Perfumery Courses and Degrees for a Career in Fragrance & Cosmetic Industry

Updated October 12, 2022

Broadly, Perfumery Courses  are an evolving domain of studies that helps making your way to a lucrative career in Fragrance & Cosmetic Industry. You can choose the Courses to be a certification type or University degrees both available.

While, the former is open to all, the latter may require standard eligibility criteria. If fragrances fascinate you, you must go for one of the Courses in Perfumery; be it of small duration.

From thereon, you can opt for higher perfumery degrees like B.Tech, M.Tech or PG Diploma, depending upon how you enjoyed the discipline. The benefits of these courses are two fold: you can either think of your own manufacturing start up Or, move ahead with job positions in the Industry.

Possible Job Positions after Perfumery Courses 

Most crucial person in the Fragrance Industry is a perfumer who is responsible for formulating different kinds of perfumes for a fragrance house. Usually, these perfumers are bachelors or masters in chemistry with a degree/ diploma or certificate holder in perfumery. Top perfumers may have a B.Tech or M.Tech Degree too in perfumery. Essentially, the perfumers are the NOSE of fragrance house.

Thus, the perfumers are Fragrance chemists, who undertake experiments in respect of creativity, application and evaluation of fragrances. While big perfume houses have separate departments for these testing, in a small house a perfumer can look after all three aspects alone. As a tester, perfumer requires smelling the fragrance, recommend changes, and analyse the impact on buyers

However, the job openings in perfume industry can include positions like Manager fragrance Sales, Fragrance Sales Associates, Beauty Advisor, Food Flavourist, Perfumery Trainer, Perfumery Technical Expert etc. All these job positions, require certifications, courses or degrees with varying level of in-depth study on fragrances.

What Do the Perfumery Courses Involve?

The key elements of courses on perfumery, flavour and cosmetics are typically the same. Yes, the quality of study material and the trainer can vary. The Core and essentials to a Perfumery Course would be flawed without having the following:

  • Understanding Olfactory System of Humans which is about learning how the sense of smell works and what desirable things can be accomplished through sense of smell.
  • Study of the Evolution and Fashion of Fragrance which is about looking back as to how the fragrances have evolved through the history of social and therapeutical dimension.
  • Exploring Fragrance Materials which would be about various sources of fragrance and how are they used in perfumery.
  • Learning about Natural Isolates of Fragrances, how could you create them and how are they used in perfume Industry.
  • Exploring Aldehydes evoking fragrances. This module of the course would make you conversant with fragrant synthetic chemicals. You might be taught about as to how some of the big brands diversified their perfume range to lead the market.
  • Basics of Pheromones and how do they matter when creating perfumes which are considered as sexy and seductive.
  • Fundamentals of extraction Processes- This module might include teaching you how to get the end product out of plant material. Also, it would make you conversant how the different processes affect the aroma profile of essential oils.
  • Understanding the extraction of different aromatic oils from the raw Materials and as to why some oils get highly expensive as compared to other oils.

And, Many More aspects of Perfumery, to say

  • Fundamentals of anti-aging oils that would include study of impact of some oils helping against aging.
  • Basics of extending Shelf life of essential aromatic oils, the best practices to store and use them in perfumery.
  • Getting conversant with Terminology used in perfume industry and correct use of the fragrance vocabulary.
  • Understanding the fragrance intensity that might include understanding the differences between grades of perfumes like: Eau de Cologne from Eau de Parfum.
  • Study into themes of fragrances that usually teaches classifications of smells: Woody, floral, citrus etc. The curriculum would cite the classic examples of these themes with help of best brands available in the marketplace. Based on the characteristics of these smells you would be able to identify the theme of any new product in the market.
  • Understanding the Notes of the perfume i.e, top, heart and base notes. These notes called fragrance triangle of a perfume. You would get conversant with the material and procedure to create these notes.
  • Study into prolonging the fragrance effect of a perfume. With this knowledge you would be able to use correct material in correct proportion and even on small budget you might be able to formulate a perfume with long lasting fragrance.
  • Study of fragrance Families that would include teaching you how can a bunch of smells can be grouped together under a specific family of fragrance. This would help you emulate some of your favourite smells in your very own formulation.

There are many courses available on small budget in the marketplace. In the era of online learning, many Perfumery Courses are available on Udemy and Coursera. However before opting into one, you must check the reviews of course content and the modules to serve the purpose.

Degree of B. Tech in Perfumery & Cosmetics

Perfumery Courses for a B. Tech dwell much on Perfume Chemistry, Cosmeceutics, trends in development of cosmetic product, Pharmacology & Toxicity, Microbiology, Cosmetic Engineering, Quality control & Assessment in Cosmetics. analytical techniques in cosmetic and perfume industries etc.

The credible institutes have elaborate infrastructure for teaching experimentations, analysis and evaluation. They also provide assistance for getting internships from reputed fragrance houses & research institutes. There only far and few institutes to offer an B.Tech in Perfumery & Cosmetics in the Country.

Degree of M.Tech in Perfumery & Cosmetics

This course in perfumery emphasizes broadly on Natural products for Fragrance and flavours, Application of Fragrance and flavours, Blending and Creation for Fragrance and Flavours, Technology and Science of Essential Oils, Separation process in perfumes and flavour industry, Synthetic perfumes and flavour chemistry, Production of Aroma Chemicals etc.

An extensive in-plant training, Research and thesis are also the part of entire curriculum towards the end of an M.Tech in Perfumery & Cosmetics. The field is so specialized in nature that only one University, viz. Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai offers this Perfumery degree.

