Career in Fragrance : Where to Start

Are you interested in a fragrance industry career? Lauren shares her insights and tips.

As a fragrance evaluator, the question I am asked most often is: How did you get into that career?  Some people mean this in a non-literal sense and are really asking me, What on earth made you decide to turn your interest in perfume into a full-blown professionThis is casual conversation, amusement expressed plainly through twinkling eyes and grinning lips.  But there is another set of people who ask me this question literally.  They want to know how they can get a job in the fragrance industry, too.  They want to turn their passion for perfume into an everyday reality, and I recognize what we have in common: they want it is as badly as I wanted it.

perfume-work

When I was in college, I loved writing, so much that I considered pursuing it as my main profession.  My professor said, “Don’t pursue creative writing unless you truly cannot imagine doing anything else.”  Now, I would offer the same advice for those interested in a fragrance career: go after it only if you cannot imagine doing anything else.  If you keep this in mind and stay open to what you learn each day, there’s really no way to fail.  No matter what your job title may be.

Speaking of job titles, there are several different types of careers you could pursue within the fragrance industry.  Perfumers are probably the most well-known players, but fragrance creation requires a wide variety of skills and talents:

  • evaluators, which I have written about in a previous post
  • lab technicians, from mixing perfume formulations to actually applying the fragrances into whatever medium is required (detergent, body wash, candles, alcohol)
  • regulatory & safety personnel
  • marketing & trends professionals and graphic designers
  • business & administrative leaders
  • R&D scientists, from creating new fragrance molecules to working on particular applications of fragrance technologies
  • consumer insights professionals and statisticians, to help perfumers, evaluators, and marketers understand the current market demands and develop new ideas for future trends
  • IT and software experts

Those of you with design, chemistry, or pharmaceutical backgrounds can also pursue careers related to product formulation, color creation, or packaging design & engineering.  Even fashion and clothing design is related to the fragrance industry.  In fact, many of my previous coworkers hold degrees from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in Manhattan.

My basis of fragrance knowledge began at ISIPCA, a fragrance and cosmetics institute located in Versailles, France, which is where I met my initial group of contacts, teachers, and industry professionals.  Several large companies such as Coty, L’Oréal, Revlon, and Firmenich offer internships that can be a great way to start a career.  Or, if you live around New York, you can attend networking events such as CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) and WFFC (Women in Flavor & Fragrance Commerce).  If you went to college, I would also suggest attending your local alumni events, because you never know who you will meet!

I wish, more than anything, that I could provide a guaranteed formula for how to make your dreams come true, or simply, how to land an interview.  But I can’t do this; I believe a lot of life is simply based on luck.  I can, however, share my own experience, which I believe encouraged luck to smile on me.  There are 5 things that helped me get a job in the fragrance industry:

Number 1: Passion. 

Like my professor advised, I could not imagine doing anything else.

Number 2: Willingness to fail. 

No matter what you pursue, it has to be a conscious decision.  State your goals clearly to yourself, own them, and don’t be afraid to fail.  So what if you fail?  Stay open to repeated rejection.  I told myself, If this doesn’t work out, I’ll just try something else.  I was willing to accept failure because I believed the simple act of trying was the best that I could do.  And I decided from the outset that my best was good enough for me, no matter what the outcome.

Number 3: Determination. 

But, I did not accept “no” as a final answer!  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. When I was 23, I disliked talking to strangers.  I felt awkward needing things from other people.  I hated asking for favors.  I was willing to be lonely.  I was willing to move to other countries and other states where I knew not a soul.  I was willing to push out of my introverted comfort zone by literally asking every contact I met, “Do you know anyone in the US to whom I could send a resume?  Can you share her email address with me?”

With my goals in mind, I forced myself to be uncomfortable every day.  Because I was passionate, I didn’t get discouraged and ask myself, “Why am I doing this?  Why am I going on like a broken record?”  I wanted something, plain and simple.  Do not allow “no” to be the end of your road.

Number 4: Humility.

