Art Books Events World Perfumery Congress 2016: Sustainability, Virtual Reality, and New Aromachemicals

World Perfumery Congress 2016: Sustainability, Virtual Reality, and New Aromachemicals

06/16/16 11:18:22 (6 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

On Wednesday, June 15th I attended the 2016 World Perfumery Congress (WPC) held at the beautiful Fontainebleu Resort, Miami Beach, Florida. I'm happy to share with you some of the highlights of my WPC experience.

"The World Perfumery Congress (WPC) is the global stage for fragrance creativity, ingredients, technology and business—providing the ideal forum for discussing the industry’s latest issues and breakthroughs. The unique three-day educational and networking forum unites fragrance industry professionals, their suppliers and brand marketers to discuss current and future opportunities." WPC

I started my day at the cafe where I ran into Rodney Hughes of Brooklyn-based Therapeutate Parfums. Rodney and I first met at the Elements showcase in New York City this past February. Rodney was, like me, an interested nose curious to learn what new approaches, paradigms, and products were being presented at this year's congress. Read Jodi's interview with Rodney and his unique approach to all-natural perfumes HERE.

Rodney Hughes of Therapeutate Parfums (USA)

Rodney and I chatted about the conference's main theme, sustainability, and he expressed that this is a concept he is constantly considering as a new niche brand. From understanding the origins of his raw materials to contemplating the possible excess of paper packaging, Rodney is dedicated to an eco-friendly approach.

Joel Esteban (R) and colleague of Ventos (Spain)

Joel Esteban of Ventos introduced me to a range of natural aroma materials from Spain. We focused on two different lavender essential oils - the ancient spike lavender with its camphorous and citric aspects and a more modern oil that offered a cleaner, more vanillic scent profile. When I think "lavender", I don't typically think of Spain. However, Ventos has been producing aroma products since 1916 and lavender has been a large focus of production.

I had the great honor of meeting Julien Firmenich who presented four new aroma materials at this year's congress:

  • Lilyflore - a delicate white floral bouquet
  • Cedarwood Alasks Essential Oil - this was fascinating as the production of the oil utliizes byproducts of cedar harvesting (stumps, remnants, etc) in British Columbia, Canada
  • Honey Signature - a blend of natural honey with synthetic captives
  • Pepper Sichuan SFE - the most surprising of the group, this extract from pepper pods harvested in Southwest China offered sparkling facets of citrus and wood.

Julien Firmenich of Firmenich (France)

After smelling these exciting new aroma materials, the BASF booth provided a novel approach to thinking about flavors and fragrances. BASF encouraged visitors to think more fully about how they experience chemical innovation. As such, Arnd Heissen (pictured below) of Berlin's Ritz Carlton Hotel was on hand to illustrate how he mixes cocktails inspired by some of his favorite perfumes. Utilizing aromatic materials such as rose crystals, cassis juice, jasmine tea and patchouli extract, he presented a Signorina cocktail that was truly delicious; the lingering patchouli on my breath was quite a unique experience.

Jaqueline Reynders of Sensient

I next met Jaqueline Reynders of Sensient, a global company though Jaqueline is located in the Granada, Spain office. Jaqueline is a huge fan of Fragrantica and was excited to chat about the ways industry folks consult the Fragrantica websites.

To further fulfill my lavender addiction, Jaqueline introduced the Granada Collection. Sensient is launching a range of lavender-themed essential oils in their mission to offer clients an array of options. I sniffed Alcaiceria, Bib-Rambla, Alhambra and Generalife, four lavindin variations named for beautiful and historic locations around Granada.

Jennifer Ferring and Arnaud Adrian of Robertet

Jennifer Ferring and Arnaud Adrian of Robertet introduced me to 4 new aroma products, all 100% pure fresh fruit extracts created with Spinning Cone Column technology. I sampled:

  • Cucumber Pure Extract - fresh and realisitic.
  • White Peach S'Pure Extract - a deep, fleshy aroma.
  • Golden Apple S'Pure Extract - my favorite; the caramel facets were delciious.
  • Orange MS Heart Extra - smelled exactly like a fresh sliced orange - rind, juice and all!

As sandalwood is one of my favorite fragrance notes, I made sure to meet the Guptas of FP Aromatics who presented four different sandalwood oils - Australian, African, Pacific and Indian. I was partial to the more traditional Indian sandalwood with its richer profile.

Madhu Gupta and Surendra Mohan Gupta of FP Aromatics (Singapore)

Next, I met Victoria Dentcheva of Triglav-Edelvais, Bulgaria's leading exporter of rose and lavender oils. The Bulgarian rose that I sampled was surprisingly complex; their rose oil is cultivated from Rosa Damascena by water-steam distillation of fresh rose petals and one kilogram of rose oil is generally obtained from 3 to 3.5 tons of petals!

Their lavender oil (steam distillation) had a unique and comforting backnote of chamomile.

Victoria Dentcheva of Triglav-Edelvais Ltd (Bulgaria)

At Givaudan I experienced the most delightful presentation of the show, a virtual reality flight above the lavender fields of Provence! I sat back in a comfortable swivel chair with headset on and enjoyed the 360 degree immersion - whether looking up or down, behind me or straight ahead, I was in constant motion over southwestern France while holding a scented strip (of lavender essential oil) under my nose.


Louis Bonnans and Arvind D'Cunha of Givaudan

After my flight, I sat down with Givaudan perfumer Louis Bonnans and his colleague Arvind D'Cunha to learn how the addition of specific aroma accords subtly change a scent profile. I enjoyed exploring how the fruity Peonile and rosy Javanol combine to create a rich sandalwood effect.

I also enjoyed a similar presentation from perfumer Brian Campbell of International Flavors & Fragrances.

Brian Campbell, Senior Perfumer at IFF

Brian presented three different examples of how specific molecules can subtly affect an otherwise complex composition. We explored three aromas:

  • Lime Leaves - a predominantly citrus top note combining aspects of lime, grapefruit and coriander, together with fresh, leafy green notes.
  • Amber - a uniquely powerful amber-woody molecule.
  • Starfleur 40 - useful in creating fresh green florals, muguet, lily and freesia notes; lemon and mandarin fresh citrus types; and watery transparent notes.

First we experienced the specific molecule by itself; then we sniffed a sample formula without the molecule; and finally we re-experienced the sample formula with the molecule to understand how it impacts a composition.

Sylvain Cara of MG International Fragrance Company (Turkey)

At the end of my day, Sylvain Cara of MG introduced me to a range of new aroma materials, some of which he developed himself. For example, I sniffed an asparagus scent that really did recall the fresh, green, vegetal aroma of steamed asparagus! 

I had a wonderful day sniffing, chatting and exploring, and learned a great deal more about what is involved in the initial creative process of our favorite fragrances. By the time I got home I was convinced I was ready for a career with one of the big companies and started exploring their websites to learn about career opportunities....who knows!?!?




Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen also works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting




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hi Quim, I fixed it ;-)


Dr. Harrison,
The link for Jodi's interview with Rodney doesn't work.


I'd look for a job with those companies, too. Looks like more fun than sitting in an office and typing at the computer all day :-))


How fun to meet the chemicals and composers! Thanks for taking us along through your article.



Marlen, this was the first I have heard of World Perfume Congress. Is it a new expo? Will it be annual? Looks like some exciting stuff happened there.


Your articles and the topics you write about are fascinating. What an interesting experience. Thank you for taking us there in our heads! That Cedarwood Alasks Essential Oil sounds really good.


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