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Allergen substances and perfumes: Prodarom is forging ahead

On December 13 was held in Grasse under the aegis of Prodarom and IFRA an important meeting on the theme of allergens in perfumery. The context of this meeting, an opinion issued last July by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) which identified has allergenic a hundred of ingredients entering in the composition of perfumes and cosmetics. The European Commission is currently working on this issue as to determine whether the legislation should be revised or not. The wildest rumours were circulating on the outright ban of certain substances, which as a consequence would call into question the very existence of some world famous perfumes. Conclusions of the meeting in Grasse are given to Premium Beauty News by Philippe Massé, President of Prodarom, who takes the opportunity to present hereafter the strong points of the organization.

Philippe Massé, President of Prodarom

Philippe Massé, President of Prodarom

Premium Beauty News - Finally, what were the conclusions of this summit meeting?

Philippe Massé - The perfume industry met in Grasse to take stock of the progress made by the European Commission on the issue of allergens in fragrance raw materials. Prodarom members and representatives of relevant organizations shared their views and questions with the IFRA (International Fragrance Association) to better understand the possible options that the Commission could take to implement an appropriate and proportionate management of the risk created by allergens while taking into account the specificities of citizens and of the industry. This exchange of views provided the desired clarifications and a perfect understanding on the development of the issue.

Premium Beauty News - An old story that of Prodarom! You are its 27th President!

Philippe Massé - Yes, since it dates back to 1724, with at that time, the creation of what was called “Jurande des gantiers-parfumeurs” (Wardenship of glovemakers & perfumers). It was not until December 22, 1898 that this designation changed to “Trade union of the Perfumers-Distillers of the Alpes-Maritimes region” Nearly fifty years after, in January 17, 1945, the name changes again for “National union of the Manufacturers and Importers of Essential Oils, Aromatic Products, Almond oil and Almond seed oil.” It was only in 1974 that we became “Prodarom, National Association of Fragrance Manufacturers.” And finally in June 21, 2012, “PRODAROM IFRA Member” National Association of Fragrance Manufacturers.

Premium Beauty News - What is the economic influence of Prodarom today?

Philippe Massé - 53 companies are Prodarom members, which represents approximately 75% of the French turnover in the sector on a total turnover estimated to about 760 million in 2011 (including 575 million for raw materials and fragrance compounds). For your information, the turnover of the Perfumes and Flavours industry in France is estimated at 1,400 million euros in 2011. The total workforce (Flavours and Perfumes) is estimated at 6,000 employees.

Premium Beauty News - What are the main activities of your members?

Philippe Massé - They are quite large. They concern mainly the production of extracts from natural aromatic sources (vegetable and animal); the purification of these extracts, the extraction of specific chemicals (isolates) from natural extracts; the modification of the isolates by chemical means (hemi-synthesis); the synthesis of specific aromatic chemical (synthetic) and, of course, in the commercialisation of these different ingredients, or of various combinations of these ingredients (“bases” - “specialities”); without forgetting the creation and commercialisation of “fragrance compounds”, finally of complex mixtures made up of some of the above mentioned different ingredients, to be used as such for various finished products (fine fragrances, cosmetic products, soaps, household cleaning products…).

Premium Beauty News - What are finally your role and mission?

Philippe Massé - Prodarom is a sectoral trade union within the Union of Chemical Industries. It insures for all its members at the national level the representation as well as the defence of interests of this industry with supervisory authorities, that is to say the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Productive Adjustment and the Ministry of Agriculture. But also with the Ministry of Social Affairs and of Health, the Ministry of Labour, employment, vocational training and social dialogue, the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

We represent the profession with numerous organizations, including the UIC (Union of Chemical Industries), the MEDEF (Mouvement des Entreprises de France), the ANSES (National Agency for Sanitary Safety, the merger between the AFSSA and the AFSSET), the MSNA (formerly AFSSAPS, the French Agency for Sanitary Safety of Health Products), without forgetting the FEBEA (French trade association representing cosmetic manufacturers/Regulatory Department) the COSMED (Association of the Cosmetic industry), the AFISE (French association of detergents, and industry maintenance products). Same representation with the Universities, and the ISIPCA for which Prodarom is a Member of the Management Board and a member of the Development Council.

Prodarom is also a member of the PPAM (medicinal aromatic and fragrance plants) Specialized Council of FranceAgriMer (National organization on agricultural and fisheries products), and of the ICIHEF (Interprofessional Committee of French Essential Oil).

Premium Beauty News - You also have a representation at the European and even international level?

Philippe Massé - Absolutely! We defend the profession with community authorities, and, of course, at the international level by means of our representation to the IFRA (International Fragrance Association), which ensures the consistency of professional activities and measures of self-discipline concerning these activities.
I would also like to mention the excellent contacts of Prodarom with the EFEO (European Federation for Essential Oils), which insures the collection and dissemination from and to its members of information from whatever source and whatever nature (legislation, statistics...).

Premium Beauty News - Not to mention your activity at the local level!

Philippe Massé - As part of this local activity, we provide our Members with the representation with Municipal, Departmental, Regional, European, Authorities, that is to say, the elected officials (mayors/MPs/Senators), the Regional Council of the Environment and Technological and Health Hazards (CODERST), occupational medicine, the DREAL (Regional Directorates of the Environment, Land-Use Planning, and Housing), the CCI (Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and the Employers’ Union UPE 06.