I was willing to start somewhere – anywhere.  I accepted an entry-level marketing position when I wanted to be a perfumer.  I needed to start learning, and frankly, I met a lot of people who were simply not willing to do this.   They wanted to be instant perfumers instead of learning other things, and while they may have gotten interviews with great companies, they did not receive job offers.  You have to take what you can get and continue asking for what you want.  And you must accept the fact that some people are not going to like you and they’re not going to like your approach.  Stay humble and be kind to everyone.  You must maintain the fine balance between knowing what you want, yet allowing yourself the flexibility to learn as you go in order to realize your full potential.  I quickly learned that I did not want to be a perfumer, after all.

Number 5: Other people.

I got a job in the fragrance industry because I dove head-first into a lot of scary stuff.  But I didn’t dive into a vacuum.  I jumped into a small sea of people who recognized this passion in me; helped me; connected me; hired me; taught me.  My fate has in large part depended upon others – and a lot of them are really good people. 

Tell everyone about your goals, hopes and dreams…you never know where other people can lead you.  I got my start speaking to a tour guide when I was visiting a fragrance house in Grasse, the historical French perfume capital.  As I mentioned, at the time I felt very shy, but those five minutes of making casual conversation turned out to have changed my life.  When you joyfully and shamelessly pursue your goals, there are a surprising number of people out there who want to help you succeed.

I hope this has provided you with a good place to start. If you’re a fragrance industry professional and are willing to share your tips, I would love to hear them.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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76 Comments

  • Jamie: Interesting article! Fragrance is something I loved even as a little girl. I made my parents buy me a “perfume making kit” (I think I was 7 or 8). :) I wish I had gone into some form of occupation relating to fragrance. Now, at 58 years old, I missed that boat. February 28, 2014 at 7:46am Reply

    • Lauren: You know Jamie, there will always be boats that we missed – that’s life, right? But if you’re passionate about something, it can’t ever really leave you. :) Connecting through this blog is an amazing way to honor your love of perfume, even if it isn’t your profession. February 28, 2014 at 8:15am Reply

      • Phyllis Iervello: I completely agree Lauren! February 28, 2014 at 9:29am Reply

      • nikki: some boats we missed, sank like the Titanic…so one never knows about those boats! February 28, 2014 at 10:25am Reply

      • Jamie: That’s a great way of looking at it. :) February 28, 2014 at 11:47am Reply

      • Jamie: I had no idea that there was a whole community of people out there who loved fragrance as much as I do. I’ve learned so much from being a part of this wonderful community. February 28, 2014 at 11:49am Reply

        • Jovan Van Drielle: Jamie,
          I don’t know you and have no idea where you are located but I entered the fragrance industry at the age of 59. So you are never too old OR to young at heart!

          If you are ever in La Jolla, California please let me know. You can reach me via email: Jovan@Tijon.com
          Scentcerely,
          Jovan September 27, 2014 at 6:45pm Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Jamie, I think Vero Kern (perfumer) started her perfumery training at the age of 58! I think it’s wonderful to have perfume as a hobby but perahps, it’s never too late! :-) February 28, 2014 at 8:45am Reply

      • Jamie: Now that’s interesting! :):) February 28, 2014 at 11:49am Reply

      • Solanace: What a great example! March 1, 2014 at 8:33am Reply

    • Phyllis Iervello: I’m in the same boat as you Jamie and have also love fragrance since I was a little girl. February 28, 2014 at 9:28am Reply

      • Jamie: :) February 28, 2014 at 11:52am Reply

  • Gentiana: Dear Victoria,
    Your post came in my life like a sign…
    You pointed very well what one need in a career (not necesarily fragrance-related). You are so kind sharing your experience to us!
    Very useful information and it really gives me courage.
    I am in a very hard period and I am questioning myself day and night if I want to continue doing the things I did till now. I am an architect, I used to do great projects, but our country is in a very bad economic state and building industry is less than 30% of what it used to be in 2008. The bureaucracy increased and I am sick and tired of doing huge, stupid paperwork for tiny and very poorly paid projects – and running from one authority to the other for idiot approvals….
    Besides, I had a few very bad experiences referring to trust in people, disappointment, deceit, fraud, dodgery…

