Fragrance Revelation for Innovation ‘at the 2022 World Perfumery Congress

For centuries, a multitude of plants have been used to create perfumes, which have been largely forgotten over time. Today, these forgotten perfumery plants represent an intriguing source of innovation in the development of natural raw materials. L’OCCITANE en Provence has collaborated with the Chemistry Institute of Nice, Franceand the International Perfume Museum in Grasse, in an R&D project that not only revives precious historical heritage but offers insights into the link between ingredient sourcing and biodiversity regeneration.

‘As Nature is the largest R&D laboratory on the face of the earth, at L’OCCITANE, we’re like explorers who set off towards unknown lands with boundless enthusiasm, never knowing what we’re going to discover.’ – Pascal Portes

This unique R&D project seeks to rediscover and explore forgotten perfumery plants, and to evaluate the possibility of reintroducing them as present-day ingredients. Hundreds of books were studied, and a variety of experts were interviewed. Data was collected regarding identity, history, symbolism, uses, smell, medicinal properties, and hypotheses as to the reason plants may have been forgotten, and with the information obtained, a database containing more than eight hundred perfumery plants was created. The interest of L’OCCITANE en Provence to respect biodiversity led to a closer look into Hawthorn and Sweet Clover, both identified as forgotten perfumery plantsand each having ecological benefits in terms of biodiversity regeneration.

The Forgotten Plants project was researched and developed by:

P. PORTES, Laboratories M&L, L’OCCITANE Group, AS BOUVILLE, Institut de Chimie de NiceCNRS, Université Côte d’Azur and Laboratoires M&L, JC LHOMMET, Laboratoires M&L, L’OCCITANE Group and X. FERNANDEZ, Institut de Chimie de NiceCNRS, Côte d’Azur University and K. DA FONTE, Institut de Chimie de NiceCNRS, Côte d’Azur University

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