Givaudan homes in on fragrance research

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Odor, Olfaction, Givaudan

Having announced strong results for its fragrance division,
Givaudan says a focus on natural fragrances and research work that
centres on the activation process of fragrances should serve to
boost the company's position.

That research saw the launch of two new biodegradable molecules that wereintroduced to the perfumers' palette. The first is Tanaisone, a powerful herbaceous tinged with fruitiness andPepperwood, a fresh smellingmolecule with a spicy-peppery top note.

Now the Swiss company is hoping that further research will help to produce a number of new fragrances launches that are equally as advanced as these biodegradable molecules.

The sense of smell is a complex process, which has taken years of painstaking research for scientists to fathom out. The most advanced research has centred around the olfactory process, which is the means by which our sense of smell identifies different odours.

The olfactory process was identified in 1991 and the research work behind it garnered a Nobel Prize in 2004, but in recent years Givaudan has been delving further into the process, discovering it is even more complex than first thought.

The company's research team has discovered that a group of nasal enzymes ischemically modifying the incoming odorants constantly, which means that odours of specific compounds can be constantly reinterpreted.

Although this process is often intuitively incorporated into fragrances, Givaudan says that it is now striving to hone its knowledge of receptors and enzymes.

The company says it aims to do this by tapping into its expertise in chemical synthesis, with the goal of developing novel fragrance molecules such as the two biodegradables it launched this year.

Called the ScentTrekprogramme, the research is focusing on the project 'TheScent of the Vanishing Flora', which the company says is an importantnumber of fragrance samples of very rare andendangered plants that have been collected at theBotanical Gardens of Munich, Zurich andSt. Gallen in Switzerland.

As part of this programme, the company says that it is organising an expedition to the HawaiianIslands this autumn, which it is hoped will throw some more light on some on the fragrances given off by a number of rare compounds.

Ulitmatley the company says it is hoping that the importance of these activitieswill be underlined by increased customer requeststhat will include reconstitutions sourced from the ScentTrek.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Fragrance

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