    I look forward to change my job.
    Maybe I get an idea from your post…. Maybe I only will re-read it everyday to get more determination… and some trust in people… February 28, 2014 at 7:50am Reply

    • Victoria: Gentiana, all credit is to our ever informative Lauren. She wrote this article! February 28, 2014 at 7:55am Reply

      • Gentiana: Well, excuses… I wasn’t attentive, Thank You Lauren, great article!
        And great people reading this blog… I got good words of encouragement.
        It looks like people who are in the hobby for fragrances, share a certain way of being, thinking, feeling.
        This blog is a nice community! March 3, 2014 at 4:03am Reply

    • Lauren: Gentiana, I believe there is a certain amount of bureaucracy and red tape in everything you might pursue. But, change can be life-affirming, and if you feel strongly in your heart that you’re ready for something different, there’s no better reason to try something else. Best of luck to you! February 28, 2014 at 8:18am Reply

      • Gentiana: Yes, it is right, changing totally my job is a possibility that I don’t exclude… Although i feel (as more readers said) that I lost the boat.
        Perfumes are a great hobby and they keep me in motion – they give me soothing in the evening, cheering up in the morning.
        Well, if I could do something related to perfumes as a secondary job…
        Or to participate at a project the kind I read somewhere – relating spaces and smells, interior design and fragrances… I could work with someone who already tested this kind of sinergetic art experiments…. March 3, 2014 at 4:12am Reply

    • nikki: Gentiana, I am sorry to hear you are going through the “dark night of the soul”.

      Unfortunately, suffering seems to be the only way to acquire wisdom in life as Aeschylos already said….the Gods made a pact that only suffering will lead to wisdom.

      Many people have been going through a lot in the last years in many countries, and it seems that the ones who persist and stay the course, do come out on the other end of the tunnel. Good luck, Gentiana! February 28, 2014 at 10:23am Reply

      • Gentiana: Thank you very much, nikki!

        You said it in the right words! Yes, I know I am not the only human who is disappointed by what happens in this world of ours… I tried to take the philosophical part of things – as you say – (suffering leads to wisdom, persist in the course and see the light at the end of tunnel etc), but somehow in the last weeks the philosophy didn’t work. I don’t regret any more that I showed my vulnerability on this blog.
        It is such a pleasant surprise to meet here people who are open and sensitive to other people!
        Yes! I guessed it! The sense of smell and the love for perfumes gather people that share a special sensitivity. March 3, 2014 at 4:23am Reply

    • Amer: Funny, I am an architect too and going through the same phase regarding my profession. I can totally understand how you feel right now. Is it a reason good enough to turn you to a carrier in perfumery though? If that is what you actively seek then by all means dive into it head first but before you do ask yourself this: would you pursue it no matter how your career in architecture was going or is it a distraction from the rough times you are going through? I am afraid that all professions related to creation share the same dark core, they exact a heavy toll from us and simply changing one for another won’t save you from it. My point is, I am sure you can achieve a career in perfume industry provided you build your foundations on the right reasons (architectural joke…yikes!)

      Best of luck in any case! February 28, 2014 at 1:13pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: You make a really important and valid point, Amer. Also, what you enjoy as a hobby might not be so enjoyable when it turns into a job but you might never know this until you actually try it and hence the dilemma. February 28, 2014 at 2:11pm Reply

        • Amer: For me the surest way to kill my love for something is a to make a profession out of it. Hopefully it is my kink and not a universal phenomenon but your comment expresses me 100% Anne! February 28, 2014 at 2:19pm Reply

      • Gentiana: Thank you Amer.
        You are right. And you expressed things in such a precise way that I cannot tell anything better.
        Yes, my great hobby for perfumes might be ruined if I do a job of it.
        Yes, there are lots of people in creative professions who feel they are collapsing… It is a complicated question that involves politic and economics… But it is not the topic of this blog.
        I am not sure I want to quit architecture, but I would like to experiment something more related to arts – I tried to express it in the answer I gave to Lauren. I know that this kind of artsy things don’t bring money, but, at least, it is something beautiful, something for the soul. March 3, 2014 at 4:36am Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Lauren, thank you so much for sharing your insights and tips. As you know, I was one of the people who literally asked you that question shamelessly. :-) My journey still continues and the most surprising and exciting part of that journey has been meeting many strangers who were willing to help me, including you and Victoria. So thank you again!

