities that exist. It is a career which people often assume is just a role for qualified chemists, but the truth is there are countless possibilities and the majority of those who work in the sector stay there for their entire working life – you get hooked!"