Toward healthier perfumes

Perfume makers are moving toward purer ingredients for their products. The main motivations seem to be the opportunity to patent individual odorants and the ability to enhance the allure of their scents. But there are some side benefits, the most important of which is making progress toward perfumes that don’t trigger asthma.

From the New York Times (Ahhh, the Seductive Fragrance of Molecules Under Patent)

Jean Jacques, Takasago perfumer, put Thesaron in Altitude, for example, because it solved three problems: Thesaron has the fruity/rosy note of a very expensive class of molecules called rose ketones, but it costs far less and can be used in unlimited amounts (rose ketones are restricted because they set off allergic reactions at high doses)…

Each year, Givaudan scientists develop over 2,000 new molecules. After scent evaluation, synthesis studies and toxicity testing,”only three or four per year are selected for launch,” Ms. Greene said…

The bulk of I.F.F.’s fundamental research spending goes to new molecules, and I.F.F. supports a large interdisciplinary scientific team…

Each molecule is assessed for potential commercial value and each must pass toxicology tests…

If all this effort leads to asthma-safe perfumes, a lot of people will be relieved.

February 25, 2008

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