    I think what you shared don’t just apply to the fragrance industry but they are helpful to anyone who’s considering a career change. For me, the hardest part was actually being honest with myself. I endlessly questioned myself why I started doing what I’m doing now and I realised that a lot of it was from trying to keep up with other people’s and my own expectations, and also the fear of venturing into a different field and failing. Then, I asked myself why I want to work in the fragrance industry. Am I only attracted to the glamorous image or am I genuinely interested?

    Once it became clear that this is where I passion lie, my life changed. I began searching through people in my network, making cold contacts, asked for information and advice. It hasn’t been easy and I still haven’t found anything solid yet (I actually applied for a position this week and I’m waiting for an answer) but I’m enjoying my adventure. There were ups and downs but I’m so thankful that there were family members and friends who truly understood and encouraged me. I think for any career changer, it’s really important to find people who can support him/her because it’s a very daunting and tiring process.

    For anyone who’s considering a career change or job hunting, this book has been tremendously helpful: What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles. It literally changed my life and I can highly recommend it to everyone. I hope that in a few years time, I would also be able to share my experience and help others, like you. February 28, 2014 at 8:32am Reply

    • Dalila: Truly inspirational post,
      Anne, it is the second time this week someone mentions me this book. I am not technically changing career lanes, but trying to figure out where to go to grad school. Fragrances and smells are my hobby and who knows, might turn into something more serious in the years to come.
      Love this blog :) February 28, 2014 at 9:04am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Dalila, I actually first read this book (recommended by a friend) when I was in a similar situation. The book provided a lot of practical tips but the best thing about it was that it helped me to learn a lot about myself and to put my life into a new perspective. I wish you good luck with finding the right graduate school and supervisor! February 28, 2014 at 2:03pm Reply

    • Lauren: Anne, I thought you might enjoy today’s post! I agree that being honest with yourself is one of the most difficult, yet most important, things to do. And, stay open! I read the Parachute book a LONG time ago and found it very interesting and helpful as well. But it told me I should be a graphic designer, and I felt very far removed from those conclusions! It turns out that what I do may not be far off! So you never know what else you might discover during your pursuits. February 28, 2014 at 11:37am Reply

    • Amer: Best of luck with your new venture Anne! Would you mind telling us more about the position you applied for so we could proceed with an informed finger-crossing session in your favour? :) February 28, 2014 at 3:50pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you very much for your wishes, Amer. :-) Since nothing has been decided, I can’t be too specific but it’s in the R&D. I’ll keep you updated. March 3, 2014 at 7:02am Reply

  • Savita: Thank you so much for those inspiring wise words! This is useful advice regarding life as well. I enjoyed your article, it was very inspiring to me. February 28, 2014 at 9:33am Reply

    • Lauren: You are very welcome Savita, I hope it can help you a little! February 28, 2014 at 11:38am Reply

  • nikki: Thank you so much for this very informative article! We are so lucky having people who share their knowledge.

    You go, Lauren! February 28, 2014 at 10:19am Reply

    • Lauren: Lol! :) Thank you, Nikki. February 28, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

  • Aamaal: Thank you so much for writing this post Victoria and Lauren. You covered several points and answered many questions that I have had a hard time getting answered. February 28, 2014 at 11:45am Reply

    • Lauren: Aamaal, it is my pleasure. I was really clueless when I started out so I hope this can help you! February 28, 2014 at 12:48pm Reply

  • Lean S: I really appreciate this. As much as I love fragrance, I have other ambitions for my career path. However, being a 24 year old, your 3rd point on determination is what really clicked with me at this stage in my life. I understand that introverted discomfort all too well and your experience and advice has motivated me to challenge myself outside of my comfort zone. February 28, 2014 at 12:27pm Reply

