World Perfumery Congress 2018 Preview: A Sense of What’s Next


The fragrance industry is in a moment of transition. Larger trends in health and wellness, changes in distribution and retail channels, the rise of the niche segment, and a continuous demand for naturals, among others are influencing the evolving fragrance landscape. Additionally, consumer behavior is rapidly shifting and stimulating change along the supply chain. So where does that leave the current state of the industry?

The 2018 World Perfumery Congress will be hosted at the Palais des Congrès Nice Acropolis in Nice, France, where the fragrance industry will convene to explore the future of fragrance. Presented by the American Society of Perfumers and produced by Perfumer & Flavorist, this year’s event will bring together fragrance professionals, suppliers and brand marketers to discuss the latest innovations shaping 21st-century perfumery and beauty, with the theme of a Sense of What’s Next.

WPC is a wonderful opportunity to experience the new advances in perfumery,” said Emily Bond, head of fine fragrances, Givaudan. “It is a showcase of the creativity in creation, a celebration of the modern craftsmanship in perfumery, and a way for the industry to come together and shape the future thinking of fragrance.”

Meet the Decision Makers

This year’s event will bring together top management and decision makers from the largest fragrance houses and brands, as well as small and midsize innovators in the industry. Networking events include the welcome cocktail reception, expo hall happy hours, and the closing gala reception and after party.

Opening each day at 10 AM, the expo hall will feature over 70 fragrance companies from all areas of the industry. Attendees will have opportunities to meet directly with companies and learn about the latest ingredients and fragrance innovations. Among some of this year’s exhibitors, and platinum sponsors, include BASF, Mane, IFF, Robertet, Symrise, Firmenich and Givaudan.

Julien Firmenich, vice president of sales, ingredients, Firmenich; and WPC content advisor remarked, “The WPC consistently attracts seasoned perfumery experts from all over the world. The engaging panels discussions and inspiring presentations from some of our industry’s most senior executives provide deep insights into fundamental trends that will shape our métiers in the years to come.”

A new addition to the expo hall is the WPC marketing trails. Marketing trails will showcase the newest fragrance ingredients and trend-driven innovation from around the world, including new ingredients that have never before shown publicly, natural materials, sustainability and biotech breakthroughs, on-trend wellness ingredients and concepts and more.

Old bottles of perfumeThis year introduces the first-ever art exhibit featuring fragrance-inspired installations.

Protecting Perfume and Its History

Keynote and conference presentations will explore different aspects of the fragrance industry, including regulations, brand development, niche perfumery, fragrance heritage and more.

Hannah Symons, beauty and fashion research manager for Euromonitor International will examine consumer and market insights in her keynote speech on the first day. Her presentation, “The Future of Fragrance & Growth Opportunities” will discuss the importance of developing meaningful and valuable brand strategies to adapt to changing consumer priorities and lifestyle trends. As the industry continues to become globalized, companies are presented with an opportunity to create long-term loyalty among consumers.

Deb Fiddelke, global government relations for SC Johnson; Farah Ahmed, president and CEO of IFRANA and Martina Bianchini, president of The International Fragrance Association, will present “Perfume and Policy.” In this session, IFRA, SC Johnson, and IFRANA, will each share their unique insights on how these organizations are leading and navigating policies that affect perfumery. Attendees will learn about IFRA’s work related to industry best practices, SC Johnson’s journey to build consumer and stakeholder trust through transparency, and IFRANA’s efforts in sharing its values with consumers. Finally, the speakers will discuss the value the perfumers’ perspective play in shaping the development of fragrance industry policy.

In “Restoring Perfume’s Past and Future Models,” Luca Turin, Ph.D., and Saskia Wilson-Brown, executive director of The Institute for Art and Olfaction, will present their case study on recreating Jacques Fath’s Iris Gris from 1947. The duo will discuss the impact historic fragrances have on a new culture of transparency and open access heralded from the Internet age.

Bérangère Magarinos-Ruchat, Firmenich VP and global head of sustainability, will present “Celebrating the Purpose of the Perfumery Industry and the Magic of Perfumes with a Purpose,” where she will discuss how the fragrance industry is redefining its purpose through sustainable initiatives and signature ingredients.

The Story of Fragrance in 2018

Eddie Bulliqi, perfume journalist and contributor to Perfumer & Flavorist, will dive into the world of niche fragrances with his presentation “Niche 2.0: The Future of Niche Perfumery.” Bulliqi will discuss the shifts in scents culture over the last twenty years and what the future holds for this segment of the industry.

