'A potential differentiator': Croda dives deeper into natural fragrances as Iberchem signs to acquire Parfex

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

The acquisition of French fragrance house Parfex, based in the reputable Grasse region of France, will boost offerings in premium naturals (Getty Images)
The acquisition of French fragrance house Parfex, based in the reputable Grasse region of France, will boost offerings in premium naturals (Getty Images)

Related tags Croda international Fragrance Perfume Naturals acquisition France Grasse sustainable beauty

Croda International-owned Iberchem Group has signed an agreement to acquire French fragrance house Parfex to strengthen sustainable and natural certified offerings and enhance European market presence.

The deal marks Iberchem’s first acquisition since joining Croda International in November 2020​ and further deepens the fragrance portfolio within Croda.

Under the deal, Parfex – established in 1985 and based in Grasse, France – would maintain its independent identity, benefiting from the technical expertise, financial support and international sales networks of Croda International and the Iberchem Group.

Natural raw materials a ‘potential differentiator’ in fragrances

Importantly, Parfex’s location in the reputable perfumery Grasse region of France would see Iberchem and Croda’s fragrance portfolio edge further into naturally sourced ingredients targeted at premium markets.

Ramón Fernández, CEO of Iberchem Group, said the deal was “a cornerstone”​ in the company’s growth plan.

“With its history and abundance of natural raw materials, Grasse is a world-renowned French town which is especially relevant for any fragrance house. Parfex will further enhance our portfolio of sustainable and natural fragrances, serving our ambition to rank among the leaders in this industry,”​ Fernández said.

The acquisition would also see Iberchem secure a new creative centre in Grasse for fine fragrance activities.

Steve Foots, CEO of Croda International, said: “We believe that transitioning to more natural raw materials is a potential differentiator in the fragrance market. Parfex will play an important role in Iberchem’s plans to increase its sustainable fragrance offerings and further enhances our position in the creation of higher-value fine fragrances.”

Last year, Swiss fragrance major Firmenich also gave a firm nod to naturals, renewables and sustainability​ with the acquisition of French plant ingredient specialist Les Dérives Résiniques et Terpéniques (DRT) and the opening of a third perfumery workshop in Grasse. L’Oréal-owned Lancôme also acquired a four-acre organic rose estate in the Grasse region​ that aimed to shift its zero waste ambitions up a gear, providing additional acreage to advance science and development of natural active ingredients for fragrances and skin care.

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Iberchem European fragrance boost, Parfex international acceleration

Back in 2020, 83% of Iberchem’s total sales were made up from emerging markets, with business especially strong in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. So, the deal to acquire Parfex, with its “privileged location” ​in Grasse, would also strengthen Iberchem’s presence in the European fragrance market.

For Parfex, Croda International and Iberchem’s global network would build its brand internationally.

Kurt Tschopp, general manager of Parfex, said the company was pleased to join Croda and become the “premium brand”​ within its “dynamic fragrance division”​ Iberchem.

“Thanks to the numerous synergies between the three companies, we have significant opportunities to accelerate our growth. We’ll focus on our passion to continue to create fragrances with high consumer acceptance, service our customers and reinforce our brand internationally,”​ Tschopp said.

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