Sensorial sophistication

Anais Mirval_of_Euromonitor_discusses_oriental_scents_as_ingredients_in_the_Middle_East_and_AfricaFrom floral to oriental, functional perfumery is seeing an injection of sophistication, while fine fragrances continue to reflect what is being reviewed on the runway.

Anaïs Mirval, analyst on ingredients at Euromonitor International, says that ‘the introduction of oriental scents as ingredients in the Middle East and Africa is emerging as a major trend in home care fragrance’. According to the global research firm, fragrance sectors in the Middle East and Africa will enjoy the strongest growth globally with sales volumes increasing 30 per cent between 2011 and 2016, albeit from a lower base.

She continues, ‘Because the Middle East and Africa have one of the lowest levels of ownership of consumer appliances in the world, hand dishwashing and hand wash detergents are the main categories of interest for fragrance manufacturers operating in home care. Indeed, the importance of these two categories is the key difference between the global fragrance market in household care and the Middle East and Africa.’

In the Middle East and Africa, the predominance of traditional scents reflects consumer expectations. Hand dishwashing fragrances are currently dominated by fresh scents, which will continue to perform well. Floral scents are more important in hand wash detergent fragrances. However, a new trend is emerging which is expected to have a long-term impact.

Mirval explains, ‘Traditional oriental scents are enjoying growing popularity in laundry detergents in the Middle East and Africa. They are an important part of the Middle Eastern and African culture, in particular Oud, sandalwood and incense, as these are associated with many religious rituals. Oriental fragrances are also linked to homely scents as they are traditionally used as welcoming aromas and women use them to perfume their clothes. Growing demand for more sophisticated scents among Middle Eastern and African consumers is creating new opportunities for complex, traditional, oriental scents.’

According to Ronelle Roberts, sales and marketing manager at Claman, a strong trend in sophistication is prevalent in fragrances used in household care products. ‘Fragrances are moving away from a functional platform and are becoming increasingly sensorial, while playing a key role in contributing to the consumer’s home environment and the ambience they wish to create,’ she explains. ‘On the personal care scene, with the temperature rising for summer, fragrance developments need to offer the promise of day-to-day hygiene together with greater sophistication. While we’ve investigated the trends on a recent trip to Robertet Grasse and Paris, special selections are made by Claman which can be localised according to the needs of the South African market.  Through innovation, performance and quality, we endeavour to address our customers’ needs.’

Oud trend

Henkel launched_an_Oud_fragranced_version_of_its_Persil_Liquid_Detergent_for_White_ThobesRecently, Henkel launched an Oud fragranced version of its Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes in the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council. ‘The new product launch was preceded by a consumer survey, when Henkel tested 16 different Oud-based fragrances on consumers. The winning fragrance was preferred by 90 per cent of those surveyed. Although this is just one product launch, according to industry sources, it is very likely to be a success and is expected to inspire more new product launches with oriental scents,’ say Mirval.

Revealing more on the Oud trend, Roberts says ‘Oud is a highly sought after fragrance ingredient, which after rose and jasmine, has become the perfume designers’ holy grail.’

According to, the online encyclopaedia on fragrance raw materials, Oud comes from the resinous heartwood of Aquillaria trees. It is formed when the trees are infected with a parasitic mould, which occurs when the tree is naturally or artificially damaged and is ‘attacked’ by a fungus. As the fungus grows, the tree responds by producing an aromatic, rich dark resin within the heartwood known as Oud. The raw material is most commonly sourced in India, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and New Guinea. The best quality oud is considered to come from India, while the more inferior qualities come from Cambodia and Malaysia. Oud wood and Oud resin continue to be prized raw materials ‘worth more than gold on the market’.

Roberts adds, ‘Although mainly found in the niche fine fragrance market, Oud is making its way into mainstream fragrances with Hugo Boss having recently launched an Oud-based scent, Hugo Boss Damask Oud & homecare.’

spices such_as_cardamom_are_playing_a_role_in_fragrance_trendsFabienne Bourhis, who is a perfumer at Mane South Africa, also notes the influence of middle-eastern notes in male and female fragrances, with the use of spices (such as cardamom, saffron and cumin), Oud and leathery ingredients.

