You can’t smell small differences between fragrance samples when you smell or your clothes smell. My wife has a list of approved [laundry] products that we use at home, and a list of products she should never buy. It doesn’t have to have a totally sterile environment because you do get used to the way you smell and you can ignore it, but you can’t have anything that’s too strong.
— Master Perfumer Steve Nicoll of International Flavors & Fragrances talks to The Wall Street Journal about his job. Read more at Smell of Success: What It Takes to Be a Top Perfumer. Note that Mr. Nicoll works in consumer fragrance; when he was promoted to Master Perfumer last year along with Francisco Marano, IFF noted "As perfumers for consumer fragrances, you won’t see Francisco’s or Steve’s name in fragrance blogs or on the bottles containing their creations, but what they make becomes part of your personal olfactive tapestry.”