2009 FirstStep.me Consultancy Question of the Year!  
Lets Make Perfume!I want a career in which I can make perfume. Where can I study this profession and are there any opportunities in South Africa, where I am based?
FirstStep.me says: Cool question, well according to Wikipedia, a Perfumer is an expert at creating fragrances. The actual studying of the profession has only recently been done with professional schools opening to train individuals. We looked online to see what is available to individuals looking at this career and we found three varied options which provide ways in which to become a Perfumer. Note: regarding South Africa specifically we couldn’t find any online promoted institutions that catered for a career as a Perfumer.

1. ISIPCA (Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, de la Cosmétique et de l'Aromatique alimentaire) is a French institution that offers a post graduate training in Perfume, Cosmetics and Flavoring industries.
To enter their program, The European Fragrance and Cosmetic Master (EFCM), one needs to meet the following requirements:
A bachelor degree in sciences majoring in for instance:
-Any equivalent diploma accepted by the Commission d’Equivalence of the University of Versailles/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
-In some cases validation of working experience and qualification in fragrance or cosmetic areas
-Fluency in English language (TOEFL 600 / TOEFL 250) (TOEIC 800)
-A working knowledge of French would be a “plus”
So in this case studying a Bsc (Bachelor of Science) Orientated degree is the starting point.
2. Then the Givaudan Perfumery School, which according to its website was opened in 1947 was the first perfume company to have its own school. On average the school receives 200 applications a year without making any attempt to advertise or promote the school. With selection done by an invitation only process the school chooses people every 18 months to join their program.
In this second case one has to apply and hope they spark some interest and receive an invitation to the school.
So the final case puts forward that one can start or ignite their career by creating a scent, which they can go market, distribute and sell.
Regarding companies to work for, well we found a few, from there it’s up to you to see whether they have operations in South Africa:
1. Takasago: http://www.takasago.com
2. Symrise: http://www.symrise.com
3. Firmenich: http://www.firmenich.com 
4. IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances Inc): http://www.iff.com 
5. Givaudan: http://www.givaudan.com 
At the end of the day it’s about being proactive and contacting these companies. Ask to speak to their Human Resources department and inquire about the field of fragrance making and if they have any local institutions that they can recommend or the best route to choose.