The Fine Fragrance Market

November 9, 2005

New scents this spring encompass a spectrum of possibilities, yet classic fragrances are still the sales leaders

With spring here, a new wave of fragrances has met the shore. Limited editions are available for certain fragrances, while others are here to stay, each bringing a new aspect of life and inspiration to the prestige and mass markets.

“Trends do not exist in this business. That is why we have so many different perfumes,” explained Jean Pierre Subrenat, president of the American Society of Perfumers.

Fragrance sales represented 45% of prestige beauty dollar sales in U.S. department stores in 1999, according to NPD BeautyTrends, Port Washington, NY. Estée Lauder led prestige sales last year with three popular brands, Happy, Pleasures and Beautiful. This year the company is offering two seasonal collections: Pleasures in the Garden, until June, and Honeysuckle Splash, until April. Pleasures in the Garden is a collection of scents for the body and home inspired by key floral notes of peony, lilac and moon lily.

“These three key scents come from the original Pleasures in the Garden fragrance. Estée Lauder wanted to do a spin-off because it was such a good seller,” said Marie Claire Katigbak, spokesperson for Estée Lauder.

Peony blends notes of peony blossoms, citrus, hyacinth, baie rose, muguet, pink rose and sandalwood to create a dewy spring bouquet. Lilac is accented with jasmine, ylang ylang and mimosa to replicate blooming lilacs in the Lilac scent. Moon Lily captures the notes of white gardenia, sparkling citrus and sandalwood. Pleasures in the Garden products are available in a 6.7-oz. body mist ($29.50) as well as candles, lotions and body washes.

Honeysuckle Splash is available until the end of April at Estée Lauder counters. The simple, pure scent of honeysuckle flower mingles with a gentle sunskin accord to evoke a warm feeling of a day in the sun, according to Estée Lauder executives. The fragrance combines honeysuckle flower to capture the carefree days of childhood; orange blossom and neroli, thought to lift spirits and lily-of-the-valley, which was believed in Victorian times to represent a return to happiness, according to the company. Honeysuckle Splash is available in a 1.7-oz. fragrance spray for $25.

Lily Chic, Escada’s eighth consecutive limited edition fragrance in a bright neon-green juice, is this year’s spring/summer fragrance for the Margaretha line. Last year’s spring/summer fragrance was Loving Bouquet.

At the heart of Lily Chic is calla lily, a symbol of purity and the tart and crisp Balinese starfruit. Lemontree wood bark and blond amber surround the base to create a fresh and pure fragrance. The frosted glass bottle imitates light veils blowing in a summer breeze with rumpled fabric. “This scent is perfect for younger to medium-aged women,” said Ludwine Blin, Escada spokesperson.

Lily Chic eau de toilette spray is available three sizes, 1-oz., $38, 1.7-oz., $48 and 3.4-oz., $68, at selected department stores. Ancillary products include a body lotion and shower gel.

A Spring Breeze
Another spring-inspired scent, Caswell-Massey’s Freesia Solid Perfume, captures light floral notes of freesia and soft green accents to create a pure and inviting scent. The outer packaging features yellow, white and purple freesia blossoms with butterflies. The perfume retails in a solid .18-oz. jar for $10 and a 6-oz. body mist pump dispenser for $9.

Grain de Folie, the latest perfume by Parfums Gres debuted this winter. The scent marries top notes of living indian lime, clementine, kumquat and rhubarb with a heart of stephanotis jasmine, white peony, basil flower and gentian. The base notes add sensual elements of tree moss, milky musk, tonka bean and acacia. Literally, Grain de Folie translates as “a little bit crazy.” The scent is packaged in an exotic fruit bowl design. The perfume will be available in a 1.7-oz. eau de toilette spray ($42), 3.4-oz. eau de toilette spray ($62) and a 6.8-oz. perfumed body lotion ($35).

Victoria’s Secret’s new scent Halo, will join its sister scent, Heavenly, in supporting the Victoria’s Se-cret’s Dream Angel lingerie brand. The company is venturing to unknown territory by looking at Dream Angels as an overall fragrance brand with alternatives in-stead of separate launches. Robin Burns, president and chief executive officer of Intimate Brands Inc., said the marketing will boost sales of both Heavenly and Halo.

