2022 fragrance innovation focused on sustainability, digital, smart technology and function beyond fragrance

2020, as COVID-19 took hold, was a year of transformation for many industries around the world, including beauty and personal care. And with the turmoil felt during the pandemic, experts have predicted a new importance and engagement with fragrances, given their ability to connect on a deeper emotional level.

But Mintel said last year there was room for more fragrance innovation, particularly efforts to carve out a place in the broader health and wellness market, with claims of relaxation and the addition of pleasure to daily beauty routines.

So, as the industry settled into 2022, were these opportunities still front and center? And what else was on the horizon for fragrance makers, perfumers and brands looking to drive category growth?

CosmeticsDesign-Europe sat down with a range of fragrance experts at last week’s in-Cosmetics Global show in Paris to find out more. And in this interview, we take a look at the insights of the head of fine fragrance development at CPL Aromas.

Greener fragrances – biotechnology and smart sourcing

Aitana Lopez de Carrion, global head of fine fragrance development at CPL Aromas, said there are four key movements shaping the fragrance category in 2022: sustainability, digital, smarter processing and functionality.

“Number one, and it’s not just in fragrances but globally and across all categories of industries, would be sustainability. Look where we source our ingredients; how we source our ingredients; how we manufacture; how we process, to improve and reduce waste,”she says.

And while there’s a lot to be done at the packaging design level, she said green chemistry and biotechnology were key tools for fragrance developers and brands making progress in sustainability, d especially since the industry was also facing a crisis in raw materials.

“The whole industry is facing a lack of resources on certain ingredients, so it’s a challenge. But then it will become an asset in a way (…) Perfumers have to be more creative to replace these ingredients.

CPL Aromas, for example, was currently working on technologies that captured the scent of a blooming flower to recreate it in the lab without having to crop the plant. “We are working a lot in this direction for two reasons: one is sustainability and the other is to have the real smell of things, because when you treat [a flower]it will lose some molecules, so it will smell different.

A scent with a purpose – boosting mood, joy and experiences

But beyond that, Carrion said demands were growing for fragrance and fragrance developers to come up with formulas that went beyond just smelling nice, instead creating blends that delivered experiences and benefits. for mood to consumers.

“Because of the situation we have [with COVID-19], we have been craving experiences now that the world is opening up, and we are looking for that joy, those experiences, to enjoy life. And luckily, fragrances have always been that emotional trigger, so now is the best time as a trend to use fragrances with purpose.

It was no longer about creating fragrances for their perfume, she said, but about developing formulas with additional functions – whether it was creating moods, feeling better, feeling relaxed or feeling more joyful. . Perfumes with “mood-enhancing properties”was a very big trend this year for the industry, she said.

“The big, big, big trend is functional scents for ambiance. There will be more neuroscientists involved in fragrances [moving forward] (…) We sell fragrances, and more and more we have to claim more, whether it’s durability, function or whatever; these are claims. It’s not about ‘it must smell good’ but ‘what is the purpose of this perfume in the world?’

Working in a digital space – thinking beyond smell

Creating these mixes, however, was one thing; selling them was another, Carrion said.

The challenge for brands today was to work in an increasingly digital retail space and develop ways to engage consumers without using fragrance. The industry was working on a plethora of methods, she said, including visual designs and triggering other senses to drive engagement, but that remained a major challenge in today’s retail market. beauty products.

Augmented reality (AR) held promise in this space, she said, as did consumer awareness of perfumes and fragrances.

Moving forward, she said it would be important for scent developers and suppliers to work closely with brands on ways to communicate scents beyond smell and better interact with them. consumers.

Donovan B. Sanford