Although fragrance technicians use computers to coordinate the production of new scents, perfumery remains as much an art as a science. Jean-Pierre Subrenat, chairman of the World Perfumery Congress, says industrialization presents challenges for the integrity of that art. Now that scent has become a subject of broad interest to the public, Subrenat says that some novices without true training are claiming to be perfumers. And some of the resources perfumers draw on are being threatened. When Subrenat was growing up in the Grasse region of France, he says he was surrounded by the smell of jasmine when he drove around on his motorcycle. Now the fields he remembers enjoying are being supplanted by buildings. "People realize," he says, "that real estate is more important than perfumery."
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