Posted by: Anu Prestonia | November 24, 2010

Learn What Makes A Fragrance

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.



  1. Recently I was gifted with wonderful botanicals and body butters from Anu Essentials. I wasn’t familiar with the product prior to receiving it as a gift; however, since that time, I have continued to luxuriate in the softest skin I have ever been in. The body butters are non-greasy and unlike some butters that lie essentially on top of the skin – Anu Essentials body butters absorb into the skin deeply moisturizing seemingly well below the surface. Almost immediately you both feel and see your skin softening. And the most significant delight of all, are the various and sensuous healing scents that the butters come in that are infused with such wonderful natural oils as lavender and peppermint.

    I love layering the butters with the soap and oils – delicious! For me, Anu Essentials have become an essential part of my daily spa treatment. I’ve tried other botanicals and skin care lines; however, Anu Essentials are now my absolute favorite – and it will become yours too – with just one smoothing on. Ahhhhhhhh! Love it!

    Thank you Anu Essentials for your wonderful botanicals and essential oils that are made from natural products and keeps me ever so green!

    • Thank you Zakiyyah, It’s great to know there are others who enjoy our butters as much as I do.

  2. I hope there really IS a movement towards naturals although I’m wondering how the industry is going to develop as more and more natural ingredients are removed from the perfumer’s pallette. As a person who has allergies I share IFRA’s concerns, but I wonder to what degree their concerns are truly health-related (and weather those health risks are severe enough to merit the restrictions), or if their real motive is to insure that perfumer’s are forced into buying the synthetic ingredients manufactured by the big houses.

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