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Creativity and Practicality in Developing Fragrances for Functional Products

Contact Author Dr. John F. Goodman
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Although Procter & Gamble is not readily identified as being a fragrance company, fragrances are, and always have been, critically important to our overall product success. Procter & Gamble markets consumer goods worldwide, with greater than $12 billion in annual sales. We count on fragrances in our products to keep them vital and acceptable in the minds of the consumer. In the United States alone, we market over 60 different brands, If we exclude edible and bulk products, approximately 95% of those brands utilize a perfume.

A number of those finished perfumes are purchased from outside fragrance houses; others are formulated by our own in-house perfumers. Worldwide, Procter & Gamble manufactures over 20 million pounds of in-house finished fragrances annually, If this in-house consumption is added to that which is purchased from outside, it is fair to conclude that we are one of the single largest users of fragrances in the world. This underscores Procter & Gamble’s strong commitment to perfumery and we recognize that having outstanding and preferred fragrances is vital to the success of our business.

It may, on the surface, seem peculiar that someone who manages groups of scientists and engineers should be addressing a group of artists. Perfumers are like great painters. What could we have in common? It is the subtle complexity of tbe fragrance art that brings us together. No science has yet been developed that can simulate the integration capabilities of the senses and the human brain. While the ear can be simulated by an electronic receiver, the coupling of the ear to the brain is necessary for the understanding of language, and is not simulatable. Similarly, while machines can take still or moving pictures, total scene analysis and recognition must be accomplished by the eyes through the brain.

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