Givaudan’s original Perfumery School in Paris is legendary. It has moulded many masters of the past and present, and continues to teach the craftsmanship and heritage of our industry. In October 2015, we made company history by opening our first Perfumery School campus outside of France, in Singapore.
Crafting fragrances of the future
The Givaudan Perfumery School is the first of its kind, in the world. This legendary institute, which opened in 1946, can claim to have trained the perfumers responsible for approximately one third of the fragrances on the market today. It is here that the standard for modern perfumery training was established: we teach perfumery in all its forms, and graduates go on to hone their craft in creative centres serving leading designers, prestige brands and manufacturers of consumer products worldwide.
Our schools attract thousands of applicants for the handful of prized places available each year. They come from all over the world and from many different backgrounds; some are inspired by nature, some are artists, some scientists – all are fascinated by scent and the sense of smell. The lucky few will craft the fragrances that we fall in love with in the future.
The mission of the Givaudan Perfumery School is to train young perfumers to carry on the heritage of perfumery as a craft and develop an engrained knowledge of how to work with all fragrance ingredients, both natural and synthetic. Students are encouraged to diffuse their love of fragrance throughout Givaudan, and among customers and other stakeholders. The abilities taught to aspiring perfumers in the Perfumery School combine creative expression with sound technical skills. With the creation of the brand-new Singapore campus, students will all follow a single four-year curriculum, enriched by multicultural exchanges between the Paris location and Singapore.
The first half of the curriculum is dedicated to building the foundations of perfumery knowledge – students must develop their understanding of raw materials and formulas and understanding classic and modern fragrance concepts. The last two years cover science & technology, technical perfumery, fragrance analysis and a mentoring experience from a senior perfumer and within a creative team.
This thrilling four-year journey allows our budding perfumers to acquire the necessary technical skills they will draw upon throughout this unique career. Crucially, the two schools foster a culture of exchange, and students are encouraged to build strong relationships that they can leverage as they start to formulate the fragrances of the future, wherever they are in the world.
Five facts about the Perfumery School
A beautiful legacy from Roure
The Givaudan Perfumery School was founded under the guidance of Roure perfumer, Jean Carles in 1946. Carles had taken young perfumers under his wing and helped guide their training well before his tutelage became a ‘school’.
When Roure merged with Givaudan in 1992 the Perfumery School was retained and in 1997 finally moved from Grasse in to more modern facilities on the outskirts of Paris where it remains today.
Jean Carles developed a system of olfactive study, creating two distinct charts, which organised raw materials by similarity and contrast, with one chart for naturals and one for synthetics. The method, which bears his name, remains an industry standard and the basis for the study undertaken by perfumery students at Givaudan.
BBC4 visits our Perfumery School for documentary ‘Perfume’