    • Lauren: Lean, thank you for your comments. What’s funny to me now is that if I describe myself as an “introvert,” people look at me and say, “Really? You?” So just remember, the ways you approach and follow your path may change you. :) February 28, 2014 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Henrique Brito: Thank you Lauren for your wonderful article :) Sometime in the past i thought about pursuing the perfume career, but then, i ended deciding that to me it was more a hobbie. Today, maybe i’d try to go into something related to what i do (i work with manipulation of analytical data) to something perfume related. Tough, i still keep me dream of being a perfumer, but i want it to be more like a hobbie. February 28, 2014 at 1:21pm Reply

    • Lauren: Henrique, well I can certainly say that perfume is broad enough to become a full-time ‘hobby’ for anyone, certainly. I am always impressed by the wealth of knowledge that lives in many people outside the industry!! February 28, 2014 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Amer: Thanks for the beautiful article Lauren.
    Ever since I became aware of my love for perfume I dreamt of becoming a perfumer. It is only recently that I realised that there are other positions in the industry suitable for a perfume lover and I have to thank informative articles such as this for it. My dream job would be creative director… although I have no idea how one becomes that.. for now. Should probably post an ad that reads “are you an accomplished perfumer looking for someone to point you to the right way? I’m him! Call me…” February 28, 2014 at 1:34pm Reply

    • Amer: PS: Could you please tell me which company’s are the oils in the pic? Thanks! February 28, 2014 at 1:36pm Reply

      • Victoria: The oils are from Laboratoire Monique Remy. February 28, 2014 at 1:53pm Reply

    • Lauren: Amer, yes, I am always intrigued by the ‘Creative Director’ title as it seems they have WIDELY varied backgrounds. But what you describe sounds a little like an evaluator! ;) February 28, 2014 at 3:40pm Reply

      • Hannah: Creative director is my dream job. Not for perfume, though. When I listen to an album, I put together a concept for promotional photos/videos, think of a tour, etc. I created a lingerie company in my mind when I was a teenager (I’ve been obsessed with Agent Provocateur since I was about 13) and I came up with the designs, the ads, even the perfumes. I made mood boards and everything.

        Having my own perfume house is definitely a dream, but in dreams you don’t need to do the work that isn’t any fun. My friend has a business degree and started his own dream business and he’s too stressed to enjoy it. February 28, 2014 at 8:04pm Reply

  • Ariadne: A wonderful post, Lauren! I am not in the fragrance industry but I have changed career paths several times. While doing territorial sales I learned that every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes’.
    As a Certified Toastmaster I can attest that the power of a practiced public and impromptu speaking skill is invaluable to a career and opens up MANY doors. Many Toastmasters go on to make a living doing public speaking. How cool would it be to speak about perfume!! February 28, 2014 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Lauren: Thank you, Ariadne! Ironically, I have always been very good at public speaking and presenting. It’s the networking that I found more challenging, but I definitely agree with you, that speaking skills in general can help your career, no matter what it may be. February 28, 2014 at 3:42pm Reply

  • mxLauren: I loved your post, I’ve always loved chemistry and perfumes and I thought I wanted to be a nose, but after reading your post I realized I could o differentt kinds of jobs in the industry. Im a just graduated in chemistry and I spent one year in france, I had a call from givaudan but they told me I hadn’t enough experience, as I live in a small place in mexico there are not places where I can start, well thank you for the courage and I’ll pursuit my dream And hope to find a space in this large and interesting industry. Greetings from Merida México! February 28, 2014 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Lauren: Hi! Some large fragrance houses certainly have facilities in Mexico! Or perhaps opportunities in other Spanish-speaking countries, if you are able or willing to move. Keep your eyes open to various positions and openings on job sites! February 28, 2014 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Lucas: Dear Lauren!
    I simply loved the article and finding a job in a perfume industry is my biggest dream!

    Currently I’m an intern in a fragrance evaluation laboratory and I bielieve it is a really valuable lesson for me and a good way to get started in this industry in the future. I learn a lot about compositions, restrictions and putting a scent on different kinds of products.

