Elevations, Apprentice Perfumer Stephen Chung
You start at the beach, with a cool, fresh, sunny harmony of citrus and marine notes of bergamot, neroli, grapefruit, and calone. We move to the plains where the aroma blends with spicy notes of rosemary and nutmeg, balanced with aromatic nuances of geranium and cypress. You end your journey in the highland forest with an intense woody, musky, earthy blend of nuances from sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, and oud.
- Top: Marine, Ozone, and Citrus Notes;
- Middle: Spicy, Herbaceous flowers;
- Bottom: Woody, earthy Musk.
Stephen Chung has over 20 years experience in quality control, analytical chemistry and research & development for the flavor and fragrance industry dealing with finished products, essential oils, oleoresins, absolutes, and aroma chemicals.
How did you find out about the fragrance industry?
I got into the industry just by chance. I was a recent graduate and I got a job as a QC chemist at a flavor and fragrance company. The rest, as they say, is history. I've been in the industry for over 20 years.
What made you want to be a perfumer?
Throughout my career, I've worked in various aspects of the business - QC, R&D, analytical, and regulator - but never on the creative side. This is just the next progression in my career. I think my experience with the ingredients enables me to be more creative with my fragrances.
What are some of your favorite and least favorite scents?
My favorites scents by far are lime expressed, calone, olibanum, and geranium. I don't know what it is that draws me to these notes, but they just seem so pleasing to me. My least favorite are fusel, birch, smoke, anise, and the higher chain aldehydes.
What are the hardest obstacles you have found when working in perfumery?
I feel like the hardest obstacles are ever-changing regulations and the price restrictions. Regulations change all the time and it is partly due to a lack of consumer education. It's frustrating not being able to use an ingredient because of a naturally occurring chemical that shows up on a chemical list. With the price restrictions, it's a simple matter of a customer wanting more for less.
Stephen's mentor is Roger A. Howell, Vice President of Operations at Alpha Aromatics as well as the holder of the same title for the American Society of Perfumers.
Roger Howell has been creating some of the world’s most masterful fragrance compositions for more than three decades. Almost as magical as Merlin with fragrance creations (the wizard of Arthurian legend) Howell’s creative and scientific expertise in perfume creation is not conjured from sleight-of-hand. Instead, it is borne from extensive research, hands-on experience, hard work and studied extrapolation.
As a Master Perfumer and man of many accomplishments, Roger Howell takes great pride in the personal one-on-one service he gives so generously to each and every one of our satisfied clients.
- - -The American Society of Perfumers is a members-only organization of established professionals in the art and science of perfumery:
"Our mission is to Educate, Support and Promote the Perfumer in the fragrance industry both domestically and abroad. Together with other industry organizations, we ensure appropriate regulatory guidelines and standards set for safe and beautiful fragrances. The high code of perfumery ethics established by our organization maintains respect for perfumery as an artistic work of the mind. Most importantly, we strive to inspire artistic creativity, incorporate scientific ingenuity and maintain the integrity of our profession.