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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.
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“We have used nanotechnology to make fragrance water-resistant. There is a new polymer technology that allows us to enhance the performance of fragrance in water for up to 8-10 hours. [Consumers] can jump into the sea and the fragrance will not wash off,” added Smith.
Natural and Organic Trends
Personal care ingredients are not the only facet of the personal care industry affected by the natural and organic trend. As more and more personal care companies look to formulate natural products, more fragrance formulators are being asked to come up with nonsynthetic fragrances, a challenge in the fragrance industry.
“Natural fragrances are easier to create than organic fragrances. [Natural fragrances] are a little bit more expensive, but we can make a good-smelling natural fragrance at a cost,” said Smith. Natural fragrances, for Smith, either occur in nature or are synthetic but nature identical. Organic fragrances, however, are a completely different challenge.
“It is getting slightly easier to create organic fragrances, but it is still difficult,” said Smith, who notes that there are few materials that can be incorporated into organic fragrances. Materials that can be formulated into organic fragrances include ingredients such as menthol, thyme and rosemary. Smith characterizes these fragrances as “medicinal,” which is a challenge for the fragrance industry. In addition to the limited supply of oils that a perfumer can use in an organic fragrance, formulating with organic ingredients may interfere with the fragrance’s ability to last. The organic fragrance industry is gradually improving, according to Smith, as new organic oils are being created at a slow rate.
Two Similar Industries
Although the raw materials and the fragrance industry experience similar trends, there are still many issues that affect each separately. One such example is research into consumers’ individualized affinity to certain fragrances. According to Smith, many researchers debate whether fragrance preference is inherent or acquired.