Recently I attended an event here in New York City called ‘Learn What Makes A Fragrance’ presented by CEW (cosmetic executive women) and hosted at the very classy, Harmonie Club. I’d never been surrounded by so many women in suits regarding fragrance, there were approximately 300 women in attendance. And it made me realize these women are being paid handsomely for their love of perfumery. These very smart and talented ladies are at the top of their game. I was happy to see them as I’ve always heard that the perfume industry is highly male dominated.
The event consisted of a cocktail hour of light fare with an open bar, followed by a discussion with top perfume designers Calice Becker and Trudi Loren. The discussion was moderated by Jenny B. Fine, Editor of WWD Beauty Biz. The discussion was light and lovely and lasted about a hour including the Q&A portion. During that time Becker and Loren discussed how they came to be in the perfume industry, how they came to work together on a number of perfumes over the years and their love of the industry. Not for nothing, but I felt it was a costly discussion at $110.00 for twenty minutes or so of light and lovely banter.
But truth be told, I did learn something. They both shared the news that the perfume industry, whose foundation is based on synthetics, chemical renditions of naturals (as well as laboratory designed scents) have had an awakening. They are seeing that the consumer is now interested in getting more for their money and that translates into looking for and buying items that are authentic, products made with ingredients from natural sources. With that in mind, the perfume industry has decided to embark on a path to include natural essences in their upcoming perfumes. They’ve taken it a step further and have decided that in order to get the best quality at the best price, they’ve included into their business model the process of working with farmers to help them with efforts towards sustainability and quality harvests.
This is great news because many in the perfume industry claims to use naturals, when in actuality they do not. Many of the ingredients used, besides creating synthetic aromas, also help your perfume to last all day and night and has been linked with many allergies and even carcinogens. Their decision to move towards naturals means less pollution for the planet and better quality of fragrances for all. The new catch word Artisanal, was mentioned, that refers to someone like myself who is an artist/ crafts-person working on the art of natural perfumery. This is where they say the perfume industry is headed, towards the artisanal, as opposed to the big, industrial complex, that the multi-billion dollar, perfume industry currently finds itself in.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how all this unfolds. The perfume industry continues to be one of thee most secretive industries ever and they are not known at all for transparency. On the contrary, secrets and lies regarding ingredients abound. But at least they are finally seeing the light. Hopefully all of us will benefit as the big boys and girls move towards what’s natural.