Scents and sensibility at Sailmakers

Zita Bradley
Picture by James Fletcher

Zita Bradley Picture by James Fletcher - Credit: Archant

A store manager from Ipswich has returned from Paris with a qualification in fragrance that’s not to be sniffed at.

Zita Bradley, from The Perfume Shop at Sailmakers Shopping Centre, is now one of the country’s leading experts in fine fragrance after several days with the world’s top aroma mixers and shakers in the French capital.

She has attained The Perfume Shop’s coveted ‘Masters’ qualification, a skill she is now putting to good use to advise the women – and men – of Ipswich on the importance of scents and the trends currently popular in the perfume world.

Zita, 27, said: “It was an absolutely incredible experience. The whole training course is a fantastic thing that the company do and the ultimate peak is to get to go to Paris and do what they call the ‘Masters’.

“The whole trip was really good fun and it was amazing to see the whole perfume making process.”

Zita started working for The Perfume Shop in Manchester as a Christmas temp before moving up through the ranks and eventually taking over the management of the Sailmakers branch in June.

“I never thought when I started that I would stay longer than my original temporary Christmas position let alone that it could lead to all this. I went off to university and did a degree in marketing, but ended up coming back to the company and I’ve been here ever since.

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“They are great to work for and really invest in knowledge and training. They have regular events and once you’ve been with the firm for a while you are encouraged to take the first few online exams.

“If you pass those then you can apply to do the Masters and that finishes with the trip to Paris. That is a great perk of the job. I’ve certainly learnt a lot over the few days and come back with such a lot of passion for the industry and what is involved.”

During the course Zita visited the House of Guerlain where she watched their ‘noses’ - the official term for a creator of scents - make up perfumes as well as the Clarins headquarters where the team of trainees were treated to a Michelin-starred lunch.

They were even given the opportunity to have their own perfume created for them – but at a cost of £40,000 Zita declined!

“We were also given talks by all the people involved who explained just how much thought goes in to the colour of the box or the shape of the bottle – you don’t realise how much is involved.

“A lot of it comes down to fashion trends as well and using celebrities in the marketing is a huge aspect too,” she added.

Now Zita, who lives in Needham Market, is hoping to pass on all that she has learnt to the rest of the team at The Perfume Shop, as well as sharing expertise with Sailmakers’ shoppers.

She said: “We do have the knowledge to help people in the store. Often people think they are too old or too young for a certain fragrance but it doesn’t really work like that these days.

“We tend to ask about someone’s personality more than their age to match a scent to them.

“We follow the fashions too – this year rose-scented fragrances were really big over the summer but as we head into autumn the richer, earthy perfumes will be getting more popular.

“Another change we’ve seen is that people are buying more of the eau de parfums which have a higher oil content so tend to last longer.

“Even the men’s fragrances are selling well in those when it used to be more of a ladies’ area.”

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