Fine fragrance trends

With fine fragrances reflective of the trends showcased on the fashion runway, Roberts says that ‘spring/summer 2014 fragrance launches are bound to include fruity facets, and strong notes of sweetness’. ‘Fabrics are lighter almost mimicking the swirling of sea foam, with a strong sense of purity and freshness. Some of the popular colours predicted include wisteria, coral, acid green, gerbera daisy, aqua marine and melon,’ she explains.

Prada-CandyIn the past, gourmand fragrances were reserved for a younger audience. Their success can be attributed to the rise of celebrity perfumes, which make good use of the sweet, ethyl maltol-type candied notes. However, according to Roberts, more sophisticated gourmand notes are becoming increasingly appealing to a wider audience. She adds, ‘The notes are often used in combination with unusual selections, like Prada Candy, which is blended with iris to assist in steering the fragrance away from being all out gourmand.’

Red fruits_also_form_part_of_modern_fragrance_trendsAnother trend that shows no sign of slowing down is rose. ‘The rose note is now more modern, fresher and more subtle than it has been in previous years. Bandied about in old perfumes, rose is now seen in a different light and is a lot less opulent. Rose if often combined with woods (patchouli), Oud (particularly for the Middle East, and red fruits like strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant and cherry,’ says Roberts.

Another trend that continues to flourish is the sporty one, inspired by the spirit of the Olympic Games. Bourhis explains, ‘Fragrances developed in line with this trend are fresh yet strong with a recent example being Invictus by Paco Rabane, which is created by Mane. She adds, ‘For women, we’re seeing intense, very feminine floral fragrances with fruity notes (dark fruits are popular) and spicy, oriental accents. A recent fine fragrance created by Mane France is Si by Giorgio Armani.’


Ingredient innovation

Taking the use of exclusive perfumery raw materials to a whole new and extremely creative level, Mane South Africa recently hosted an unusual event using flamboyant cuisine to impart the delicate bouquets of some of its fragrances. Guests at the event included key personnel from Amka, Revlon and Tigerbrands, to name but a few.

Artfully orchestrated by Olivier Cebe, fragrance Africa director of Mane, and chef Dario D’Angeli, raw materials such as Benzoin Siam, which is an oriental resin derived from the bark of several species of trees in the genus Styrax, and extract of red seaweed from Brittany (which, according to Cebe, costs around R90 000 per kilogramme) were some of the novelties that complemented the menu.

Discussing the relevance, Bourhis explains, ‘Benzoin Siam is evident in The One by Dolce & Gabbana, while the marine, mossy, wooded notes of red seaweed extract tell the tale of an aquatic love story in Mane France’s Sea Rem for Women.’

Another extract that formed part of the menu was pink pepper, which, in its essential oil form, is very popular in the development of high-end fine fragrances, particularly in the top notes of fragrances for both men and women.

The last of the raw materials used in this bold perfumery experiment, was cardamom. This saw Mane South Africa bringing a very trendy Indian flavour to the event, with the aromatic, spicy, eucalyptus notes of the cardamom extract.

In South Africa, Mane is a leader in the manufacturing of mass market EDTs. Internationally, its perfumery division spreads the full scope of the cosmetic industry, from luxurious fine fragrances perfumes to personal care products.

Natural perfumes

Firmly focused on the need for natural and organic fragrance raw materials, over the past few years, Essencia has focused on developing a broad range of natural perfumes, marketed under brand name of TrueScent. This is said to be a series of well-designed, balanced and sophisticated fragrances, which meet the stringent standards of ecological certification guidelines (being Eccocert, BDIH, Natrue and Cosmos).

According to Alfred Musper from Enna Industrial Ingredients, which is the local agent for Essencia, the large list of raw materials from Essencia is 100 per cent natural. He explains, ‘Essencia combines knowledge, expertise and quality with a passion for natural products and perfumes, while offering the best of Swiss natural and creative perfumes with TrueScent. Together with its customers, Essencia ensures the quality of the essential oils and the processes used for extraction, as well as tests finished products, pure and in application, for stability and compatibility. The company also ensures conformity to IFRA regulations and delivers perfumes fully tested and 100 per cent certifiable according to the standards set out by major eco-labels.’

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