Christophe Laudamiel, master perfumer for DreamAir NYC, and Josiah Ryan, senior producer for CNN, will discuss fragrance’s hot topics of transparency and technology. During “New Power and Transparency in an Open Age,” the speakers will examine how the Internet, particularly social media, has changed the way consumers desire, discover and understand perfumes. With the Internet’s influence, the presentation will look at how the industry can establish more transparent and authentic relationships with consumers.

The panel discussion, “Future-Proofing the Industry” will feature executives from the top fragrance houses to discuss the state of the business and market. As industry leaders, each panelist will share their thoughts on the most impactful changes that will shape their company and the fragrance industry in the next decade.

Master Perfumer Workshops

Exclusive to perfumers, master perfumer workshops are an opportunity to learn from the world’s most influential scent creators in the intimate and educational master perfumer workshops. Discussions will focus on navigating a career in perfumery, ingredients and technology, among others.

Robert Bedoukian, Ph.D., president of Bedoukian Research, and Zerlina Dubois, master perfumer for Procter & Gamble, will present “The Past, Present, & Future of Signature Perfume Ingredients.” The workshop will take a look at the ingredients of some of the most iconic fragrance launches. Dubois and Bedoukian, Ph.D., will discuss how novel, high-impact ingredients and consumer culture have influenced and created some of the iconic trends and product launches in perfume’s history.

IFF master perfumer Carlos Benaim and John Brahms, Ph.D., global ST&I director, fine fragrances for International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc., will examine the role of the scent trail, one of the most critical aspects of the scent experience, in the presentation, “Sillage in Fine Fragrance.” The speakers will discuss how fragrance molecules behave on the skin and provide an overview of the physical-chemicals aspects that drive performance.

An Expanding Fragrance Show

As an extension of the industry’s commitment to fragrance innovation and artistry, this year will see the introduction of the Petit WPC sessions and art exhibit.

Prior to the general afternoon sessions each day, Petit WPC will break out into more focused discussions concerning the industry. On the first day, Charles Cronin, lawyer and lecturer for University of Southern California, and Clair Guillemin, Ph.D., Bucerius Law School, will present “Rethinking Intellectual Fragrance Property.” This presentation will dive into the difficult nature of protecting fragrance trademarks.

WPC is the global stage where perfumers, suppliers, brands, innovators and thought leaders convene to learn, share and discuss the future of fragrance.”

On the following day, Reimar Bruening, Ph.D., will present “Developing Non-Alcoholic Fragrances.” During the presentation, Bruening will discuss the use of hydrocarbon solvents from renewable botanical sources to develop alcohol-free compositions with unique fragrance profiles.

Lastly, WPC will explore the emerging field of olfactory art with its first-ever art exhibit. Olfactory art combines various creative mediums and scent as commentary on the surrounding world. The WPC art exhibit will feature three different artists, each with their own take on olfactory art.

“The emergence of olfactory art, thanks to efforts by people like Sissel Tolaas and Peter de Cupere (amongst others) signifies a parallel shift away from the tech-obsession of the turn of this millennium. People seem to want visceral and physical experiences, and there’s nothing more immediate or real than a well-managed, well-controlled smell,” said Saskia Wilson-Brown. “Where there’s a space, there’s a group of people willing to fill it.”

A Sense of What’s Next

So where does this leave the fragrance industry? Despite challenges and obstacles in the market, the fragrance industry is growing and meeting these opportunities.

According to a Fact.MR reporta, the global fragrance market is expected to hit $70 billion. The largest segment of this industry, the perfume market, was estimated at a value of $39.67 billion at the end of 2016, with an increase in consumer spending and demand for natural products leading the wayb. In the air care market, the affluence of middle-class consumers and the development of wellness applications will grow the segment to $10.4 billionc. On almost every indication, the fragrance industry is staying fresh.

WPC’s program is a reflection of this evolving and growing fragrance landscape, yet one thing will remain unchanged: The event’s dedication to providing the fragrance industry with a sense of what’s next, a sense of community and forward thinking.

WPC is the global stage where perfumers, suppliers, brands, innovators and thought leaders convene to learn, share and discuss the future of fragrance,” said Deniz Ataman, managing editor, Perfumer and Flavorist and WPC conference director. “The event is the platform for the fragrance industry to inspire creativity, innovation and education. It provides an opportunity for fragrance houses, suppliers and brands to meet face-to-face, discuss the industry’s latest issues and breakthroughs, network, learn and do business.”

Registration information for individuals and groups is available at

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