Post Graduate Diploma in Perfumery

A degree of post Graduate Diploma in Perfumery offers multidimensional studies of fragrance Industry. Degrees at few colleges are integrated in nature that captions Post Graduate Diploma in Perfumery and Cosmetics Management. You need not get intimidated with the name of course instead you should enquire with the course co-ordinator to ascertain the actual nature of the curriculum.

Usually, the curriculum of Post Graduate Diploma in Perfumery aims beyond the technical know-how in perfumery. Students are also kept abreast with the current market trends all over the world.

However, before getting into the Diploma or degree course you should enquire with the lab infrastructure and the faculty of the institution. This is of paramount importance as the aim of getting into a higher study relating to perfumery is expected of obtaining hands on training of formulation and synthesizing of the perfumes and cosmetics too.

Curriculum of a PG Diploma Course in Perfumery

A PG diploma is multidimensional in its curricular outlook including knowledge of regulatory knowledge.

In fact, you cannot take excuse of ignorance of legal compliances when working in fragrance and cosmetic industry. Accordingly, a PG diploma should make you adequately conversant with the various legislative regulations, Indians, US, European and Japanese etc.

Additionally, getting fully conversant with international standards of fragrances should be a key consideration of PG Diploma. Study into these standards help you understand intricacies of international standards.

In fact, the Perfume Industry has forged a self-regulated association namely International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and to make your way into the global market, adherence to the standards set out by IFRA is extremely important.

A PG Diploma should also cover deeper insights on Perfumes and Cosmetics as these things have wider appeal to different senses of human beings. The curriculum should ideally include teaching the science behind the psychophysiology of the sensory appeal.

All across the globe, the people are getting aware of green consumables which are safe to use and consume. Accordingly, the course must include teaching best practices to meet these parameters.

The reports blame Cosmetics Industry for impacting the environment adversely. So, a higher study like PG Diploma should include teaching measures for sustainable development of the industry without compromising with health and environment.

Institutions for Perfumery Courses & Industry Regulations

While online courses on perfumery can be availed from many experts from around the globe, there are only limited number of credible institutions in India for degree level curriculum. The institutions that actually deliver are listed below

Vinayak Ganesh Vaze College

Under the aegis of Kelkar Education Trust offers a PG Diploma in Perfumery and Cosmetics Management (PGDPCM). Being a NAAC A+ institution, is worth considering as one of your many choices. PG Diploma by this college also claims moulding students into proactive managers with entrepreneurial vision and commitment.

NMIMS (Deemed to be University)

NMIMS has only recently started a B. Sc. (Tech.) in Cosmeticology & Perfumery. Official announcement is that regular B. Sc. (Tech.) Cosmeticology and Perfumery curriculum would be of 04 years with 08 semesters.

However, the university clarifies that students can enrol to complete 03 years and pass with a B. Sc. (Hons.) Cosmeticology and Perfumery degree. And later, if they want, can enrol for fourth year within 3 years (6 semesters) for the completion of B. Sc. (Tech.) Cosmeticology and Perfumery degree.

Institute Of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai

ICT offers 2 Years with 4 semester M.Tech in Perfumery and Flavour Technology. It is one of the highly credible educational institute not only in India but at global level. Originally, this institute was founded in 1933 as University Department of Chemical Technology (popularly called UDCT) of the University of Bombay (now Mumbai).

The institute enjoys an accreditation of A++ by NAAC and the students passing this institution (Now deemed to be a University) are usually well placed in every sphere of career.

Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre (FFDC) Kannauj

Situated in Kannauj district of Uttar Pradesh this institute, offers a one-year course in Technology Development Programme in Aroma and its Management, Interestingly, the course is open to students from both chemistry and non-chemistry background.

FFDC also offers a PG in Aroma Technology in collaboration with the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. The institution also offers short term courses in perfumery to cater to wider audience.

Institut superieur Internatioanl du Parfum (ISIPCA), France

Under the university of Versailles, ISIPCA in collaboration with university of Padua, Italy offers a master degree in Perfumery called EFCM (Fragrance and Cosmetics Masters (EFCM). The institution and the degree provided by it is of high credibility world across.

Grasse Institute of Perfumery (GIP)

Perfumery Course at GIP is a reputable certification. GIP or Grasse Institute of Perfumery is a prestigious school of perfumery situated in French town Grasse. Town Grasse is world over known for its perfume industry and is Mecca of Perfumes in true sense.

The GIP was founded in 2002 by the French Trade Union of Fragrance Manufacturers, PRODAROM.  The institute claims to have 1100 trainees from across 70 different nationalities and have years of experience in perfume industry.

The beautiful Grasse town itself is located on ‘French Reviera’ which is popular name of the strip of coast between Marseille and Italy .  In 2018 Grasse was accorded a “World Heritage Status” and listed under UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

‘Savoir-faire’, a unique perfumery at Grasses undertakes the cultivation of perfume plants, the knowledge and processing of natural raw materials, and the art of perfume composition.

IFRA (International Fragrance Association)

IFRA is the official self-regulatory representative body of the fragrance industry worldwide. Its main purpose is to ensure the safety of fragrance materials through a dedicated science program.

IFRA publishes a list of usage standards for fragrance materials, limiting or prohibiting the use of ingredients, based on the findings of the Research Institute of Fragrance Materials, which gathers data regarding the safety of fragrance materials.

Beyond Perfumery Courses & Degrees Under Courses Listing

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