IFF turns to food for fragrance inspiration

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flavor Iff

IFF is looking to the kitchen for inspiration in the quest to create new and original fragrances.

The fragrance and flavor firm held a press day at its Creative Center in Neuilly, France, to explore how culinary tastes and trends are influencing fragrance creation.

Taste and smell are closely intertwined so IFF decided to look for new fine fragrances by bringing the flavor and fragrance sides of its business closer together.

“Perfumers and chefs use similar ingredients and a similar vocabulary,”​ said Judith Gross, the global director of fragrance innovation at IFF. “Both create with the goal of arousing the senses to new and unexpected emotions.”

Perfumers and chefs both look for inspiration in the world around them and attempt to create something that is at once original and in tune with our lives.

Reflecting on the role of the creator, Hervé This, physical chemist at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, said: He must be able to create something new but above all he must only bring a touch of novelty in order for the table companions to recognize what they eat.

“It is the eternal balance between the old - boring - and the new - unknown.”

Searching for inspiration in our food is one way that perfumers can achieve this balance creating something new that resonates with our experiences.

As a creator of food and fragrance ingredients, IFF is well placed to identify flavor trends and then translate them into new fragrances.

The first step for perfumers on the road to creating flavor-inspired fragrances is to study the latest culinary trends. The IFF presentation fleshed out the latest trends in food that will feed the creative forces in the fragrance division.

The company broke down the trend landscape into three broad headings and their composite parts:

  • Feel good: comforting, good for the soul, guilt-free indulgence, sustainable, farm to table, artisan / hand crafted, whimsical and fun with food.
  • Culinary tourism: traveling, new cultures, new experiences, far-flung locations, unusual ingredients, unique, memorable and gastronomy.
  • Fusion: discordant flavors, artful combinations, familiar & unfamiliar, sensorial cues, warming & cooling, layered textures, blurring boundaries and cross-culture.

The next step for IFF is to ‘trendslate’ the appeal of cutting edge flavors into fashionable fragrances. How to turn edible sensations into thrilling new fragrances is the technical challenge that the company is now stepping up to face.

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