Halo was introduced April 9 with a limited-time introductory Halo gift set for Mother’s Day. Heavenly and Halo share the same bottle design, but Halo carries a platinum trim instead of Heavenly’s gold trim. Both bottles imitate the curves of a female body, said Victoria’s Secret product manager Tomoko Yamagishi. The Halo fragrance, designed by Firmenich, features tiare flower, freesia, milk flower and fig. Halo’s heart is sandalwood, orchid vanilla and pepper.

The Dream Angels perfumes are available in four eau de parfum spray sizes: .5-oz. for $25, 1-oz. for $35, 2.5-oz. for $45 and 4.2-oz. for $55. Scents are also available in lotion, crème, wash and mist forms. A third scent Divine will be added to the Dream Angel line this fall.

In another stroke of elegance, ST Dupont will launch Signature Pour Homme (for men) and Signature Pour Femme (for women) in May. Known for its luxurious fountain pen, ST Dupont was inspired by poetry and literature when creating these scents. They personify the union of writing and fragrance, retrieving a world forgotten in our memories, according to the company. “It is a style of writing all at once floral, sparkling and woody,” said a spokesperson for ST Dupont.

The container is reminiscent of an inkpot-cum-fragrance and the outer packaging is fashioned in red ultrasuede to imitate an old-fashioned desk blotter. The bottle is rounded for women and cubed for men. Signature Pour Femme fragrance combines top notes of tangerine, tulip, Virginia creeper and nutmeg. The heart consists of magnolia, iris, rose, frangipani, gardenia and orchid with undertones of rosewood, sandalwood, musk, vanilla and amber.

Signature Pour Homme infuses top notes of basil leaf, grapefruit and pepper with a heart of birch, cedarwood and incense. Base notes include amber, cistus and benzoin.

The two Signature fragrances will be introduced exclusively at Neiman Marcus stores in May. Signature Pour Femme is available in a 1.7-oz. parfum spray ($200) and 1.7-oz. ($60) and 3.3-oz. ($85) eau de parfum natural sprays. Other products include body lotion and bath and shower gel. Signature Pour Homme retails in a 3.3-oz. eau de parfum natural spray ($80), 1.7-oz. eau de toilette natural spray ($45), 3.3-oz. eau de toilette natural spray ($65), and an aftershave balm, shower gel and deodorant stick.

Finding Inner Peace
Several new fragrances are said to bring an inner calm and holism to the perfume scene, according to industry executives. A pearl dances within in the luminous round bottle that holds Cacharel’s Noa, which will arrive this spring after its sucessful debut in Europe.

Noa follows in the steps of Ca-charel’s acclaimed Anaïs Anaïs with a fresh blend of white musks, peonies, fresh green overtones and a hint of coffee and coriander. The fragrance speaks to the harmony of the mind, body and soul of every woman, according to the company. Since its Eur-opean launch in 1998, Noa has placed among the top five international fragrances and won The Fragrance Foundation’s FiFi Award for the best women’s fragrance launch in Europe.

“Noa is on the young side and pretty with a bottle shaped like moon glass. The ingredients also brighten up the package,” said Annette Green, president of The Fragrance Foun-dation, New York, NY.

The packaging is modeled after the opening petals of a flower. Noa’s 1.7-oz eau de toilette spray retails for $37.50, a 3.4-oz spray retails for $49.50. In addition, Noa is available in a body lotion and stardust lotion.

Tova.calm is the newest fragrance designed by Tova Borgnine who is well known for the Tova Nights scent which won a Fifi in 1998. The Tova.calm line includes bath products and candles to calm the body, mind and spirit. Tova.calm Personal Veil Spray comes in a brilliant cobalt blue bottle with a copper cap. The scent infuses a heart of sparkling aldehydes, fruity citrus, Amazon lily, white rose, lily of the valley, white peony, white jasmine, violet and ylang ylang. The bouquet is completed with golden amber, cashmere woods, moss clear musk and powder.

The 1.7-oz. veil spray retails for $30. The Tova.calm line also includes a room ambiance spray, sizzling bath tablets, bath oil, bath and shower gel, scented sea glass, incense sticks and holder, massage oil and pillar and votive candles.

The Garden Grows
Coty recently introduced Junipertherapy, the sixth fragrance in its Healing Garden holistic aromatherapy line. Junipertherapy blends natural botanical extracts of juniperberry and geranium, known to boost mental clarity, short-term memory and alertness. The product also contains gingko leaf. Packaged in a peaceful blueberry color, Junipertherapy is available in drugstores and mass merchandisers nationwide.

