Fragrance Notes Issue 1, 2019 - Page 11

RAFAEL TRUJILLO, MIGUEL, AND TRACEY LONG OF P&G AT THE 2018 CAPITOL HILL PERFUMERY EVENT his or her hair. When you hug a stranger, you don’t do that—because you’re not bonding with that stranger the way you are with your child, your partner, your friends, and part of that bonding is smelling them.” So even if we don’t realize it, scent is everywhere and we’re continuously smelling. Miguel is passionate about sharing these stories, especially in the face of in- creasing fear and misconceptions about fragrance and fragrance safety. “Over time, well-meaning individuals and groups have claimed a narrative about fragrance— often urging consumers to avoid scents because scents are ‘bad’—particularly if they include complicated chemical names,” he says. “The biggest misconception that consumers have about fragrance is that a compli- cated chemical name means that it’s bad for you. This simply is not true.” “Another example that I always give people, is: Imagine dihydrogen oxide,” he says. “This is a substance that is proven to be one of the strongest materials in the world. It oxidizes iron until it destroys it. In sufficient quantities, it can kill you. It can wipe out a town in sufficient quantities. People should be terrified of dihydrogen oxide. Well, dihydrogen oxide is water. Just plain water. But that’s the chemical name of plain water… Everything we eat, everything we breathe, everything we touch has a long, compli- cated chemical name. Everything,” he adds. “So we need to help the general public understand what these ingredients really are and the role fragrance plays in our lives.” Given this, he’s encouraged by and engaged in Fragrance Creators’ recent efforts to better inform and tell the story of fragrance, particularly through two key efforts, The Fragrance Conservatory and the FEATURE Importance and Benefits of Fragrance Initiative. Being developed for launch in late 2019, The Fra- grance Conservatory is a consumer-focused website aimed at providing credible and engaging informa- tion about fragrance—fragrance ingredients, safety, sustainability, perfumery—in an open and inviting learning environment. Emphasizing high design value, the site will help bring fragrance to life for all people. “There is no better time to bring this to the public,” says Miguel. “The Fragrance Conservatory will allow you to put, in plain terms that consumers can under- stand, what all these fragrance ingredients are,” how they’re used and regulated, where they are found in nature, what they smell like, and more. “The associa- tion’s push for transparency, in clear terms using a uni- form and unified language and approach, is critical.” Similarly, he’s encouraged to see Fragrance Cre- ators making progress in uncovering and highlighting the benefits of perfumery and fragrance as part of its new expanded program and dedicated committee, the Importance and Benefits of Fragrance Committee (IBFC). In addition to compiling a reservoir of sound science-based information that can be used to develop communications collateral, experts in the group are also looking into possible new areas of research in the area of scent and odor. “We have to be able to show why fragrances are actually needed for consumers,” he says, “how they can help society—for example, fragrance drives malodor technology that promotes public health… We as an industry need to work togeth- er to address this.” MAXIMIZING PERFUME’S POTENTIAL “My theory is, we’re ripe for somebody to show up with innovation and to shake up the industry completely.” The need for innovation, unity, and leadership are common themes for Miguel when he reflects on the current state of the industry. In his session “The Four Biggest Threats to the Perfume Industry,” delivered at the 2018 World Perfumery Congress, held June 4-7, in Nice, France, Miguel outlined the ways in which he advises the industry to acknowledge and overcome its biggest internal and external threats in order to survive. “To me, innovation is the lifeblood of a company,” he says. “It is the lifeblood of what I do. My job is to create the future, so we’re always innovating. But when I look at the fragrance industry, the fact is, our industry has been consumed for the past 300 years with making perfumes that people like—the same way, with the same approach.” He believes that’s a good thing—it’s what has built this industry—giving people what they like. “But for me, what’s missing is the innovation. Most of the innovation goes into creat- ing new molecules and new ways to create perfume. That’s it. There’s no innovation about the benefits of Issue 1, 2019 | FRAGRANCENOTES.ORG | 11