Ilaria Resta has always followed her nose.
The executive might never have worked in fine fragrances before recently signing on as president of Firmenich’s perfumery division, but it’s a natural fit, since scent has always played a key role in her life and work.
The Naples, Italy, native with an interest in classical literature and languages, art and history, was the only one of her family members or friends to leave town for good.
“I never thought I would have ended up in the business world,” Resta said. That only happened because while studying economics at the University of Naples, she took a marketing class.
“I totally fell in love with that subject,” explained Resta, who looked into big companies centered around marketing and landed a job at P&G. That was in Rome, as an assistant brand manager for a laundry detergent business.
Five years later, she began her