April 11, 2011
Last week, on behalf of our customer Risdon International I presented a paper on Natural Fragrances at the conference for the Australian Society for Cosmetic Chemists. While I am sure you don’t want all of the gory details I thought it would be great to give you a summary of what going natural entails.
A natural fragrance is one made from essential oils, essential oils and botanical fractions extracted via physical or non-organic chemical means (we class CO2 extraction and steam distillation as natural), natural resins, waxes, gums and soil extracts plus any other naturally occurring odorous materials that can be extracted physically rather than chemically. If this rather ungainly explanation sounds rather complicated then I guess it is but that is because while IFRA, the global federation representing the fragrance industry has just published a definition of a natural fragrance it too is not well understood.
Once upon a time nobody really cared about the stuff that goes into a fragrance, all that mattered was that it smelled lovely, covered what it should do and lasted as long as possible. In those days the perfumer was an artist wielding their free-will and creative genius over the cooking pot. But times have changed and now the what and how ARE as important as the whiff and I don’t mind that.
Perfume is a very powerful medium for story telling and as such is a key part of any product development brief. Think about the last time you tried a new face cream, serum or cleanser. If you can’t abide the smell the efficacy of the ingredients becomes irrelevant as you are unlikely to persist in using it long enough for them to do their work. On the other hand, if you love the smell but find it overwhelming you may believe that the product is too harsh or strong and indeed it is not unheard of for an aroma to induce headaches or migraines. But get it right and in no time at all you will enjoy a love affair of the senses and a customer hungry for more. The right scent followed by functional and attractive packaging has got many an average formulation across the line.
So, if you want your audience to engage in your brand at a deeper level then I would urge you to try out a professionally designed natural fragrance as there really is no better way to show your customers some olfactory loving.