Episode 97: Andrea Bifulco, Founder of Nose University

If you’ve ever looked into the perfume-making process, you probably know there’s someone called a “nose” involved—as in a job title, not a body part.

Andrea Bifulco is herself familiar with these mystical wizards of scent, having stumbled on a career in fragrance development thanks to a fateful temp job at Estée Lauder. Now currently the founder of Nose University, an educational olfactive program aimed at kids, she lets us in on the often mysterious process of fragrance creation, the secret language of scent and how vital smell can be to living a mindful, perceptive life.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey everybody. Welcome back to this episode. I'm super excited to be joined by Andrea Bifulco. She's the Founder of Nose University. Her parent company is called The Smelling Company. Welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY®.
Andrea BifulcoThank you so much! I'm so happy to be here.
Jodi KatzI'm really excited that you came. I'm so excited that an email landed in our inbox about your organization. Did you send that email?
Andrea BifulcoI did. Yeah.
Jodi KatzHow did you find us?
Andrea BifulcoWell, I did a little research, because I was looking for ways to get the word out there a little bit more, and somebody said to me podcasts, because there are so many amazing things happening in the beauty industry with podcasts. So I just looked up a few and yours seemed the most interesting to me.
Jodi KatzOh, we're so glad that you emailed us, and I guess I want our listeners to know this works, right?
Andrea BifulcoAbsolutely. Yes, yes. Absolutely.
Jodi KatzMake an effort, send that email.
Andrea BifulcoUm-hmm, yep.
Jodi KatzSo let's start with something easy. How are you spending your time today?
Andrea BifulcoYou mean this actual day?
Jodi KatzYeah. Today, yeah.
Andrea BifulcoThis is such a treat for me, like I was telling you. The city is nice and quiet today, so coming in on the train and walking here from Penn Station reinvigorates me. It's like a bank of creativity comes with the walk and the people-watching and seeing the stores and the fresh air. This is something I don't get to do that often anymore. I used to commute in and out all the time, but this is such a treat. So just being here, coming here today and going home is like, that's enough. Now I'll need to recover for a couple days.
Jodi KatzI don't come to the city every day very often.
Andrea BifulcoOh, okay.
Jodi KatzI split my time between the city and my home office, and many of my team members do that as well. So when I also come into Penn on the train, I don't have that like haggard, angry commuter and it's weird, because I do see it as like a nice journey.
Andrea BifulcoIt really is, and I miss it, but when you're doing it every day ... I did it every day for six years ... it's a lot. And it's cyclical. You know, you go through this stage where you get worn out and then it comes back and you reinvigorate yourself. But this is nice. It's a nice day, it's a special day, and I'm excited to be here.
Jodi KatzI remember leaving the city ... we lived here on the Upper East Side and moved to New Jersey, and then coming back to the city again for work.
Andrea BifulcoYeah.
Jodi KatzHow more joyful it was without pushing the stroller around.
Andrea BifulcoOh my gosh, I can't even imagine. I like the idea that I'm close enough to walk. You know, when I used to walk to uptown also, it's like a built-in mental and physical exercise, an emotional exercise.
Jodi KatzRight.
Andrea BifulcoSo it's nice.
Jodi KatzLike a meditation.
Andrea BifulcoYeah, absolutely. I see so many things, I really bring that back into my work and into my life, seeing all the energy in the city and feeling it.
Jodi KatzWell you are a fragrance expert and we're going to talk about your expertise, do a deep dive of where you've been and what you're doing now.
Andrea BifulcoUm-hmm.
Jodi KatzBut I want to shamelessly, or un-shamelessly plug Base Beauty, because you walked into our office and we have our WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® candle burning. It's the scent of curiosity. You started describing it, and I said, please, please, please hold it for the pod, because the words you were using are not words that I know, so I'm curious, what is your impression of that scent?
Andrea BifulcoWell, my first impression before you told me what it was for, is that it had a metallic, like an aldehydic steel-type quality to it, a sharpness, but in a very refined, comforting way, not something that would be off putting. And you know, I smell a lot of things. I don't always feel compelled to comment on them. I only will say I like something when I do, but I wasn't expecting this story to come with it. That's amazing. But whoever ... tell me again her name?
Jodi KatzCaroline Fabrigas.
Andrea BifulcoShe captured your essence very well, because it's a fun, sparkly energy.
Jodi KatzCool. Well I hope that our fans love it too because it's available for sale on our website.
Andrea BifulcoIs it available now?
Jodi KatzIt will be when your episode launches.
Andrea BifulcoOh, that's right, that's right.
Jodi KatzYeah, absolutely.
Andrea BifulcoIt's amazing. I might have to pick one up myself.
Jodi KatzWe are the only podcast with a candle.
Andrea BifulcoI love this idea. This is really where I think the fragrance industry is going to. It's more of an energy, it's capturing the energy of places, an ambience and an aura, rather than a scent you really can't put your finger on it. And the people who come here when they smell this candle, when they go, and they ever smell anything like this again, it will bring them back here in their mind and that's something special. When you put your footprint with a scent, people take it with them.
Jodi KatzWell thank you for the feedback on it. I'm glad that you love it.
Andrea BifulcoI love it.
Jodi KatzWe love it and then people in the hallway always tell us that they love it, too.
Andrea BifulcoYeah. Certain things I don't like to burn in the house because they're too overwhelming. Just working in fragrance all the time, I don't tend to bring it home with me as a purveyor. It's my work, so I separate it, but this I would burn in my house.
Jodi KatzWonderful.
Andrea BifulcoIt's very clean.
Jodi KatzWhat a great testimonial. Thank you.
Andrea BifulcoI would.
Jodi KatzI just came home from an event the other night and in the gift bag was a fragrance, I will not say the brand name of the fragrance but very well known, very prestige. And my daughter opened it and I'm like, you have to throw it away.
Andrea BifulcoI know.
Jodi KatzIt was so-
Andrea BifulcoI know.
Jodi KatzIt was ... I mean, I can't even describe ... I was so overwhelmed by how overwhelming it was.
Andrea BifulcoI know. Yes. And that's what I enjoy about what I do because I'm on the outside of it. I don't have to wear something to experience it. I can smell it, but when I put it on me, it's a whole different experience.

