Careers in Aroma Trades, Perfumes and Flavours
The Aroma Trades, Perfumery and Flavour industry covers many areas and employs people in a wide range of roles. People from the job roles below have found ICATS learning useful in building their career success.
These are the noses. The people who create the new fragrances.
The perfume industry has a special role of evaluations. In the publishing industry the commissioning editor decides what areas to publish and works with authors to get the right books written. The evaluator performs a similar role for fragrances and fragranced products. The role needs expert understanding of the fragrance market, good smelling skills and good project management skills. Perfume evaluators may become full members of the British Society of Perfumers.
The people who create the new flavours.
The people who run the production facilities (e.g. essential oils stills, compounding of flavours / fragrances and manufacture of fragranced / flavoured products).
The people who sample and test ingredients and finished products. Special skills in this industry are good smelling / tasting skills. Quality assurance also demands broader management understanding e.g. to work in an ISO 9000 environment.
The industry is increasingly being subjected to new regulations e.g. REACH. People in this role have to have technical depth of insight to understand and interpret a wide range of international regulations.
Analytical chemists not only work in quality control in the analysis of ingredients and finished products but also in the analysis of competitors’ products. Great industry knowledge is needed e.g. for detecting the adulteration of essential oils. Analysis is also involved in blue sky research e.g. head space analysis to develop novel aroma materials.
Research and Development (R&D)
A number of different professionals may be involved in this. For an aroma materials producer a first degree may be in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. In the creative house Creative Flavourists / Perfumers explore the application of novel aroma materials. In food product manufacture an appropriate first degree would be in Food Technology. For fragranced products a first degree in Cosmetic Science would be appropriate.
Many other disciplines are involved in blue sky research e.g. understanding of the genetic basis of olfaction, odour influence on mood etc.
In a creative house Food Technologists and Cosmetic Scientists may be working to generate new applications e.g. a new snack food line or a new generation of air fresheners.
New product development (NPD)
This is R&D with special emphasis on the outcome – a new product successfully launched on budget and on time. A complete ICATS unit is devoted to NPD.
The aroma trades industry is different e.g. participants in flavour / fragrance evaluation panels have to be trained. A training manager in the industry has to have a good, broad knowledge of all the specialist activities in the company.
This is not sales behind a counter in a department store or the telesales of a double glazing company. This is marketing in a B2B (business to business) context where good client understanding is needed e.g. a fragrance ingredient supplier needs to understand how their company’s product is used by the creative house to perform in consumer products. Successful sales people sell products to solve customers’ problems. To do this the sales person has to understand the technology and marketing environment of their client companies.
Key Account Managers
This is a special version of the above. A major creative house often employs a pivotal person to manage a major account e.g. P&G. Often this role may involve project management to ensure that the new flavour / fragrance is produced to quality, time and cost.
For every sale there has to be a purchase. If a formulation has 100 ingredients you only have to have one ingredient out of stock or of unsuitable quality and you do not have a flavour / fragrance. Great understanding of the technology and global business environment of the supply chain is needed.
For the creative house there are two completely different marketing roles:
Marketing to support briefs: this may be strategic (e.g. trends in hair care fragrances) or tactical (e.g. running consumer market tests on a new flavour / fragrance against a market leader).
Strategic marketing to develop the company: formulating and implementing marketing plans (e.g. managing the marketing mix, in particular the B2B marketing communications mix).
Different companies may use different terms for this role such as Product Line Manager or Category Manager. For fragranced products a major retailer may have a Category Manager for personal care (shampoo, hair conditioners etc.). For food products they might have a Product Line Manager for non-alcoholic beverages. These people work with their suppliers, down the supply chain, to ensure that their company has a competitive range of products for sale. The role involves product knowledge to work with suppliers and marketing skills to engage with promotional offers and new product launches.
Often the manufacturing processes for consumer products may be technically demanding. The role may be in supporting customers with new product introductions or the commissioning of new plant. Other times it may be linked to QA where a customer has encountered application problems and is in need of some trouble shooting support.
Strategic managers need to have a good understanding of the technologies and global business environment of the Aroma Trades industry. Multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills are necessary for successful management in the Aroma Trades.