Catherine Mitchell

Business Development Manager, IFF

Catherine Mitchell

Catherine studied languages at Cambridge University. She was working as a Graduate Trainee in the textile industry when she read the recently translated ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Süskind. This book proved to be a eureka moment and triggered a career change when she moved to London to join International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF) in 1990.  Catherine has worked across all areas of the business from Fabric Care to Fine Fragrance, and spent two years at the global headquarters in New York.  As one of the global leaders in the creation of fragrance IFF is a committed supporter of The Fragrance Foundations.  Catherine’s passion for spreading the education and joy of fragrance to a wider audience is infectious.

Why are you involved with The Fragrance Foundation?

IFF is proud to be a member of this dynamic organisation and I am delighted to be on its Board.  The activity that I am most passionate about is its commitment to education : the unique Academy sessions, the free training provided for beauty journalists, the fabulous Online Training which boosts the  knowledge and confidence of our colleagues in the retail sector and, my particular favourite, Marty The Mighty Nose , our blue nosed cartoon friend who is sparking the senses and imaginations of primary school children.

Why do you love Fragrance?

Imagine life without fragrance!  Fragrance enhances every aspect of my life, the clothes I wear, the home I live in … fragrance inspires me, surprises me, moves me. It can transport me, distract me, cheer me. That’s why.

What is your Scent Memory?

I have hesitated answering this for a while as I do not know where to start. There is no one Scent Memory – my life has a play list of perfumes which, I now realise,  follow olfactive themes, particular perfumer’s creations and fashionable blockbusters, each telling a story about a phase in my life.  However there are two Scents which anchor all others.  They are Femme de Rochas,  its wonderfully voluptuous bottle sitting on my Mum’s dressing table as she gets ready for a night out in the early 70’s with all the intricate hairpieces and hairspray which that involved!  The second scent is Three Nuns tobacco which instantly recalls my very contented father preparing and filling his pipe. Sadly the yellow tobacco stains on the ceiling became too much for my Mum and Dad’s pipe smoking days were over. I am sure Three Nuns would be his Scent Memory!