I didn't wear perfume before I started in this industry, I still don't. So I like that I get to be on the outside looking in, evaluating, discussing, but not always consuming and wearing.
Jodi KatzRight.
Andrea BifulcoWe do have to evaluate on our skin at times, but I don't have to wear it.
Jodi KatzWell let's talk about your expertise. I love the story of how you found yourself in the fragrance industry. Take us way back to why you came to New York.
Andrea BifulcoWell I graduated from college and I wanted to be a journalist and I wanted to write. That was my passion, and that was what I was doing, and nobody was going to tell me anything other. So I came to New York to be a journalist and was living in Jersey and had this stopover at Estee Lauder as a temp. It's crazy how I didn't realize how lucky I was. I was just following a path that was laid out for me. It was there and I was like, Oh, okay I'll just do this for a little while. I had no idea I was stepping into a destiny. I just thought, I'll rest here for a minute.
Jodi KatzSo you went to a temp agency and said, I just need a job?
Andrea BifulcoYes. And it came to me very easily, which I wasn't expecting either. It was in packaging, which I know nothing about; I had no background, I was just filling in for someone who was having surgery. And I worked for this wonderful man who was very paternal, he looked after me. I was young and naïve and taking my peanut butter sandwich to work every day because I had no money. So he was just looking out for me when he said "There's an opening in fragrances right down the hall." He said, "There's an opening there and you should really look into it. These jobs don't come up too often and it's a great job." And he was so right.
Jodi KatzSo at that moment were you like, Okay I'm going to push aside my dreams of being a newspaper journalist?
Andrea BifulcoNo because again, you don't realize that there comes a point where you have to choose a path. I just thought again, like, Okay, I'll do this, and I can still do that, I'll still pursue that. I still did write and I did look into things, but I guess it's like dating. Once you fall in love with something, everything else is done, right?
Jodi KatzWhat was the interview process like for this job, and what was the job?
Andrea BifulcoOh, the job was for coordinator, I think was the title, in corporate fragrance development and I met with a woman who was so lovely and is still a very close friend, a family friend now. I met with her first and then she explained I would be meeting with the head of corporate fragrance development. I did and I was completely myself and not nervous or not understanding where I was or what I was doing. And I got the job. You know, I didn't even have a nervousness. I think before then and ever since then, I've been nervous, and when I left I was clinging to the hope, Oh gosh, I hope I got it or, I hope I made a good impression. I didn't have that at that time, for some reason. I just thought, Well, if it works, it works.
Jodi KatzSo this was a coordinator position within the fragrance group?
Andrea BifulcoYes.
Jodi KatzAnd did you even know really what that group was doing?
Andrea BifulcoNo. No. I had no idea.
Jodi KatzSo you weren't doing your research-
Andrea BifulcoNo.
Jodi Katz#NAME?
Andrea BifulcoNo. In fact, it's so funny to say that because I was thinking about this the other night. I am unapologetically myself and I always make mistakes in life and I always just make a fool of myself and I have learned just to own up to that. I have these cringe-worthy moments all the time. But when I was younger, I had them all the time.