Junipertherapy clarity cologne spray retails for $2.95 for a .2-oz. bottle and Clarity body mist costs $7.95 for an 8-oz. spray. A Total Focus starter kit containing bath and shower gel, lotion, cologne spray and aroma oil retails for $13.95. The Healing Garden line also includes bath salts, room spray, aroma oil and candles.

Another well-being system, The Body Shop International’s new Ayurveda line, was inspired by the 2,500-year-old Ayurvedic holistic health system in India. According to Body Shop executives, most people are predominantly one of three dosha types (Vatta, Pitta or Kapha) based on aspects of their physical, emotional and mental self. The line was developed during the past two years by Mauroff Athique, director of The College of Ayurveda (UK) and Carroll Dunham, The Body Shop’s former in-house anthropologist who is now based in Nepal.

The Body Shop published A Simple Guide to Ayurveda, authored by Ms. Duham, to accompany the launch of the line on March 20. “Doshas encompasses everything about a person from food preferences to weather; everything that makes up the self,” said Chad Little, spokesperson for The Body Shop, Burlingame, CA.

The Body Shop’s Ayurveda line uses authentic Ayurvedic herbal blends and essential oils from six community trade cooperatives. The line is segmented into the doshas of Vata (air), to relieve stress; Pitta (fire), to change mood and Kapha (earth), to energize.

Vata combines cinnamon, myrrh, ginger, licorice, rose, jasmine, geranium, patchouli, cedarwood, musk and vanilla notes. Pitta encompasses peppermint, eucalyptus, ylang ylang, tonka, oak moss and sandalwood. Kapha includes lemon bergamot, basil, jasmine, rose, sage, cedarwood and amber. The unisex scents are available in 150ml body oil mist for $18 and 150ml pillow spray for $18. A massage gel, incense, body balm, body scrub, herbal tea and herbal supplements are available in each scent to complete the holistic health regime.

A new bath and candle company, Bazaar Des Senteurs recently introduced three perfumes: Hanae, Te En and Loukhoum. The creations are a collaborative effort between husband-and-wife team, Kamel and Keiko Mecheri, respectively, who founded this natural product-based, minimalist company infusing elements from various cultures. The company was nominated for the 1999 Fifi Awards for the best new category with its Bain Parfumé line.

Hanae is a tender fruity-floral scent combining Sicilian mandarin, raspberry, yuzu and delicate white flowers. Te En has a heart of crystalline white florals inspired by the mythical Zen garden, Ryoan Ji, in Kyoto, Japan. Lou-houm infuses candied fruits and flower blossoms from Asia. The simple 3.5-oz. glass bottles with silver caps are available for $38 in Felissimo, Harrods of London, Soolip Bungalow, Louis Boston and Fred Segal. They will soon be available at ibeauty.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstroms and Barneys New York. Six additional prestige fragrances are slated to lauch next fall.


Calling on the Cosmos
One new fragrance would make the late Jeanne Dixon proud. Astrologie, a zodiac-inspired company, launched its Astro-logie perfume line on March 11 and is solely sold online at sites such as Sephora.com.

“There are three fragrances for each person, depending on which area they want to enhance in the three houses of the zodiac—soul, wealth or love,” said Lauri Kibby, chairman and chief executive officer of Astrologie.

The line was created by astrologist Carolina East-wood, who has taken the essence of each zodiac sign and augmented it with scents from other signs. For example, Virgo comes in three separate scents: Virgo’s perfection for love, Cancer’s lush for soul and Scorpio’s charisma for wealth. “The fragrances use other signs to achieve a balance,” explained Ms. Kibby.

Every plant and flower on earth has an astrological sign. These elements combine to make 12 specific scents for women based on aromachology, the study of scent and mood. “In medieval times, astrology was involved with healing, mood work, magic and ritual. It’s never been lost. There are 70 million people in the U.S. who follow astrology today and 12% of Generation Y are avid online users,” said Ms. Kibby.

Each scent is housed in a French frosted vial in various colors with futuristic crystal caps. The fragrances are accompanied by a Fragrance Charting Wheel to determine each sign’s three fragrances. Astrologie is sold in 20ml sprays, three-pack 20ml sprays or a sample 12-pack holding 2.5ml vials.