    I truly appreciate tips you have given. As I read your articles I realized that your way of thinking is identical to mine, I’m willing to learn, to start small, I believe in achieving my goals! February 28, 2014 at 2:31pm Reply

    • Lauren: Lucas, thank you for your comments; I’m very glad you thought the post was helpful. Being an intern is of course an excellent place to start. I would encourage you to make some personal / professional connections with your coworkers, put in extra hours, and ask if anyone would be willing to give you some extra training or sit down with you over lunch for some ‘informational interviews’! February 28, 2014 at 3:46pm Reply

  • Adriana Galani: This is an emotional boosting! Thanks so very much for this excellent article. Well, I personally am dreaming of a career in perfume industry, even now, at 36, fully aware of the ups and downs this may bring. I remember I got so many remarks regarding my being able to pick up certain notes in a fragrance, or being able to smell things from very far away, or a small amount of jasmin flowers just staarting to blossom somewhere in the very hidden corner of a big garden.
    Don’t know where to start and where to look for some connections, but I am sure my wish comes true one day as all my wishes did even if for that I may have to wait, well, am ready to! Neither going to press on this nor let go, I know one day I can say I am working for a fragrance. I don’t want a position, meaning a high thing, am not the type hinting too high as I don’t fit on “Big chairs” but I know that whatever I have wished for myself, whoever The Divine is, has granted me. I may have really done something good some births ago hmmm. :-) February 28, 2014 at 4:16pm Reply

    • Lauren: So much positive thinking! I feel good vibes from the universe! :) February 28, 2014 at 6:48pm Reply

  • Gil: This article really hit close to home. I’m currently a relative newbie at fragrance, but I’ve been consistently writing about fragrance for nearly a year and it’s made me happy beyond words. I feel incredibly lucky that readers and companies have embraced me, and I feel grateful to have found inspiration in others’ blogs, such as your own. Cheers! February 28, 2014 at 6:33pm Reply

    • Lauren: Gil, your comment has delighted me! Going after your dreams can be a big struggle, yes, but thank you for letting us also share in your joy. February 28, 2014 at 6:47pm Reply

  • Deborah: One thing I would like to see in my corner of the world (Pacific Northwest) are some classes in fragrance. Maybe history, maybe different notes. A place where we could be informed and smell the fragrances at the same time. Not necessarily to lead to a career for me, but to further my interest and knowledge. I would pay to go to a class like that. Maybe those with more knowledge than I could think about educating us newbies, for money but part time? Getting paid to work in the field, without it being a total career change? February 28, 2014 at 6:48pm Reply

    • Lauren: Deborah, I think that’s a great idea, as I have heard others express a desire for classes like that as well. I wonder if FIT might ever offer fragrance courses on a satellite campus…but this would be tough since New York is the fashion capital of the US!

      I think there may be some boutique perfumeries in Los Angeles or other cities in California that could offer some info sessions. You might be able to find some weekend classes there with a Google search! February 28, 2014 at 10:59pm Reply

      • Deborah: That is an idea to think about. Thank you:) March 4, 2014 at 1:54pm Reply

  • Maren: Wow, Lauren! I suspect you are wise beyond your years. Such sound advise from the voice of experience. I envy your passion, and self-knowledge as to what you wanted to pursue and then making the leap to commit. I entered my career in my late forties, which I care deeply about in many ways, but my true passion for my creative interests will still remain hobbies. Congrats to you and thank you for sharing your insights! February 28, 2014 at 8:16pm Reply

    • Lauren: Maren, thank you so much for your very kind comments. I think a fulfilling life is one with many irons in the fire, when it comes to creative pursuits and hobbies. There’s only so much time in a day, but then again, there’s only so much time in life – so why not incorporate as much as possible of what you love? :) February 28, 2014 at 10:49pm Reply

  • Kaori: Thank you for a wonderful post. I have already written down some tips, No. 3 & 4:) Thinking about any career paths requires a lot of enegy and time. Thank you for sharing your experience! February 28, 2014 at 9:11pm Reply

    • Lauren: Kaori, you’re welcome! I’m tickled you took notes and I hope they serve you well! February 28, 2014 at 10:51pm Reply

