Until now, perfumers had few other solutions than secrecy to protect their creations, which are not covered by intellectual property laws. However, this protection had become quite illusory in front of the growing improvement of analysis technologies, in particular gas chromatography, that make it possible to quickly display the chemical composition of a formula.
Actually, the creation of an original fragrance is a long and meticulous process that requires different skills, a lot of time, and many tests. The process is expensive and counterfeiters - which are quite numerous in the luxury industry - avoid such huge investments by pirating the work of original creators. As a result, perfumes and cosmetics are among the most counterfeited products in the world! At European level, seizures of counterfeit perfumes and cosmetics represent nearly 10 billion euros, almost 10% of the cosmetics market .
A colourless and odourless base
To protect the creative work of their perfumers and the investment of their customers, Symrise initiated in 2018 a program to protect scented formulas by blurring the results of gas chromatography analyses regarding fragrance ingredients.
Developed by Symrise’s R&D team in consultation with their perfumers, this technology is based on an innovative, colourless and odourless universal base, that helps to protect the originality of the perfume in which it is used. It contains a mixture of specific raw materials, with excellent UV resistance and temperature stability, that induce a wide range of interferences during a gas chromatography analysis. By blurring the quantification and identification of certain raw materials contained in the perfume formula, the base makes much more difficult to identically reproduce a specific fragrance.
Already tested in 45 formulas
Finalized in 2019, the Cryptosym technology has already been applied to 45 formulas developed by Symrise for different olfactory families.
Chromatography analyses showed that out of 133 natural and synthetic ingredients tested, the technology induces a variation in the analysis results for 118 of them: 93 being difficult to quantify, 25 being difficult to identify.
In the main, according to Symrise, 40% of tested raw materials were affected by Cryptosym and 29% of them were completely “encrypted” by the technology.
"Cryptosym is a revolution in the sector because until then nothing had yet been developed to protect the intellectual property of the perfumer’s creativity", underlines Aliénor Massenet, senior perfumer at Symrise. "With Cryptosym, copying a perfume is now more difficult, the process is much longer and without any guarantee of finding that little extra that makes all the difference between success and simple reproduction"
To date, Symrise continues researches to collect additional data but already offers the technology as an option to their customers.