With a woody odor profile, the new fragrance in BASF's portfolio is referred to as a convincing alternative to sandalwood oil.
Isobionics santalol is produced on a biotechnological basis from renewable raw materials: the starting material for the fermentation process is corn starch obtained from corn grown in Europe.
The original sandalwood oil is extracted from the wood and roots of the white sandalwood tree.
The trees are not ready for harvesting until they are about 30 years old. Their existence is highly endangered by overexploitation.
The sandalwood tree is therefore on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, the demand for the popular scent remains unchecked.
As an alternative to sandalwood oil, Isobionics santalol is suitable for use in perfumes and personal care products.
BASF acquired Isobionics, a leading innovator in biotechnology for the production of natural flavor ingredients, in September of 2019. The market launch of the new fragrance demonstrates the successful collaboration between the two companies.
"With our new development, we focus on the needs of our customers, who demand reliability in the supply of raw materials,” says Steffen Goetz, Head of BASF's Aroma Ingredients business. “Isobionics santalol is highly available and conserves natural resources. It offers consistent high quality and is independent of weather and harvesting conditions."
"Replacing real sandalwood oil is a challenge that we have mastered with Isobionics santalol,” says Toine Janssen, founder of Isobionics. “Our santalol is the heart of sandalwood oil. In fragrance compositions, Isobionics santalol brings more volume and warmth. Floral-oriental fine fragrances are enhanced by the creamy sandalwood note."
Other products derived from the company's proprietary biotechnology platform include citrus oil components such as valencene and nootkatone.