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In Sight--Fragrance and Raw Materials: Birds of a Feather
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: July 2, 2007, from the July 2007 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
There is more to fragrance formulation than meets the eye—or nose that is. Fragrance is incorporated into nearly every personal care product on the market and often is instrumental in a consumer’s choice; and with personal care formulas ever-evolving, it only follows that the fragrance industry would evolve along side it. During the fragrance selection process, a fragrance formulator must be conscientious of many of the same issues that personal care formulators face. Both raw material and fragrance formulators spend significant time in the lab testing different materials to determine which ingredients, oils, extracts, etc. best meet their formulation and consumer’s needs. And although fragrance and personal care are two different industries, the discovery processes prove similar.
Leslie Smith, PhD, has been formulating fragrance for personal care products for a number of years, most recently as the vice president of fragrance technology for Coty/Lancaster. Although he recognizes that fragrance formulating is similar to that of a skin care active, he concedes that there are many details that go into producing a successful scent. Also similar are the technologies available for formulating fragrance and personal care products.
Trends in Delivery
Encapsulation is a trend that is growing in the personal care industry. Just as personal care formulators are enclosing actives to better deliver them to certain areas of the skin, so too are fragrance formulators attempting to encapsulate fragrance to better deliver the scent.
“[The fragrance industry] is currently looking at delivery in personal care. Fragrances would be encapsulated similarly to active ingredients,” said Smith. Fragrances could then be designed to release on skin through the agents that can trigger actives such as moisture, heat and pH levels, according to Smith. Among the encapsulated technologies that Smith and his colleagues are investigating is a meshlike polymer technology.
“In efforts to make fragrances last longer, we discovered a blend of polymers that create a mesh screen on top of fragrances. The mesh then regulates the release of the fragrance, releasing it slowly, thereby allowing the fragrance to last longer,” said Smith. Other pharmaceutical-derived technologies are being noticed in the fragrance industry. For example, nanotechnology, a noticeable trend in the personal care industry, has begun to appear in fragrances.