Having a good memory for smells is not a job requirement for many of us but it is vital if you are on the cutting edge at International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF).

Take Ms Tay Jin Ying, 28, a junior fragrance development manager at the United States-based firm, who specialises in fragrances for items like soaps and shampoos - also known as personal washes.

Ms Tay, who has worked at IFF for two years, is the go-between for the company's perfumers - who design fragrances - and its clients.

"The job involves building up skills in memorising and recognising smells," she says.

A fragrance development manager needs to be both smell- and business-savvy.Research on consumer preferences is first passed on to perfumers, who create a fragrance. Fragrance development managers like Ms Tay then discern if it matches client requirements.

Mr Christophe Neuerburg, another smell expert, is IFF's global category manager for personal wash fragrances.

Mr Neuerburg, 42, oversees the development of the company's fragrance products for markets all over the world.

"We visit consumers at home and follow them around as they go about their day to find out what products they use and how they use them," he says.