The Olfactory Art

by Tianyang Shi



The Olfactory art is rarely mentioned in mainstream culture nowadays, but art is diverse, just like painting pleases the eyes, music pleases the ears, scent pleases the nose is also a form of artistic expression, and since 1980, this art form has gradually been widely recognized by the art world.


In modern times, this art form has been expressed in more diverse ways with the development of the cosmetic industry, such as the fragrance industry. In modern times, there are already enough products, high-end products such as perfumes and fragrance products, and low-end products such as shampoos, shower gels, etc.

And I have developed a keen interest in perfume, which has been my hobby for close to 6 years. I personally prefer to work in an industry that I love in the future so that I can use my passion.


Perfumers are called "nose" in the perfume industry, they are able to combine natural ingredients and chemical knowledge to create a pleasant fragrance, like constructing a scent combination in their mind and then using their knowledge to present the scent. They are the artists of the perfume industry.


Modern perfumers are mainly interested in collecting three different categories of perfumes. The first is commercial perfumes, which are often defined as perfumes that can be purchased in malls, such as those that can be bought at cosmetic stores like Sephora, or those launched by some luxury brands. The main audience for these perfumes is the general consumer, and are scents that are pleasing to the nose.


Next is the niche perfume, this type of perfume brand is created by some independent perfumers, these perfumes usually have a smaller audience, the perfumer's ideas do not need to cater to the market's ideas, so their scent is often very unique, compared to commercial perfumes have more appreciation value, but also more respected by perfume lovers.



The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) was founded in 1973 as a global representative body for the perfume industry, seeking the collective interests of the perfume industry and promoting the safe use of perfume. The organization is dedicated to limiting or prohibiting, through scientific research, the addition of ingredients to perfumes that are harmful or potentially carcinogenic to humans. This has also led to a situation where many classic perfumes have faced changes to their formulations, which have compromised the scent of the perfume and taken it away from the fragrance the perfumer intended to convey. This has also led to some properly preserved vintage perfumes receiving strong admiration from perfume collectors.




The Arts Management course I took last semester in Miami University taught me how to deal with artists, which has provided me with a lot of inspiration for my future career in perfumery. Along with the Arts Management course, my goals for the future have become clearer and I have really gained a lot from it. As the content of the Arts Management course progressed, I discovered many keys to success. For example, the know-how to have efficient and meaningful conversations with perfumers or brands, and how to follow up with customers, how to use social media for product marketing, and how to run offline salons for perfume brands to increase user experience. Meanwhile fashion and beauty industry and art management are always relevant, and I believe the knowledge brought by AMAE program can help me more in my future entrepreneurial process.



Tianyang Shi is a Senior majoring in Arts Management. He likes the combination of art and machinery, such as classic cars, mechanical watches, and he likes collecting perfume and shooting sports. After graduation, he wants to continue studying in the art/luxury management direction.