Meet the student: Ravi Demello, on his career journey in the aroma sector
An early career move into the family start-up fragrance company in Australia has led Ravi Demello into a lifelong passion for fragrance.
I began my career without much thought about the aroma trades and its place in our day to day lives. This was despite the fact that the aroma trades industry had actually always been a part of my life; my father had begun his fragrance career working for a small fragrance house in Lyon, France back in the 1960’s. He was taught the art of perfumery through smelling the raw materials and via the compounding room. When the decision was made to migrate to Australia, he continued pursuing this career and eventually worked for Givaudan, Dragoco (Symrise) and FDO (Fritzsche Dodge & Olcott). In 1992 he began a new chapter, deciding to establish his own fragrance manufacturing company and this coincided around the same time that I was finishing high school. I was somewhat uninspired by my tertiary education options and dad gave me the option of coming in to “help out” his start up company. I didn’t know it at the time, but he actually had ideas about me becoming part of this business and this unique industry.
It wasn’t long before I was also introduced to the compounding room as well and my tenure in the aroma trades had begun. Whilst in the process of learning fragrance compounding, I not only became familiar with the odours of certain materials, but I also became aware of how materials came together to create Green Apple, Bulgarian Rose or Jasmine – it was the unending quest to copy or reinvent what is normally found only in nature. From there and as the needs of the business evolved, I became involved in all aspects of the day to day running of the business. Sales, administration, accounts all became part of the many hats I had to wear to help run this small business.
One thing I tried to keep constant as I moved through these different stages was my laboratory work. As the Sales Representative I often made my own selections and then produced my own samples. I also kept my hand in the fragrance compounding occasionally producing a fragrance, training a new compounder or ordering the raw materials. Several years ago, the family business merged with a candle supply company. We brought in our 50 plus years of combined experience to help them set up a larger combined manufacturing unit that would service both companies. It was from then onwards I’ve had the opportunity to focus more on creative perfumery as well as managing a larger raw material inventory and fragrance library.
More recently I have undertaken the ICATS Perfumery course. The question may arise as to why I might do this after 25 years in the industry. But as I have quickly found, learning is a life journey and the course is helping me to fill in gaps in my industry knowledge as well as confirm and cement the things I already know on a broader more global scale. To date I have thoroughly enjoyed moving through each aspect of the course and for students new to the industry I would suggest making the provided texts your main point of reference. There is so much information available via so many platforms, but I think drawing from the experience embedded in these texts is invaluable. With both the aroma trades and the ICATS course, I believe this is a journey worth taking! ICATS students’ come from a wide range of sector organisations and from across the world.
“...learning is a life journey and the course is helping me to fill in gaps in my industry knowledge as well as confirm and cement the things I already know on a broader more global scale. I believe this is a journey worth taking!”