In a perfume? That’s obvious. On a reel of paper? Less obvious, actually. In the tire compound? Maybe, this really is a use of fragrances not everyone imagines. There are many things, certainly not for professionals, but for those who approach such diversified universe the first time, to know and learn.
Indeed, the fragrance industry is a complex one by reason of the different sectors it affects, and the number and variety of products which can be – directly and indirectly – affected, but also owing to the usage variables, and finally to the regulation intended to protect the end users.
It is worth mentioning that this is an industry having a generated added value for each full-time employee which exceeds the one of the electronics industry, and it is more than double of that of the construction industry.
By combining the data of the June 2019 research The value of fragrance – A socio-economic contribution study for the global fragrance industry (prepared by PwC for IFRA, The International Fragrance Association), with the data issued on Leffingwell & Associates website, it emerges that the global fragrance market (fragrance compounds + formulation materials and supports) totals between 15 and 16 billion dollars, with fragrance compounds contributing for about 65%.
Fragrances are considered a combination of science and creativity, with investments in R&D which approximately amount to 8% – double the European Union average for large global companies. And with a market resulting into downstream production of consumer goods containing fragrances (23% home care/cleaning products, 68% personal care/cosmetics, and 9% fine fragrances according to IFRA study run in 20 countries, excluding USA and Canada) for an overall value between 750 and 810 billion dollars (about 50 times higher than the one of fragrances alone).
Therefore, it is a creative sector not only in terms of the size of research and development, but also because fragrances can truly be applied anywhere, depending on inventiveness, global trends and communication objectives.
They can be an olfactory support to the success of a brand, or synonymous with trust and recognizability in other cases, they can represent hospitality in a place, or facilitate the usability of a product. In this respect, let’s just think about the cited example of tires: it is possible to utilize flavors in order to make the olfactory impact of the tire compound pleasant. In fact, it seems that lavender, iris, white musk and mint contribute to providing the driver with an improved experience, at maximum safety and road holding. Among other things, the smell of lavender has relaxing effects and makes us feel lighter: who knows if, in the chaotic traffic of our cities, driving style or people’s mood could benefit from it.
A considerable array of scented accessories targeted at cars is as well available, from vanilla scented rubber mats to personalized fragrances: some even reproduce the scent of the new car so to stimulate the feeling of well-being and the production of endorphins similar to those we experience when we buy a car and we drive it for the first time.
Plastic- and bioplastic-scenting (e.g. biodegradable PLA mainly from corn starches) – which occurs through the fragrance direct addition or through the mixing of porous or granulated material in a masterbatch – allows for an infinite number of unexpected applications. Creativity can range from a simple gadget, a bracelet, up to design objects or pieces of furniture: the use of a particular fragrance, or of a skillful blend, represents one of the frontiers of communication.
Communication that is all the more effective if it expresses itself in the form of sensory involvement, if it manages to surprise us with its evocation ability, enveloping us in memory.