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Trends and Similarities in Fragrance and Personal Care

Posted: July 10, 2007

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“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. 

One issue remains popular between the two industries—global acceptance. Personal care ingredient suppliers continue to establish their ingredients globally and, in lieu of regulatory challenges, this is no easy task. Similarly, fragrance manufacturers are trying to market their scents around the world. “We are all trying to gain global acceptance of our fragrances. This can prove challenging because different areas of the world prefer different scents,” said Smith. Although fragrance and raw materials are two different industries, they are interlinked and will continue to evolve together.