Paco Rabanne, well known for his 31-year old scent Calandre, has now introduced his latest design, Ultraviolet. This wo-men’s fragrance embodies the Age of Aquarius that began in 1994. It symbolizes a new sensuality, a new intelligence and a new warmth for a world that Mr. Rabanne said is wallowing in wealth but morbid in spirit.

“Ultraviolet has clever packaging and a beautiful fragrance. It is very futuristic and much more clearly defined sexually than other fragrances,” said Ms. Green.
The formula and packaging reflect what Mr. Rabanne calls the new woman—sensuous and intelligent. The purple color and name are derived from the Big Bang when sunlight streamed to the earth to create amino acids, the building blocks of life. The UFO-shaped metal and glass bottle is a tribute to the new millennium and the scent is dispersed by simultaneously pressing the top and bottom parts of the bottle. Ultravio-let’s outer packaging is designed to imagine how these circular bottles would look if they were stacked on top of each other.

Ultraviolet is a spicy floral oriental scent. The top notes include fresh capsicum, a heart of Japanese osmanthus and a base of vanilla and gray amber. The perfume was launched on Oct. 11 in Europe before entering the U.S. in early February through the Dallas division of Dillard Department Stores. Ultraviolet comes in three eau de parfum sizes: 1-oz for $42, 1.7-oz. for $58 and 2.7-oz. for $70. Ancillary products include a bath and shower gel and body lotion.


Nature at Its Best
Quite often, scents are inspired by the simplest forms of fragrance found in nature. The Body Shop’s The Spirit of Moonflower line will launch this May. “When El Niño passed in March of 1998, the Mohave Desert in southeast California was blooming with nocturnal moonflowers,” said Mr. Little. The moonflower fragrance blends top notes of green, linden blossom, freesia, cucumber, moonflower and cyclamen with a heart of white florals and a tropical base of jasmine and lily.

“It marks a return to real fragrance. Like that of its namesake, it is a gentle white floral that is quite beautiful and feminine to wear. It is a comfortable scent that is sensual and at the same time quite sparkling and clean,” said Ann Gottlieb, the Moonflower’s fragrance creator.

The Spirit of Moonflower is available in a 100ml body spray for $10.50, .85-oz. eau de toilette for $14 and 1.7-oz. for $18. In addition there is a shower gel, body lotion, floating candles, a burning oil, an aroma jar, filled candle, tea lights and a tea light holder.

Yves Rocher introduced Ne-blina, inspired by Pico da Néblina, the highest mountain in the Tepuis range of the Amazon rain forest. Neblina captures the essence of rare orchids found on its misty hillsides. The group of researchers who climbed Pico da Néblina used head space technology to capture these essences.

The fragrance incorporates top notes of eriopsis biloba (orange orchid with apricot) and maguireothamnus speciosus (a transparent green jasmine). The heart has notes of sobralia (violet and yellow orchid with white flower) and humid rock. Base notes include herbs, moss, roots and wood. The perfume is a clear bright yellow in flint glass topped by a pointed, speckled white cap, standing on a blue glass bottom that is shaped like a champagne flask. The Spirit of Neblina, in 1.7-oz. eau de toilette, retails for $34 and the Night of Neblina and Dawn of Neblina, .8-oz. eau de parfums, retail for $40 each.


Targeting Generation Y
With a new generation emerging as consumers, perfume companies are changing their ways to cater to this important segment. Generation Y (women ages 15 to 25) is on the rise in the marketplace and is creating a new ground for product introduction. Prestige vendors have renovated products and stores to appeal to younger shoppers and divert their attention away from popular stores such as Bath & Body Works.

Jovan Individuality, by Coty US, was designed to create a fragrance as unique as a fingerprint. Jovan is gearing this line toward women in their teens who crave individuality. It’s all about being different and conveying who you are, according to company executives. Jovan Individuality’s four light essence oils (water, fire, earth and air) blend with individual body chemistry to create inspirational scents.

Water is a cool, clean fragrance colored blue. It combines waterlily, ozone and cyclamen to refresh and exhilarate. Fire is a warm and woody scent incorporating orange citrus, cedar woodflowers and sensuous woods for comfort. Earth combines the dewy essence of freshly cut blue grama grass and the richness of moist earth as a remnant of nature. The last scent, Air, is a cold and invigorating fragrance similar to a breeze with sparkling aldehydes.

