A New Crop: the Ingredients of Innovation

These are challenges many in the fragrance industry are facing, and Mane’s emerging strategy combines its 137-year pedigree as a naturals supplier with contemporary concepts such as sustainability. In a series of conversations, Celine Roche (vice president specialty ingredients, Americas) repeatedly emphasizes ecology, social responsibility and fair trade. Seeking “a new context for the division,” Mane has refocused its energy on the materials developed out of its headquarters in Bar-sur-Loup, France.

Reinterpreting Classics, Developing New Raw Materials

“If we talk about creativity, the raw materials come first,” says Jacques. “What you create will be impacted by the quality of the materials.” In addition, he explains, the only way to protect a fragrance is to look for new ingredients. Since there are no international laws protecting fragrance formulas, sourcing new naturals and developing new chemical research is key. 

“It is so great to rediscover classics,” says Roche, discussing the company’s range of lavender, orris and vanilla absolutes. While the company is producing traditional materials such as patchouli, today’s products are the result of contemporary extraction technologies that reinvent naturals for modern perfumery, capturing only those facets that perfumers desire. In the case of patchouli, Jacques says, this means removing the “camphoraceous top.” In addition to erasing undesirable notes, Roche says, molecular distillation allows for the removal of unwanted color. 

The company has also developed a number of new materials via molecular distillation, including a vetiver absolute, which has a cucumber note. In addition, Mane has used its technological twist on tradition to produce a range of CO2 liquid extractions, including fruity and animalic brandy, bitterpowdery coffee, powerful and woody rum, whiskey with wine lees aspects, and French apple brandy, or calvados.

Other topics discussed: Sustainability; The Antibiotic Mentality: Leveraging the Fair Trade Fragrance Frontier in Rwanda and Brazil; The Perfumers; Mane and the Era of the Big Three; Creating a Different Path to Success; Changing the Rules of the Game: Who’s Going to Shoot First?; Culture Clash; What it Means to be “Green”; Being Truly Natural

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