Freelance Perfumer – John

Describe your job in couple of sentences:

I am a freelance perfumer. I make for bespoke clients, events and collaborations with artists.

When did you know what you wanted to do?

I progressed from doing what I do as a hobby to doing it professionally when I knew I could do so properly.

Did you go to university, go straight into the workforce or do an apprenticeship?
What did you study?

I am self-taught at what I do. I studied Classics which does not relate to what I do.

Have you done other jobs in your life – if so what were they
Did they have any influence on what you do now?

For thirty years I was a freelance costume designer. When I changed to what I do now I brought a deep understanding of work ethics, self-discipline and the ability to work with others and on my own. These qualities are vital to being a dependable freelancer in any profession.

 How did you find out about your job (how it existed)?

I was always aware that perfume is made by perfumers. I asked for advice from others in my field about work practices and so on.

 How did you get the job you wanted- steps and process?

I learned to do what I do slowly and then considered which sector of my profession I would specialize in. I then began doing small jobs and became confident enough to expand my horizons. I had to become known for what I do. This came about slowly. I learned to capitalize on success and keep the momentum going.

 What qualities do you need to have to be successful in your field?

Most importantly I need the technical knowledge to be able to achieve what I want to do. I need to be aware I will always have more to learn. I need to be flexible with my clients and what they want. I need to be original and energetic to develop my career and keep myself motivated. In short, I need to remain ambitious for my own development at what I do.

Give 3 tips for someone hoping to follow in your footsteps:
  1. Stay teachable.
  2. Work leads to more work. Jobs lead to more jobs.
  3. As soon as you are competent teach someone else to do what you do. Pass the knowledge on.
Who inspires you?:

The perfumers who constantly surprise me with something completely different to what I expect from them.