Our Committees within Prodarom are the CES (Committee of Social Studies, in charge of the harmonization of the social treatment of employees in this industry), the COTARP (Technical committee of Application of Regulations in Perfumery), whose main role is to encourage companies to take a standpoint concerning perfumery regulations, the CST (Scientific and Technical Committee, which unites analysis specialists, in charge of devising analytical methods for this industry. It plays a major role in the field of French standardization (AFNOR) and international standardization (ISO) of essential oils, and the GT HSE (Hygiene-Health-Environment Working Group), the ASFO (Organisation for Vocational Training, which specializes in the Aromatic field), the GIP (Grasse Institute of Perfumery, a Division of ASFO, is an association originating from Prodarom).

Premium Beauty News - You even have your own training organization!

Philippe Massé - The world of perfumes, aromas and of cosmetics is constantly evolving, both on the technological and regulatory level and in terms of ingredients. For companies in the industry, these mutations result in real challenges to confront every day.

Since 1972, the ASFO-Grasse has set itself the objective to accompany, advise and train all actors of the branch. Because we are convinced that the success of a business is inseparable from the level of competence of its employees. Therefore, the ASFO-Grasse assists companies specialised in fine chemicals at all levels of the forward-looking management cycle of employment and skills:

  • by carrying out studies on employment and qualification (in partnership with the DDTEFP, the PASS cluster),
  • by participating in the recruitment and qualification of future employees in the branch (sandwich courses),
  • by participating in the improvement of knowledge and skills of current employees (continued training, individual training leave),
  • by helping some employees to acquire qualifications or diplomas (educational leave or validation of job experience),
  • by intervening in difficult times to anticipate industrial changes and prepare professional transitions,
  • by participating in the reintegration of jobseekers (in partnership with the pole Employment and the PACA Regional Council),
  • by extending around the world the reputation of Grasse, the capital of perfume, through the International School of Perfumery (Grasse Institute of Perfumery).

Training courses at the GIP aim to develop the basic knowledge required to apprehend the different steps leading to the creation of a perfume, to acquire a knowledge in raw materials and know how to use them wisely, particularly natural materials for which Grasse has long been renowned, to learn the language of perfumers and know how to classify and recognise the main fragrance groups, to discover and know how to create harmonies which are the essence of the art of composition, to learn the subtle art of composition. But other disciplines fundamental to the job of a perfume-creator are also covered. The knowledge of international regulations in perfumes and cosmetics, the mastery of the modern principles of analysis (gas chromatography and mass spectrometry), functional perfumery (shampoos, shower gels, creams...) are also part of the curriculum.

Premium Beauty News - How long does this training lasts, and what is the cost of it?

Philippe Massé - The training of a student will last nine months, from February to June and September to December. It includes 972 hours of training in English given by professionals (perfumers - designers or technicians), interspersed with visits to factories, laboratories and perfume plants growers (jasmine, May rose, lavender, mimosa...). The cost is of 11,900 euros. The number is limited to 12 students, selected for their olfactory talents and creativity. To date 115 students of 27 different nationalities followed the courses with a placement rate of over 90%.

Premium Beauty News - A word on the PASS cluster and the ERINI platform in which Prodarom is involved. What is the situation?

Philippe Massé - You know that the PASS cluster aims to become an international reference centre for the characterization, evaluation and production of natural extracts used in the aromatic and cosmetics industry.

The PASS cluster is based on vertical integration. It is composed of the entire value chain of this industry, historically present throughout the region, from the cultivation of aromatic and perfume plants to the production of aromatic ingredients and their formulation into finished products.

These aromatic ingredients are aimed at four major industrial markets: fine perfumery, cosmetics, detergents and food products.

In addition, the mastery of complex natural substances is an undeniable challenge for the industry. It requires indeed technologies and a scientific expertise of the highest level to meet the needs of characterization, quantification and authentication of extracts.

The ERINI platform was created specifically to meet this need, by the PASS (Parfums Arômes Senteurs, Saveurs) competitiveness cluster, the CNRS, the Nice Sophia Antipolis University and Prodarom.

It is located in Grasse, in the Espace Jacques-Louis Lions, on the emblematic site of the former Roure factory, next to the InnovaGrasse (innovative business incubator) and of the Master Foqual (Formulation Quality Analysis).

The aim of this platform, a public and private research partnership structure, is to become an international laboratory of excellence in the field of characterization of natural extracts, with three major research themes:

  • The study of degradation mechanisms of products from the aromatic industry (i.e. oxidation reactions) and the characterization of markers of aging and / or potentially allergenic-by-products.
  • Identification and quantification of substances in the extracts, to improve on the one hand the development of natural raw materials towards other markets (pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, etc..), and on the other hand, control their quality (research or products or of contamination residues).
  • The authentication of the natural (naturalness) to guarantee the origin and quality of extracts, and thus thwart fraudulent transactions.

Interview by Jean-Yves Bourgeois

© 2012 - Premium Beauty News - www.premiumbeautynews.com
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