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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    As we all know, all mainstream scents are usually being commissioned by fragrance brands to perfumers working for flavour & fragrances giants, such as Givaudan, IFF, Symrise, Firmenich, etc.

    Now, all these companies must have their own patented aromachemicals, derived from their own R&D.

    My question is: would it be possible for a perfumer who works for, let say, Givaudan, have access to certain Givaudan in-house developed aromachemicals, whereas a collegue at the competitor would not have? What would this mean for the overall palette of a perfumer given a certain price per unit volume?

    Food for thought.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 8th March 2009 at 10:19 PM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Yes - you're talking about "captives" molecules, and some of those Big Company perfumers may take advantage of those if it's right and only because their competitors will not have access to it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    I wonder if we can compile a mini-list of:

    'patented molecule - company - perfumer - used in fragrance...'

    Would make things more tangible.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 8th March 2009 at 11:13 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    I wonder if we can compile a mini-list of:

    'patented molecule - company - perfumer - used in fragrance...'

    Would make things more tangible.
    I would imagine that some of these are kept fairly secret - or at least for a while, depending upon a variety of factors influencing the advantages of doing so. So far, I've only run into two in my research of components. In both cases, there was some information intentionally released about the component, but little about what it was or how to use it.

    The first was the macrocyclic musk Cosmone. This ingredient was, a while back, not listed as purchasable, though it is open for inquiries now (i.e., the above link did not exist). It appeared in an annual report, and in the marketing for Givenchy Pi Neo.

    Incidentally, I'd love to know the perfumer behind Pi Neo. I know that this fragrance gets little love here, but I find the combination of aquatic, woody, musky, and vanilla to be an amazingly well-balanced mix of themes - and one that is surprisingly good.

    The second is the cooling chemical Arctical, used in Porche Design: The Essence, and which was claimed as a trademark, but the structure of which was not revealed. I found the linked safety info, but that's as close as I could come to finding out what it was. For all I know it could be menthol - though I doubt it. Of course, calling menthol something else and then keeping it a secret could be smart.

    I think you've posed an interesting question. I would presume that it's smart to let an aromachemical buy your in-house perfumers as much advantage as possible, until the economics shifts away from profiting on the novelty, to profiting on the monopoly.
    * * * *

  5. #5

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Good find, RP!

    I was reading through some of Chandler Burr's older work (I'm a fan of Burr, he writes well and he manages to seamlessly meld the artistic and technological aspects of perfumery - because hey, it's all organic chemistry) and found this review of Paco Rabanne Black XS:

    Black XS | Paco Rabanne

    With this scent Olivier Cresp, who was already fast becoming one of Firmenich's Most Valuable Players, hits Michael Jordan status. This is a Puig product—Puig, the Spanish licensor—and Puig, which has been so expert at creating a feminine collection for Carolina Herrera that is a trifecta, at once elegant, refined, and contemporary, has managed this project beautifully. Black XS uses two terrific Firmenich captive synthetic molecules. The first is Norlimbanol (1-(2,2,6-trimethyl-cyclohexyl)-3-hexanol), which by itself is one of the most amazing scents around, a genius molecule that should be worth its weight in gold; Norlimbanol gives you, quite simply, the smell of extreme dryness, absolute desiccation, and if when you smell it, you'll understand that instantly—the molecule is, by itself, a multi-sensory Disney ride. The other is Z11, a lovely dry wood scent, and then there's a little Muscenone, an extremely expensive synthetic that is almost indescribable. Cresp says the idea was electrical current, and it has produced something beautifully different, unplaceable, and instantly mesmerizing, as if an experimental rock album were both authentically innovative and yet compulsively listenable. Smelling this is like diving into a pool of summer cloud in a blossoming lemon grove. It is so blissfully free of hairy-chested machismo, sports car attitude, and urban slickness that the result would be shocking if the scent didn't embrace you like a friendly judo champion. In the end, the sensation is sweet and simple as can be: Wearing Black XS feels like being liked by nice, cool people.

    www.blackxs.com

    http://www.chandlerburr.com/newsite/...meprevious.php
    I just love it how technology can create something pleasing for the nose, not made by nature. I wonder if fine perfumers of a certain company can re-use a patented molecule in such regard that it becomes their signature scent, only to be shared with other fine perfumers from the same company.
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    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Very, very, cool. Thanks for that one. I'm definitely going to sample Black XS now.

    Yes - synthetics may seem scary to some people, but I see them almost like the aroma chemicals of other worlds. Who knows? Maybe the trees of other planets emit one or more of the norlimabanols. And maybe it works both ways. Perhaps someone from that planet would pick up Kouros, sniff it, and think it just a weak floral, or an aquatic.

    Burr does get great stuff. But not only that - he really puts it in context. He's one of the biggest attractions of the fragrance world, IMO.

    I agree - finding (and marketing) a particularly versatile captive aromachemical as a signature molecule for a house would be an amazingly good idea. Makes me wonder if "house accords" out there ever use such a component now.
    * * * *

  7. #7

    Thumbs up Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Perhaps someone from that planet would pick up Kouros, sniff it, and think it just a weak floral, or an aquatic.
    Yes, yes!! An undiscovered, remote, forbidding planet with seas of urine and islands made out of urinal cakes!

    It is possible, people!!