I so didn't understand what I was doing. I brought in my portfolio of all my writing. I have no idea why. It's all I had, I was so proud of it. Back then, I had an actual physical printed out with all my physical articles that I had written in a laminate. I brought them in, I went over.

That woman and I still laugh about this sometimes, because she looked at it and I swear, there was like a tear, she was like, Oh you dear thing. It's so sad. I just didn't know where I was or what I was doing. I just felt like, here's me, here's what I have. And it's just funny because I was so far from my goal of being a journalist, but not really because I found some sort of journalistic path within my chosen career of fragrance.
Jodi KatzOkay, so let's talk about that group. You started as a coordinator. You stayed there for quite some time. What were you tasked with?
Andrea BifulcoIt took a long time to learn the ropes, I will say that, because like I said, this is a group that stuck together. Many of the same people are still there, so it's a wonderful job and a wonderful group.

I had a lot to learn and I was way over my head. When I first started I was, Oh my gosh, there's so much to learn. And we had great responsibilities. Like I said, we were meeting with Mrs. Lauder and we were involved with upper management a lot, so I really wanted to do a good job. I wasn't stressed before I got the job, but once I got the job, I was like, Okay, I am in it. I am ready to go.

So I had a lot of learning to do and I observed a lot, because in our midst, while I'd be filing or writing emails, the perfumers and the noses and the evaluators and the vice-president and the president, and Mrs. Lauder, everyone's talking and evaluating and discussing and giving opinions, giving direction, giving advice, so I heard this language, this language of scent start emerging, and it was very foreign to me. It was literally as if they were speaking another language. They all seemed to understand, that's what was so interesting to me. But then if they gave me a blotter, the same thing they were smelling, and I smelled it, I was not seeing what they were seeing.
Jodi KatzUm-hmm.
Andrea BifulcoMy genuine thought in the beginning was, Are they making this up? How are they seeing this? It wasn't until I received my own training and it wasn't until I learned that language that everything they were saying made sense. So that's when it clicked in my mind that this was a language, and this was a process of understanding, and this was a process of communication.

