Nose (Perfumer)

A nose (or a perfumer) is an artist who creates fragrances by blending different essential oils, aroma compounds, and other ingredients. Perfumery is both an art and a science, requiring a deep understanding of the chemistry of fragrance. A great nose has the ability to balance and harmonize, or in some cases juxtapose different ingredients across concentrations to create a pleasing aroma.

A nose’s job begins with the selection of raw materials, which may include natural botanicals such as flowers, fruits, and spices, as well as synthetic ingredients. The perfumer chooses these materials for their scent profile and compatibility with other ingredients and may source ingredients from all over the world. Once the ingredients have been selected, the nose begins the process of extracting the fragrance compounds and creating the accords. This process can take weeks, months and in some cases, years. The process is a cumbersome one that begins with careful measurement, mixing, and testing of different combinations of ingredients. Did you know, the fragrance YSL Libre was created after 7 years and over 1500 variations?

In addition to blending fragrances, a nose must also be skilled in the art of aroma evaluation, which involves the ability to detect and analyze different scents and their chemical properties. This is essential for ensuring that the final fragrance is of high quality and meets the desired specifications. Noses may work for fragrance companies, creating fragrances for use in perfumes, body products, and other consumer goods. They may also work as independent consultants, creating bespoke fragrances for individual clients or creating fragrances for niche markets such as aromatherapy or natural perfumery.