Valérie de la Peschardière

Premium Beauty News - Can you tell us about today’s consumer expectations for fine perfumery?

Valérie de la Peschardière - Consumers still look for perfumes that make them dream, but they also want them to be safe for health and skin. Our consumer studies show that since the Covid-19 crisis, expectations have been evolving even faster: they are mainly related to what is good for health and the environment, and to naturalness in its broad sense.

In addition, in France, health and skin protection gained 6 points, naturalness 9 points, and environmental protection, 7 points, while in the US, the first two expectations rose by 6 points. It should also be said that the cosmetics market transformed itself ten years ago!

Premium Beauty News - What is an ecoresponsible perfume?

Valérie de la Peschardière - It is a perfume whose formula contains eco-friendly ingredients, i.e. ingredients with a low environmental impact. As for natural ingredients, the objective is to improve farming practices in the countries of origin, and minimize the different steps and transport, by transforming raw materials locally, wherever possible. And as for synthetic ingredients, the idea is to apply green chemistry principles and go for biotechnologies!

Premium Beauty News - How can natural perfumes become innovative and responsible?

Valérie de la Peschardière - First, companies need to work on the plants they use - they should innovate with the fresh material locally, in the country of origin. We have also designed new extraction methods with a lower environmental impact, like flash distillation: we reduced the processing time from 24 hours to 20 minutes for a real innovative olfactory outcome and a much better carbon footprint. Besides, the spices obtained with flash distillation unveil all their freshness. In India, Givaudan designed ginger, turmeric and lemongrass: these products were co-developed with our partner Synthite. We also created a new Sambac jasmine absolute with them.

Lastly, thanks to upcycling, we use either waste from other industries, including timber and juices, or our own residues. It is a technical feat which involves capturing the remaining micro-essential oils in their natural state. It is a very encouraging avenue for responsible perfumes with no environmental impact.

Premium Beauty News - Do you have any examples of perfume brands?

Valérie de la Peschardière - I am trash by État Libre d’Orange was an upcycling pioneer. Perfumer Marc-Antoine Barrois went even farther with Ganymede: he removed all preservatives.

In the same vein, Thierry Mugler’s Angel Nova contains a highly natural Damask rose whose double extraction combines standard distillation and upcyling. This rose was developed solely for Thierry Mugler. Designed by Sonia Constant, Louise Turner and Quentin Bisch, this fragrance also features our akigalawood derived from biotechnologies. Here, Mugler emphasizes the use of upcycling-derived products - a first for a luxury perfume brand.

Premium Beauty News - What is the role of products derived from biotechnologies in eco-responsible perfumery?

Valérie de la Peschardière - These processes make it possible to create new responsible molecules, while preserving natural resources. Indeed, it is all based on an enzymatic reaction: the new odorous molecules are generated with very little material and require little energy. In the end, we obtain a biodegradable product with a low carbon footprint. For example, our Ambrofix is obtained using 100 times less natural resources. And it is a real olfactory wonder!

Premium Beauty News - How is it possible to create new synthetic molecules, while preserving the environment?

Valérie de la Peschardière - Thanks to our Five Carbon Path vision, all our new molecules are derived from renewable sources, transformed in accordance with green chemistry principles, and biodegradable. Since carbon atoms play a key role in perfume manufacturing, Givaudan set up a programme structured around five principles: increase the use of renewable materials, optimization of synthetic processes to decrease the carbon footprint, biodegradability of final molecules, increased “odour per carbon ratio” with materials with a strong olfactory impact, and optimisation of recycling and upcycling processes.

Premium Beauty News - What remains to be done to enhance perfume plant cultures?

Valérie de la Peschardière - For more than 15 years, many programmes have been implemented to support the whole chain and improve practices. Much progress has been made as regards iconic materials: patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, sandalwood, benzoin… We keep supporting the communities involved in the production of these natural materials, and we go further and further every year.

This is why we settled in Madagascar to produce vanilla and clove. This year, we helped replant black pepper, which had disappeared for many years. To help farmers in these natural industries, Givaudan teaches good farming and agronomic practices. We develop ad hoc programmes, in particular to fight soil erosion in Haiti to save vetiver, or to promote soil regeneration in Indonesia and reforestation in Madagascar, where we planted over 500,000 trees to protect biodiversity… All this is possible thanks to our agronomic expertise, which directly comes from recent acquisitions, like Naturex.