Uncover the top secret of perfume companies: internal materials (Captive Materials)

A while ago, I smelled a brand new perfume in a department store, but the scent seems familiar, it seems to be a replica of the previous classic perfume, the scent is good, but without a new creative scent, I can’t help but disappoint and think Fragrances imitate each other.

Indeed, it is not easy to make a taste that is popular with the public and wants to be reused. What is needed is a fashion vision and a lot of luck that will be deployed in advance, in order to attract the right fragrance at the right time. I also understand that fashion clothes, bags, etc. are often borrowed from classic elements to change, but sometimes they are too similar, "imitation" and "classic tribute" are only a line apart.

Why is the current fragrance so easy to imitate? This should be attributed to the development of science. In ancient times, the formula of the fragrance was extremely confidential. As long as the perfumer did not announce the formula, the outside world would never know it; but now, just take a small bottle of perfume and inject it into a machine called "gas chromatography". The raw materials in will be separated and analyzed, and almost all the formulas in the perfume will appear.


As a result, the formula that turns into a perfume is no longer confidential, and it can be easily obtained by others, making the fragrance no longer special. How does a perfume company protect its own products? It depends on "Captive Material".

A perfume company not only has perfumers, but also needs a lot of chemists. Every season chemists will develop a lot of new chemical molecules for perfumers to try. If there is a certain molecule that is particularly easy to use, or if it can make the perfume taste different, it may be included in the list and become an internal raw material that the company does not disclose.


In other words, this ingredient can only be used by perfumers in the company, so even if someone outside can analyze the perfume formula, there will be no such key ingredient in hand, which greatly reduces the possibility of perfume being COPY. .

However, from R&D molecules to real use, there is a very rigorous process, which takes about two to three years. The cost of a molecule’s development and production is about ten million. Also because of the high cost, many aspects must be considered when deciding to use it. Otherwise, after the development, the fragrance will not be enhanced, and the company will lose money.

However, once successful, the company can rely on this element to earn very considerable income.


For example, Givaudan, a major fragrance manufacturer, has developed many internal raw materials that are not available to outsiders over the years, and is listed as the top secret in the company. In addition to perfumers, chemists and senior executives, people in other departments do not smell To the taste of these ingredients. The best example is Neocaspirene, a molecule with a strong fruity fragrance, used by perfumers to make fruity flavors like peach and black currant. When this molecule was first developed, the perfumer helped the body shop design the Dewberry series of shower gel, lotion, fragrance oil...etc., this taste is like today's hi chiffon candy, everyone found this The rich fruity smell that was not on the market was so good that it caused a sensation.

At that time, this series of body shops sold so much that Givaudan decided to turn Neocaspirene into an internal raw material, because other fragrance companies could not produce this taste. All customers who wanted this dewberry flavor can only buy it with them until Today, decades later, this raw material is still not outflow.


In recent years, Givaudan has a new internal raw material Akigalawood, which is fractionated from Guanghuo essential oil, but the fragrance is completely different from Guanghuoxiang, with a very strong grapefruit flavor and a little earthy flavor. The perfumer put this Raw materials are added to Miu Miu's first perfume, and as soon as Miu Miu was launched, it stood out among many perfumes. This kind of smell that has not appeared in previous perfumes has made my eyes shine and I have to admire Givaudan's technology.