The Value of Naturals, DNA Barcoding, Alternative Solvents and Beyond

The 33rd International Days of Essential Oils & Extracts ( was held last autumn in Digne, France, and focused on a range of current issues impacting the flavor and fragrance industry. Meanwhile, the “Best Poster” award went to Alexander Wollinger, Theresa Höss, Didier Touraud and Werner Kunz (all University of Regensburg, Germany) for “Towards a selective extraction of irones of Iris germanica L. involving green ionic liquids.”

Alternative Solvents The practical application of alternative solvents in odorant extraction was the topic of Aurore Filly’s (Green Extraction Team; Avignon, France) talk. The current requirements to spare energy and take care of the environment invite the industry to question the use of conventional solvents (hexane and its derivatives, ethanol, etc.), she said. The management of these solvents is delicate—for instance, hexane is classified CMR 3a—as they remain in vegetal residues once the extraction process is finished. The purpose of Filly and her colleagues’ work has been to find new solvents with properties that can be considered less “toxic” and more “ecological” by using software such as Hansen and COSMO RS. For example, ethyl acetate has been used for the extraction of caraway (Carum carvi) seeds; using this process, carvone contents of the extract were found to be nearly identical to those obtained by classical methods.

A Perfumer on the Value of Naturals

Today, there are fears in the fragrance industry that have been induced by anticipated new regulatory requirements such as the European Commission’s targeting of so-called fragrance allergens; as a result, perfumers work in a disturbing and anxious environment—“the perfumery world is in danger.” This was the milieu described by noted perfumer Jacques Cavallier (Louis Vuitton), who, along with François Demachy (Dior) and Thierry Wasser (Guerlain), is an LVMH internal perfumer. Despite anxieties, said Cavallier, it is necessary not to forget the fundamentals of the creation of perfumes: what really exists between the “claims” and the “material data,” what stands between words and facts, and between claims and acts.


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