The line, available in drug stores, mass merchandisers and at online, is sold in a .25-oz. light oil essence for $8, 1-oz. cologne mist for $12 and light oil essence collection with four .068-oz. vials for $10.

Ralph is Ralph Lauren’s first fragrance to exclusively target Generation Y. Scheduled to be launched next September, the Ralph line uses color to represent fragrance. For example, green stands for apple tree leaves; orange for yellow freesia, Italian mandarin, Japanese loquat and osmanthus; pink for magnolia and linden blossom flower; purple for purple freesia and boronia and blue for musk 2000 and white orris.

A 1.7-oz. eau de toilette spray retails for $37.50 and a 3.4-oz. size retails for $49.50. They are packaged in turquoise boxes with clear truncated bottles, similar to water bottles, with turquoise labels. Other products include bath and shower gel, body lotion, exfoliating body gel, fizzing bath crystals and body spray. The most untraditional product in the line is a feather bracelet that releases fragrance every time it is snapped onto the wrist.

Off the Beaten Path
Private Perfumery, Chicago, produces a series of fragrance and bath and body products for infants, young girls and women under the banner of Brambley Hedge, named for a series of children’s books written by British artist Jill Barklem. This is the first fragrance line to target three generations of women.

“The themes of the stories are about family, togetherness, trust and love. When you stop to think about it, these are universal themes that apply to all age groups,” said Private Perfumery president Victor E. Zast.

Brambley Hedge includes three lines. A collection of products for infants is called Poppy’s Babies. It incorporates a milky and fruity fragrance in a gentle lotion, body wash and shampoo and caressing massaging cream. Buttercup, a line for young girls, blends forest strawberry, banana and meadow blossoms. The Buttercup line includes a 1.5-oz. perfume ($9.99), a .25-oz. purse-sized rollette ($3.99) and an ancillary bubble bath and lotion.

Forget-Me-Not, a floral fragrance, is for women. It has top notes of peony and jasmine and a woody drydown. Forget-Me-Not features a 1.7-oz. eau de toilette for $19.99 and a 4-oz. body mist for $8.99. Other products include body wash, lotion and bath soak. The Brambley Hedge fragrance line is now rolling out to 940 Target stores.

Rekindling Pleasant Memories
Smells often recreate positive memories from the past and some companies are using fragrances to take customers back to a happier time. Demeter Fragrances has successfully recreated familiar and comfortable scents ranging from woods, green and grasses to fruits, foods, vegetables and flowers. The company, well known for its Dirt, Tomato and Grass fragrances, recently introduced Tomato Seeds and Madeleine.

“We want to transport the fragrance’s user to a special place or time,” explained Christopher Brosius, founder of Demeter Fragrances. “Tomato brings me back to my aunt’s vegetable garden where, as a four-year-old, I’d play in the dirt and sniff the vines of her tomato plants.”

Since both founders, Mr. Brosius and Christopher Gable, adore books, the Madeleine scent was inspired by Marcel Proust’s novel: Remembrance of Things Past. In the first chapter he talks about his love for madeleine biscuits, explained Shirley Giovetti, De-meter’s public relations consultant.

A 1-oz. cologne spray retails for $15. Additional products include lotion, massage oil, foaming bath gel, salts, attitude adjustment lotion, bug repellent oil and a virtual gift set.

Demeter Fragrances sells more than 150 single-note fragrances, bath and body products and a new natural bug repellent oil. All of Demeter’s scents are available at Sephora, Fred Segal and Bloomingdales. The fragrances are researched, designed and blended in the classic European tradition, using both botanical and synthetic derivatives.

Developed by smellTHIS, Flagrance is the newest fragrance from another company that creates real life, emotion-provoking smells retrieved from memories. “Have you ever smelled a fragrance that was so good you wanted to eat it? Well that’s what Flagrance is all about,” said James Berard, chief executive officer of smellTHIS, Pleasantville, NY.

Flagrance is an alcohol-free edible formula safe for consumption, offering consumers a multi-sensory experience. It is available in 1-oz. frosted bottles in four flavors: Sugar Cone, Minty Fresh, Peach Iced Tea and Raspberry Jam. Each retails for $15 in Sears, he Bon Ton, Sephora, select Macy’s stores and on several beauty oriented web sites.

Fragrances this spring encompass a variety of senses, including sensual, healing, soul-searching and the familiar. As long as marketers can find new ways to incorporate fragrance into everyday living, the overall market should remain strong.

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