I had to learn that language, because speaking with a perfumer is like speaking with an artist. You can't just walk in and pretend like you know what you're talking about, because you have no idea where their creative process comes from. You can take a guess, but it's like looking at a piece of art and saying, Well the artist was feeling this, this and this while they ... you can maybe guess but you always have to come to it with a humble sense of this is their work, not mine.
Jodi KatzHow many years did you stay in that group?
Andrea BifulcoI was there for about six years, six wonderful years. I have such a romantic idea of my time there. It was so wonderful. It really was. It's such a great group, and I think we talked about this briefly, that it was like a little family in this big corporation. It was very special.
Jodi KatzWhat was the job title you had when you were leaving?
Andrea BifulcoI left there as an assistant manager, I believe. I wasn't ready to go but I had my first child and you know, things get complicated then. I tried really, really hard but in the end, I had to make that choice, and when I went in to my boss I said to myself, Don't cry. I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry. And of course I walked in there and I wasn't even prepared to do it that day, but I just realized I had to do it or I would never do it.
Jodi KatzUm-hmm.
Andrea BifulcoAnd life swept in and it was amazing how that worked out, too.
Jodi KatzYou use this word evaluator. What does that mean in fragrance?
Andrea BifulcoThat means that we're smelling the work of perfumers and we're evaluating in which direction it needs to go. In that case specifically, it can have several different applications, but while I was there, my job was working with the senior vice-president and the other evaluators. We would go between a fragrance house and a designer and we were the liaison, going back and forth, communicating, and smelling until we reached a goal. Usually what the designer ... their initial idea of what they wanted, we would go back and forth to the fragrance house and the perfumers and the designer until we got there.
Jodi KatzSo that sounds like a really challenging position, right, because you're talking to a fragrance expert on one end, right, your nose at the fragrance house and then someone on the other end who's not a fragrance expert, necessarily.
Andrea BifulcoRight. Yes.
Jodi KatzAnd they don't have six years to learn the language-
Andrea BifulcoRight.
Jodi Katz#NAME?
Andrea BifulcoI worked in the designer fragrance, so mostly we were working with fashion designers. And they had their own creative language, so again, to me I always felt humbled in the fragrance industry. I feel like as an evaluator, you always have to know that you don't know everything. So that always helped me, coming at it from a place of curiosity and not trying to tell them what they were trying to say, but really trying to understand what they were trying to ... so if they said, I want it to smell like this cashmere scarf that I picked up in Paris in fall of last year, we had to interpret what does that mean? You know, and instead of saying, Oh, they must feel like they want this, this, this, it was more of saying okay, how can we interpret what they're wanting? It was a lot of communication.
Jodi KatzIt's kind of like being a reporter though, right?
Andrea BifulcoYes. See that's what-
Jodi KatzLike sussing out the details-
Andrea BifulcoYes. Yes, and that's what I did. I realize now, looking back, is that I came to it, I found the aspects of it that made sense to me and approached it in that way.
Jodi KatzRight. All right. So this is so fascinating. I want to speed ahead because I want to have a lot of time to talk about Nose University, because I told you, I have a personal goal, which is to raise money for this incredible organization that you've developed.
Andrea BifulcoThank you, thank you.
Jodi KatzWhat is Nose University?
Andrea BifulcoNose University is a company that I started to teach children about their sense of smell. Children as young as pre-k, middle school, teens, and also adults. I do programs with adults, also.

This is very important to me because I feel like again, that language is something that you can learn at a young age and it adds this vivid layer to your life. Once you've learned how to understand and describe the scents around you, you key into them more. You're more attuned when you walk in somewhere, you're not just passively being fed scents, and your senses are not just passive. Once you're awakened, you can really fully interact with everything around you. All five of your senses should be in tune.
Jodi KatzRight, so it's almost like teaching another layer of mindfulness.
Andrea BifulcoYes. Yes, I agree with that. I do approach it in that way, because for me, smelling is meditative. When I smell and when I evaluate, I go inward. It took a long time to find that inner stillness and to trust my instincts. You really have to trust your instincts when you smell because you can overthink it. Kind of like you were saying about the email, which I overthought.
Jodi KatzOkay. We're going to talk about that, too.
Andrea BifulcoYes. I tend to overthink things, so it did take a long time and it was an exercise, something that I needed to achieve, to learn how to trust my instincts. I didn't do that on my own. My mentor and the person who taught me at IFF, his name is Ron Winnegrad. He taught me over the years ... He teaches a perfumery school ... how to find that stillness, that certainty and that instinct, and follow it.
Jodi KatzWhat was the moment that inspired Nose University?
Andrea BifulcoThere were several. I don't know if there was one. I think it was a combination over the years of little seeds. When I worked at Estee Lauder, we did a workshop with children. I think it was in the Lower East Side, I want to say. We went to the school and it was part of a larger program. They were learning about scents from inception to launch. They were doing marketing and packaging and advertising, all sorts of different things. And the fragrance development part was just a little piece.

So we went into a classroom and we taught kids. It was crazy. We had solution, they had pipettes, they were mixing. It was a mess. There was fragrance everywhere, but they had so much fun. I was so young, children were not in my mind, but I always thought back how nice that was.

