Part 3 of 4

Natural Fragrance: maintaining quality and gaining scale

fragrance expert Lisa Wilson, principal at Scent&Strategy

Natural fragrance ingredients are in limited supply. As demand for naturally scented personal care products and perfumes increases, brands are formulating with a combination of oils and isolates to keep pace.

In this, the third in a four-part series on natural fragrance, Cosmetics Design hears from fragrance expert Lisa Wilson, principal at Scent&Strategy, on the scalability of these sought after scents.

Cosmetics Design asked Wilson to share some perspective on how scalable an all-natural perfume brand can be.

Lisa Wilson: “An all-natural fragrance composed of 100% essential oils is technically more difficult to scale up than a traditional fragrance due to supply, sustainability and crop variability issues.

“But all -natural fragrances formulated with a combination of isolates (natural chemicals isolated from natural essential oils and other plant-based products) and essential oils  are indeed scalable.

“Isolates can add sparkle, texture and depth to an all-natural fragrance; this is particularly important in personal care applications. We know that consumers are often as concerned about what they put on their body as about what they put in it—so the ingredients in a 100% natural fragrance created with isolates and essential oils can be listed on an IL when a company wants transparency.” 

Wilson points to a few companies that are setting a good example.  

Lisa Wilson: “Christian Buccellato, an owner, Chief Perfumer, and an experienced natural perfumer at Custom Essence referred to this type of IL transparency as ‘clean label’ copy in a recent interview. Given their experience with and the industry demand for natural fragrances, Custom Essence created a new operating division in 2014 to focus specifically on the natural personal care and household consumer.

“Berjé, another fragrance, flavor and ingredient company that specializes in naturals, uses many procedures which stem from their status as a Safe Quality Food certified supplier.  Manufacturing practices that have been derived from flavor ingredient quality and safety procedures translate into a process flow that maintains the integrity of delicate natural components. So, in a sense, the manufacturing facility is run almost like a kitchen.

“Mane and Cosmo International Fragrances are doing exciting things with CO2 extraction and fractionation at their facilities near Grasse that impacts the number of exquisite materials available to their perfumers and clients.”

For brands not yet in the game, the barriers to entry can look daunting. The first step to success in the segment is choosing the right partners.

Lisa Wilson: “Don’t be afraid to work with naturals!  There are several houses experienced in 100% natural fragrances [a few of which are mentioned throughout this article series] as well as contract manufacturers and formulators who know how to navigate this exciting and dynamic segment. 

“Fragrance houses that specialize in natural ingredients and fragrances understand best practices, from formulation to client required documentation, regulatory requirements and certifications.”

Up next

In tomorrow’s instalment of this four-part series on natural fragrance, Cosmetics Design checks in one last time with Wilson about popular scents and influential trends in the natural fragrance space. 

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