Meet European Flavours and Fragrances Perfumer, Peter Couch.
Based in the UK office, Peter first started his career at 17 years old, where he discovered a new world he never knew existed, and that has led to a career spanning over 40 years. His experience and expertise in flavours has led him to become a specialist with gourmand, and food-based fragrances. Pete is fascinated with the way we are able to liken fragrance to food and taste with both having a definite correlation of a powerful emotional reaction that always makes you crave more.
Learn more about and his work at EFF’s United Kingdom office in our latest Q&A interview below.
Perfumer Profile: Peter Couch
EFF Office: United Kingdom
When did you start at EFF? I started in April 1997
What’s a typical day like for you at EFF?
I start my day at EFF with my morning ritual…making my fellow Perfumer a cup of tea. My day can then begin! There is a constant stream of projects assigned to me with varying deadlines, prices, creativity, and objectives so each morning I recap on ongoing projects and familiarise myself with new projects that have come in during that morning. Then I get started working my way through the projects.
I tend to smell dry downs from the previous day, especially fine fragrances as I find it nice to leave them over night and come back to them the next morning as different notes come through over time. By doing this it also enables me to ensure the fragrance longevity is there as well. I usually plan my day around the deadline, focusing on the most urgent briefs first. These can either be regulation tweaks or more creative work. We also get involved in blind smelling, this is interesting to smell products over a period of time and compare with other perfumers on their opinions.
Often suppliers come in with their raw materials so we get involved in this by comparing our current palette of materials with potential new ones.
Tell us about your education and previous work experience.
I grew up in East London and went straight into industry from leaving school. I began my training in flavours working with experienced flavourists, and then adapted over into Perfumery. The skills are very transferable which was useful, so as a perfumer I am mostly self-taught alongside training and development from senior perfumers. Due to my flavours background I find I naturally have a particular interest in gourmand and food based fragrances.
I have been in the industry for 42 years now.
How did you get into the industry?
I started my career at 17 years old, where I discovered a new world I never knew existed, and that has led to a career spanning over 40 years.
What was one of your favourite projects?
I enjoy working on more technical perfumery projects, and also creating scents to capture a customer’s vision. Having the ability to create something that fulfils the emotion, colour, and theme of someone’s imagination is quite an achievement.
What advice do you have for new Perfumers?
Never be afraid to try things and experiment as you can always try again. Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to ask questions to other perfumers as I have found they are only too pleased to share their knowledge with you.
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
Due to my background in flavours and with trends moving towards more fruity and gourmand notes it helps knowing the flavour materials. I am fascinated with the way we are able to liken fragrance to food and taste with both having a definite correlation of a powerful emotional reaction that always makes you crave more.
What is your favorite fragrance?
Obsession for Men 1986
What is the best perfumery advice you’ve ever received? What is something about perfumery that you’ve learned over the years?
All people smell differently so no one’s opinion is right it is just an opinion.