Also I used to volunteer with these two lovely women at The Lighthouse Guild. It was right around the corner from Estee Lauder, and I would read them their mail. On Thursdays after work, I would walk over there and they were both blind. So I would read them their mail and every time I came in, I always had all of these scents on my arms. The first thing they wanted to do was, they wanted to smell, What's this, what's this, what's this? Studies have shown that's a myth that people who are visually impaired have a stronger sense of smell. But at the time, there were programs back and forth with The Lighthouse. There were a couple things going on there. I was seeing that there were other approaches to scent, and I was interested in that.

When I had my own children, from the time they could smell and engage with the smells on my arms, they did, and we talked about it and they would smell things on my arms and we would discuss. As they got older, they got pretty good at it. The two of them would talk to each other, Oh I love this smell, I don't like this smell. And everything we touched, everything we cooked, every time we'd go to the market, every time we'd go to the store, we would smell things and talk about it.

Then one of my children's teachers asked if I could do a little program about the sense of smell. When I did it, the kids had such a great time. They just lit up. They were having fun, they were talking, they were interacting, they were engaging. I saw it, it was like color in motion. It was like I couldn't believe what was happening.

And they were really good at it. That's the other thing. Kids are really good at smelling and describing what they smell and talking about what they smell. That day, I remember I had, because I've always been fascinated with memory recall, and when you smell something it takes you back somewhere, that's a very large part of what I do with these programs. We talk about our scent memories. So I almost didn't ask this group. They were third graders. I was going to ask them what their favorite scent memory was and I thought, I don't know. They're pretty young. Do they have scent memories yet? But I did, because I saw how much fun they were having and I'm like, let me just throw this out there. So I asked them what their favorite scent memories were and every single kid in the class raised their hand. I had to be like, Woah, woah, woah, I'll get to you all. The things they came up with were incredible. "I love the smell of barbecue," and not only that they had an emotion that was attached to it.
Jodi KatzUm-hmm.
Andrea BifulcoI love the smell of barbecue because it reminds me of being with my dad. I love the smell of pancakes because me and my grandma make pancakes and the maple syrup, every time I taste maple syrup I think of her. I love the smell of popcorn because I go to the movies with my mom, and things like that. And then this one kid almost knocked me off my chair. He was the quietest one, he raised his hand and he said, "I love the smell of fresh-cut grass because it reminds me of sports and the nervous feeling I get before I'm about to play a game."
Jodi KatzWow, that's very intuitive.
Andrea BifulcoMe and the teacher looked at each other across the room, we were both like, Oh my gosh. It's deep.
Jodi KatzYeah.
Andrea BifulcoSo, I've realized then there was something there and that not many people ask kids about this kind of stuff and they really want to talk about it. And they have a lot to say and they're really good at it. So I was like, Why not?
Jodi KatzAll right. So I love this. Tell me what you think the benefits of educating children around scent and scent language ... how does it help them become better, healthier adults?
Andrea BifulcoWell, like you said, the mindfulness is a big part of it, because there's so much coming at kids now. There's so much, they're doing so much, they're engaging in so much, so learning to go inward and really meditate and think about things. Even just smellings, when you hold a blotter and you close your eyes and you smell. I teach them how to smell, because you'd be surprised. You show someone a blotter and they don't know what to do with it.
Jodi KatzUm-hmm.
Andrea BifulcoThey're like, What do I do? So I show them how and I model it for them. That's one part, so learning to go inward and to be mindful and to take a minute, close everything out, you know, block everything out and listen to your own voice. That's one thing. So there's a mindfulness and a wellness aspect.

There's an instinctual memory recall type of thing, which is interesting for children because that is the cornerstone of what they're going to do when they get older and they're studying. So teaching them about memory recall, describing something, giving them a blotter of an orange and then later giving them the blotter and saying, What do you smell? There's a memory recall, which is good for them to practice and learn how to recall a scent.

