Fragrance Notes Issue 1, 2019 - Page 9

FEATURE BUILDING the Miguel Alemañy R&D Director Procter & Gamble Editor’s Note: After this article was written, Miguel announced his retirement from Procter & Gamble, following his 40-year career. BORN AND RAISED: Puerto Rico, USA SPEAKS FLUENTLY: Spanish, English, and Italian ENGINEERS MAKE LIFE BETTER: “Doctors cure patients, but engineers make the machines that doctors use to cure patients. Pilots fly people around the world, but engineers build the planes that pilots use to fly people around the world. And on and on and on.” GIVING BACK: Miguel Chairs the Board of Directors of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and offers workshops around the country on Hispanic issues. “I derive pleasure from sharing information, helping people understand, helping people create better work environments for their employees, and generally helping Hispanics progress.” HIS NEED FOR SPEED: “I used to compete professionally in racing when I was in college, and I’ve raced for most of my life. I have a GTR that I track up in Ohio, and I’m looking at buying a McLaren to also track up in Ohio. So I’m a car enthusiast and so is my son, Miguel—it’s genetic.” FUTURE of Fragrance An engineer’s learnings on the journey from Pampers to perfume DESCENDANT OF ‘PERFUME PEOPLE’ “When I was 15, I mixed my mother’s Paco Rabanne coriander with my men’s Paco Rabanne… and created my own scent…” Miguel Alemañy, Research & Development Director for The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) and Member of Fragrance Creators Association’s Board of Directors, comes from a long line of “perfume people.” Growing up around San Juan, Ponce, Mayaguez, and Lares, Puerto Rico, he says his family has always been scent seekers. Even before they became a common household fixture, he recalls scented candles at family gatherings. His earliest scent memory is being drenched with his aunt’s 4711 perfume, a traditional German Eau de Cologne made by Mäurer & Wirtz. “She used to bathe me and my cousin in that stuff,” he says. “She said I liked it, but in reality, I hated it—she would pour the bottle over our heads!” For Miguel, smells are more than just fragrance, though. “Smell is everything,” he says. “I come from a family of coffee growers, so my family had coffee planta- tions. And one of my very early memories is when I was a kid—maybe 3 years old—I remember wearing these flannel ‘footie’ pajamas. I remember the way they felt as I was walking, and I remember the distinct smell near the back of the farmhouse where they roasted the coffee. Every time I’m near a roaster, it’s like—boom—I’m 3 years old again. That smell has been with me forever.” While he wouldn’t call himself a scent seeker, he has always enjoyed fragrances— and been an innovator. “When I was 15, I mixed my mother’s Paco Rabanne Coriander with my men’s Paco Rabanne—50/50— and created my own scent. In high school, people would say, ‘Where did you buy this from?’ I’d say, ‘You can’t buy this. This is unique.’” THE ENGINEERING LIFE “I’ve always known that I was sort of an engineer. I just didn’t know the name of what I wanted to be.” Miguel was born an engineer. “As a kid, I always took things apart,” he says. “I wanted to know how things worked. I got a camera when I was 6 years old, and within two days it was in pieces. And my mom was so upset because I was tearing the camera up, but the next day I reassembled it and got it working again and she couldn’t figure it out.” Derived from the Latin words “ingeni- are” (meaning, to create, generate, contrive, devise) and ingenium (or, cleverness), engineers “make things, make things work, and make things work better,” according to the Royal Academy of Engineering. “They use their creativity to design solutions to the world’s problems… and help build the future. They work in every area that affects people.” That sentence tracks perfectly with Miguel and his life and career trajectory. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad de Puerto Rico—all the while also running his own business on the side as an electronics reseller. He later also started but was one class short of earning his Mas- ter’s of Business Administration from Xavi- Issue 1, 2019 | FRAGRANCENOTES.ORG | 9