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HomeHome ImprovementFragrance HouseWhat is a Fragrance House, and What does it do?

What is a Fragrance House, and What does it do?

Smells are a significant component of our lives. Be it indoors or outdoors, smells affect how we perceive events, our surroundings and even people. For example, growing up in Sydney, you might associate the smell of the sea with home. The same smell in a car air freshener will remind you of home no matter where you are. Similarly, lavender and jasmine immediately activate thoughts of fresh laundry. However, have you ever wondered where these scents come from and who designs them? Continue reading to learn more about the organisations developing these scents, how they work and how to identify the best fragrance house in Australia.

What is a fragrance house? 

A fragrance house is a company that develops and produces fragrance oils by combining natural and synthetic ingredients. These companies specialise in scientifically blending notes and accords to create the desired scent. Perfumers, adept at chemistry, create fragrances to match personalities, locations and nature, to name a few, using the raw materials as building blocks.

The history of fragrance houses 

Most historians believe that perfume can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The nobles of each era would use fragrances to beautify themselves and for special rituals and ceremonies. In Rome, the fountains often flowed with rosewater, elevating the spirits of passersby. Later on, in France, Louis XIV was known as the “sweetest smelling king of all”, demanding a different fragrance every day. His court became known as ‘la cour parfumée, the perfumed court. 

However, the first instance of what we know as a modern fragrance house appeared in the 19th Century. The invention of synthetic ingredients allowed mass production of scents like never before, and great names like Coty and Guerlain arrived on the scene. However, the likes of Estée Lauder, in the American 1950s, started the trend of wearing perfumes for daily activities rather than special occasions. And from America, this trend spread to the rest of the world, eventually reaching Australia. To this day, established fragrance houses in Australia, such as Mombati, have carried on the traditions of their forefathers and continue to develop fragrances that inspire.

How does a fragrance house in Australia produce a scent? 

Most fragrance houses have an extensive library of thousands of fragrance oils from various Middle Eastern, Asian and European influences. These are off-the-shelf scents used widely in everything from perfumes to laundry detergent and require little experimentation to create. Some fragrance houses, however, also produce bespoke, signature blends catering to specific concepts for various industries, including skincare, candles, accessories, commercial paints, and designer perfume brands. Continue reading to learn more about the fragrance production process.

Identifying the customer’s concept 

The fragrance house begins by analyzing the customer’s concept and intentions. The company must answer questions like what impact the client wants to make? What is the brand’s message, who is it targeting and what is the required production scale? These questions help the fragrance house compile the ideal blend of ingredients, be it a large corporation requiring several thousand kilos of fragrance oil or a handmade candle start-up needing just a few.

Aligning the concept with market trends 

Next, the fragrance house’s marketing team kicks into gear using their knowledge, experience and market insight to refine the customer’s concept (if need be). A fragrance house closely monitors the fragrance and fashion industry, including home design trends, to stay abreast of changing consumer preferences. Some even lead the change by predicting future needs and addressing them with each new project. In either case, the marketing team creates a comprehensive ‘Portfolio’ of fragrances to concisely display all the available paths to the customer’s intentions. This portfolio forms the basis for the evaluator to judge samples created by the technicians.

Checking for regulatory compliances 

As a simultaneous process with production, the perfumer ensures compliance with regulatory authorities for each ingredient. For example, a soap-safe sandalwood fragrance would differ from a candle-ready one. The former would need to be skin safe, while the latter needs to burn more effectively. Furthermore, the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) strictly monitors scents introduced in the country, including imports. Therefore an established fragrance house in Australia will address regulations during the design phase and avoid trouble post-production.

Creating the fragrance 

Bespoke fragrances are tailored to the customer’s needs and, therefore, unique from anything available in the library. This means evaluators must create a new scent while minimizing overlap with pre-existing fragrances. They take insight from the portfolio and brief the perfumer on the concept. The perfumer then carefully selects an accord and customizes it with individual notes for the base, middle, and top. As a rule of thumb, base notes are more robust than top notes.

Fragrance Production and Shipping 

Finally, once the perfumer, evaluator and customer are fully satisfied with the aroma, notes and accord used to make the scent, the fragrance house can begin production. At this stage, the company only has to mix the necessary components and verify that the end product complies with the design.

How to find a good fragrance house in Australia 

Generally, you want to look for a customer-centric team and creative team of perfumery experts with considerable experience in the industry. The older the company, the better it is at keeping up with the times and differentiating itself from the pack. Not to mention that a long history is proof of a fragrance house’s expertise since it shows its dedication to building long-term relationships.

Additionally, look for a fragrance house in Australia that manufactures fragrance oils per the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and International Fragrance Association (IFRA) standards and guidelines.

In conclusion, fragrance houses are the brains and brawn behind the scenes. They design, develop and experiment with various ingredients to manufacture all your favourite scents, whether in the 19th century or 2022. Hopefully, by this point, you will better understand the role they play and how to identify one to work with you. 

Disclaimer: This is a generic Information & post; content about the services can be changed from time to time as per your requirements and contract. To get the latest and updated information, contact us today or visit our website. 

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