There's the teamwork aspect of it, which is very nice in a classroom. We break them up into groups and then they discuss amongst themselves and I teach them about a healthy disagreement. In fragrance, aside from maybe debate, I don't know that there's many things that you can have a very healthy discussion about-
Jodi KatzRight.
Andrea Bifulco-where you love the smell of rose, I hate the smell of rose. You smell something putrid, I smell something beautiful. And neither of us are wrong, it's just that we look at it differently, so why do we look at it differently? We talk about it.
Jodi KatzUm-hmm.
Andrea BifulcoSo, learn to respect the other and what they're saying is not wrong but different, and how do we talk about that, and respectfully disagree?
Jodi KatzThat point is really interesting to me because as a parent, I deal with this, right?
Andrea BifulcoYeah.
Jodi KatzLike the two kids. One of them has-
Andrea BifulcoOh my gosh, night and day.
Jodi KatzRight, it's very black and white. Someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong-
Andrea BifulcoYeah.
Jodi Katz-in their mindset and that's just not reality. That's not life. But I love this idea of this healthy debate, respect for each other's point of view, there is no right, there is no wrong.
Andrea BifulcoAnd learning to communicate with each other. As an evaluator, we are communicating with perfumers. We can never assume that we know what's in their formula, so you always have to approach something with a curiosity rather than an idea that you know everything.

So there's that and there's also a cultural ... we talk about, the kids will smell pine. For some kids it smells like a Christmas tree. For some kids that don't celebrate Christmas it has no connotation to them. It just smells like something green and fresh. So culturally, what are the different spices you use in your home? Where did you travel that this reminds you? What location? What kind of history do you have in your household? So, those type of things come out and they have the funniest things to say. It's amazing.

And scientific. We talk about molecules, we talk about the biologies, we talk about the anatomy of the nose and what happens in the olfactory system, how it all works. You know, we laugh a lot, we talk about boogers and they love to get grossed out.
Jodi KatzHow do boogers related to scent?
Andrea BifulcoWell we talk about the nose and this is always how I ... because you have children so you know you have to approach them from a relatable aspect. So when I first come in we talk about the nose and how the nose works and what it does and how it functions. Then we talk about boogers, and they love it. They all laugh, so that's kind of ... my whole approach to this is transparency and fun. This is nothing serious. They're having a great time. It's colorful and it's all transparent and they're having a good time.
Jodi KatzOkay. So I want to use the rest of our time together on air to talk about how to grow Nose University, because right now it's completely self-funded, right?
Andrea BifulcoYes.
Jodi KatzYou're super bootstrapped.
Andrea BifulcoYes.
Jodi KatzYou're crafting things yourself-
Andrea BifulcoYes.
Jodi Katz-including your own lesson plans.
Andrea BifulcoUm-hmm.
Jodi KatzAnd I would love for ... we also use this show as a platform for you to get donations and support from our industry-
Andrea BifulcoI appreciate that.
Jodi Katz-because I think when people in our industry hear about what you're doing, they will want to support it either personally or through their corporations that they work for.
Andrea BifulcoI really appreciate that. Like I told you, we haven't reached out til this point because I wanted to spend a long time proving the concept and fleshing out where this will go and really refining it, to a point. And then we're there, so I'm ready for that. It probably wasn't ready last year when I was building and growing, but definitely, now I'm ready to move forward. I want as many kids as possible to learn about this industry and to also benefit from all the scientific ... the STEM aspects of it are huge. Teachers need this and kids need this, too.
Jodi KatzRight. So I ... this is a call to our listeners. Like, there's an opportunity for sponsorship and partnerships-
Andrea BifulcoDefinitely.
Jodi Katz-and ways to help support the growth of this initiative, because you're one person.
Andrea BifulcoOne person.
Jodi KatzBut I can very easily see this becoming you train a team of teachers, right?
Andrea BifulcoThat's my goal. Yes, that's my goal. That's my goal.
Jodi KatzBut it takes money.
Andrea BifulcoIt takes money, it takes time, and as you know, as one person, it's very humbling when you start a business on your own. You realize as much as you want to do everything, you cannot. It's limiting and that can be frustrating, because you want to share with so many people, do so many cool things, but you just have to take that all in stride.
Jodi KatzRight. So how could an individual or a company reach out to you if they wanted to become a partner of yours?
Andrea BifulcoThey can find me at www.noseuniversity.com or at instagram @nose_university or they can find me through you, or however they'd like to find me, they can find me. I'm always around.
Jodi KatzSo let's talk about who would be really interesting partners. Like, would fragrance houses be interesting partners?
Andrea BifulcoYes. Well, you know it's funny you say that because since I started this I have seen so many amazing things. As soon as I started to scratch the surface, so many cool things happening in this industry. Amazing people just doing the coolest initiatives. Just amazing.