  • Andy: What a great article! I could never see myself actually making it in any capacity in the fragrance industry, but it is a career area that fascinates me. Thank you for the insights, Lauren! March 1, 2014 at 9:44am Reply

    • Lauren: Andy, my pleasure. Thank you for reading! March 2, 2014 at 12:45pm Reply

  • Lydia: I think the possibility of a career in the fragrance industry is one of the few upsides of the drudgery of high school and college-level chemistry. (Clearly I’m a liberal arts major!) Thank you for this really informative post, Lauren. It’s interesting to read about your journey into the industry. March 1, 2014 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Lauren: Well, I was liberal arts major, too! (International Studies & French). My French-speaking skills have definitely supported my profession, as well. You never know! March 2, 2014 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Lauren: Hi Lauren,

    I am a college senior and am currently searching for a job in the fragrance industry. Seeing your encouraging post on this subject really hit home for me, especially when you discussed the need to be comfortable with reaching out and asking for favors. I relate to this because even though I am very introverted as well, I know that I want it badly enough that nothing else matters.

    Would you mind if I added you on LinkedIn? March 1, 2014 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Lauren: Lauren, :) That would be okay. I don’t recommend people or give references for those I haven’t met in person or worked with previously, but I certainly don’t mind connecting people! Thank you for asking. March 2, 2014 at 12:48pm Reply

      • Lauren: Thank you, fellow Lauren! I appreciate it. I will send you an invite. March 3, 2014 at 2:29pm Reply

  • Aisha: You and I seem very much alike, Lauren. We both forced ourselves out of our comfort zones (I considered myself an introvert in my early days), worked hard, learned from our failures and had a lot of determination. Whereas your path led to a career in the perfume industry, my path led me to a career in writing and editing. (Perfumes are just my hobby. :-) )

    The advice you give here to those who want a career like yours is very much like the advice I give to those who want to be writers/reporters or editors. I have one more piece of advice: Never turn down even an unpaid internship. It’s the unpaid internship that I took that opened the door to the publishing industry for me. I treated it like a “real” job and the woman who hired me for that internship became my mentor. She was the one who helped me get my foot in the door of that company.

    Great article. :-) March 1, 2014 at 9:02pm Reply

    • Lauren: Thank you, Aisha! Ooo I’m excited to connect with a writer/editor. And I completely agree with your advice about the internship. I also accepted an unpaid internship (during college), and even though it wasn’t connected to fragrance, it was a really valuable experience for me. March 2, 2014 at 12:50pm Reply

  • Kandice: This was such good advice no matter what career you’re interested in. Thanks for your posting and the motivation to keep trying no matter what you’re interested in! March 1, 2014 at 10:32pm Reply

    • Lauren: You’re welcome, Kandice! Keep it up!! March 2, 2014 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Gentiana: Great post and great comments……
    … Passion and self-knowledge….
    Great people! March 4, 2014 at 2:49am Reply

  • Ola: Great article! Thank you!:)

    Something little bit similar happenned to me. Being passionate by fragrances since my early childhood, one day, being as a tourist in France and visiting Fragonard factory, I realised/got to know that such profession as noze exists, and we can connect our passion with our future job. It was in 2007, I kept this on my head all these years, in 2008 moved to France, and finally in 2012 was accepted to ISIPCA scool with internship in the fragrance house, my dream came true… Today, with my diploma still looking for a job in marketing for perfumery industry, but month ago when I’ve got a call with an offer to work as a salesperson for a niche perfumes, I gladly accepted, thinking the same thing you wrote: “You have to take what you can get and continue asking for what you want. ” thanks one more time for great, encouraging article! We can succeed if we want:) March 12, 2014 at 6:50am Reply

  • Henry Chavarria: Great article Lauren and good comments…… :)
    This is actually a very good advice for everyone who are already in this career or thinking about this kind of business. No matter what career you are interested in. It will help you in every business. Thanks for motivating…. March 26, 2014 at 3:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Henry, I’m sorry, but advertising of one’s commercial business is not allowed in the comments section. Thank you for your understanding. March 26, 2014 at 6:27am Reply

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