A New Generation of Noses (AKA French Perfumers)

France takes perfume seriously. So seriously that they even have an affectionate name for the people who create perfumes: Le Nez (“Nose” in French).

Each year, students travel to France to study smells and to become a Nose. Part of learning is training your nose to pick up on subtleties of smells, which may or may not include smelling tons and tons of roses in the South of France.

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But there’s also a lot of chemistry involved in becoming a Nose. Perfumers often work at what’s called a perfume organ, which is a desk that is often rounded and filled with bottles of perfumes and scent samples. There, they can work on mixtures of scents to create the exact one they are aiming for.

Creating new scents is where being a Nose turns into an artform. It’s difficult to think of a smell that you have never smelled before, but that’s exactly what a lot of perfumers aim to do.

Follow a day in the life of these students studying to be the new generation of Noses in France in the above video.