So I'm open to anything. That's the nice thing about this is there are no limits to it. We can do whatever we want to do. We can make it learning about scent in food, and molecular gastronomy or learning about scent in art; however we want to do it, we can do it. So there are no limitations. Scent is everywhere and it permeates everything. It has a million different applications.
Jodi KatzWhat you're doing for the industry, and why I think that the industry should get behind you, and not just fragrance but any beauty partner, you're training your future people who work in the business.
Andrea BifulcoYes.
Jodi KatzYou're also training the future consumer.
Andrea BifulcoYes.
Jodi KatzRight, to be discerning, to be thoughtful, to be mindful, and look at scent in a non-passive way.
Andrea BifulcoAbsolutely. Um-hmm. Right. And I feel like it's already going in that way, to some extent. People want to be transparent, they want to know a lot about their products, they want to be involved in the process. I want to start that grassroots from the beginning so that it's not a catch up, that you don't feel like you're on this side and your products are on that side, or your brands, or whatever is there, and there's a divide. I want it to be that kids grow up, these future olfactive geniuses, they grow up knowing all about their sense of smell and all about their likes and dislikes, and why, and how to describe it and how to engage with products in an interactive way.
Jodi KatzWell I am so grateful that you reached out to us because this is like why we exist as a pod, to be able to help tell these stories and you know, bring them to new people.
Andrea BifulcoIt's amazing. What you guys do is incredible.
Jodi KatzThank you.
Andrea BifulcoI'm happy that we connected, too. And that's the benefit of throwing something out there. Sometimes it comes back.
Jodi KatzThat's right. So we were offline talking about raising money and I suggested, well right now we're recording, it's November, right before Thanksgiving, and there's a lot of companies that have end-of-year money available and they have to spend it. Right, as you know, the budgets, like they don't win awards for not spending their budget.
Andrea BifulcoRight.
Jodi KatzSo this is actually a really good time for you to email your contacts and let them know that $100 makes a difference, $500 makes a difference. Certainly more than that can make a huge impact in bringing this and making it accessible for more kids. So, did you send that email?
Andrea BifulcoNot yet. You specifically told me, as if we had been friends for many years, you said, Don't overthink this. And I was like, I'm not going to overthink it. I think you said, Spend eight minutes.
Jodi KatzYeah.
Andrea BifulcoIt's been a little bit more than eight minutes, but I overthought it and overthought it. Again, you are 100 percent right, because not only does it make a difference for me, more importantly it makes a difference for the teachers and the schools. Some schools have a budget for an extracurricular activity, some have none.
Jodi KatzUm-hmm.
Andrea BifulcoFor me, I want every kid to have this opportunity, not just those who can afford it, the schools that can afford it. So, up until this point, if there's a school that wants to do it that can't afford it, I just do it anyways. It's that important to me. I want more schools, more children to have the opportunity to experience their sense of smell and to learn about it.
Jodi KatzWell I hope our listeners can help. I'm super excited to hear feedback.
Andrea BifulcoI hope so too. Yes, me too, because really the most important thing I feel that I'm doing is introducing these children to a whole field of expertise that they never knew existed. There's perfumers, there's compounders, there's researchers, there's evaluators, there's chemists. You know, there's coaters. There's everything out there that they didn't know about. So when that light bulb goes off for these kids and I see it happen, they're like, Oh. I see girls think like, Okay here I can be a scientist and boys say, I can be a perfumer.
Jodi KatzUm-hmm.
Andrea BifulcoI show them what it's all about. I want them to think, I want to be that when I grow up. I can do that, I'm inspired by that, and I see all the amazing aspects of it. So that's my biggest goal, is to show these kids what they can do.
Jodi KatzWell, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and story with us today. So awesome.
Andrea BifulcoThank you for having me. This was so much fun.
Jodi KatzI am super grateful. And for our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Andrea. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes and for updates about this show, follow us at Instagram @wherebrainsmeetbeauty podcast.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

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