    But you're right: what is a synthetic on earth, might very well be a natural molecule on another planet.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 10th March 2009 at 12:40 AM.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    The US Patent Office is your friend...
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Oh and, RP, you're a fan of Pi Neo, have you seen its website?

    http://www.parfumsgivenchy.com/pineo/index_EN.html

    If you look at Time - The Fragrance, you can actually see the pyramid displaying a natural and a synthetic note for the top- , mid- and basenotes. The synthetic part is described with Givaudan's own captive molecule names, giving some kind of high-tech vibe to the marketing of Givenchy Pi Neo.

    It's a fact then, that this fragrance could not have been made like this, if the brief was given to someone from IFF or Firmenich.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 10th March 2009 at 02:50 AM.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    Oh and, RP, you're a fan of Pi Neo, have you seen its website?

    http://www.parfumsgivenchy.com/pineo/index_EN.html

    If you look at Time - The Fragrance, you can actually see the pyramid displaying a natural and a synthetic note for the top- , mid- and basenotes. The synthetic part is described with Givaudan's own captive molecule names, giving some kind of high-tech vibe to the marketing of Givenchy Pi Neo.

    It's a fact then, that this fragrance could not have been made like this, if the brief was given to someone from IFF or Firmenich.
    The thing is Givenchy probably had thought about using a marketing scheme like that from the get go. This whole "captive" marketing game is a crowd pleaser. IFF and Firmenich could easily do the same by purposefully (or just naturally) inject a few captives inside to "answer" the brief.

    If I am not mistaken, Cosmone is no longer a captive .

  11. #11

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    The thing is Givenchy probably had thought about using a marketing scheme like that from the get go. This whole "captive" marketing game is a crowd pleaser. IFF and Firmenich could easily do the same by purposefully (or just naturally) inject a few captives inside to "answer" the brief.

    If I am not mistaken, Cosmone is no longer a captive .
    Of course in this case it's marketing.

    But this specific scent, that Pi Neo now is, could not have been made by any other perfumer not working for Givaudan, given one or more of the molecules mentioned are captives.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 10th March 2009 at 10:55 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    The thing is Givenchy probably had thought about using a marketing scheme like that from the get go. This whole "captive" marketing game is a crowd pleaser. IFF and Firmenich could easily do the same by purposefully (or just naturally) inject a few captives inside to "answer" the brief.

    If I am not mistaken, Cosmone is no longer a captive .
    Good grief, Alex, that's a really interesting view of things. Captives are almost like early release limited editions of molecules. "Hurry! Buy them now! Before somebody else does!" So the other guys say the same thing: "No, buy OUR limited editions!"

    Molecules - get 'em while they're hot!

    Which would make it very interesting to speculate which captives might have been offered as alternatives. I'm wondering if there are enough of them that you could keep the basic profile of a scent in multiple briefs, or if the choices are few enough that picking a brief based on the number or desirability of the captives would strongly influence the nature of the scent itself..

    I agree that the patent office is a great place to look - the question is, which ones are at what stage of development? For instance Cosmone - what happened to its siblings? There were some other similar musks in that patent, each one a bit different. Was Cosmone the pick of the litter, or are there more to come? I'm wondering what are the outward signs of the rise of a molecule from anonymous patented substance to marketable presence. Are there tip-offs or test balloons within the industry, or perhaps even in the public domain, that show this?
    * * * *

  13. #13

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    I think most companies only bother to patent new molecules when they have shown to have immediate potental use in perfumery. By looking at a few patents it doesn't seem that it takes too long for a molecule to go from being patented to being used in blends, 12-18 months from what I can see.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    I bet that the IFF has as many perfumers as patent lawyers.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    Of course in this case it's marketing.

    But this specific scent, that Pi Neo now is, could not have been made by any other perfumer not working for Givaudan, given one or more of the molecules mentioned are captives.
    But what I'm trying to say that they probably had the pyramids all figured out with (insert captive name here). It didn't have to be Givaudan, it could have been Firmenich or IFF in the sense that Givenchy would have used a different captive. I'm just guessing, but I wouldn't be surprised if that had happened.

  16. #16

    Smile Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    But what I'm trying to say that they probably had the pyramids all figured out with (insert captive name here). It didn't have to be Givaudan, it could have been Firmenich or IFF in the sense that Givenchy would have used a different captive. I'm just guessing, but I wouldn't be surprised if that had happened.
    I know and concur, we're saying the same.

    But, what I meant was, that this specific smell (as it is now, in the stores) of Pi Neo would have been different if IFF or Firmenich won the brief, even if it were the same perfumer working on it! The marketing would indeed have been exactly the same when IFF or Firmenich would have won the brief, probably the captives replaced by IFF's or Firmenich's captives.

    But by doing so, you wouldn't have gotten the current Pi Neo.

    And that's more or less the food for thought in this thread, that by giving the brief to a certain perfumer, you give access to certain molecules to your scent, while excluding others.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 10th March 2009 at 04:40 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Interesting ideas, people. I guess that there can be a lot of variability in the specificity of the brief, isn't that correct, Alex? It seems to me that if one had a very specific effect desired in the brief, a perfumer might be lucky to have the "perfect" captive available, whereas somebody else might have to work harder. I don't know that - just guessing. Which brings me to a question for Alex - just how difficult is it for a perfumer to get specific effects without the use of certain particular aromachemicals? Burr noted that JCE did Mousson without calone, if I recall his review correctly (don't remember if he was impressed or perplexed). But I'm wondering if it's easy to work around the absence of certain aromachemicals, for example if one simply wants to get close, or (alternatively) if individual chemicals are hypercritical to certain effects, and working around them is a huge complication. I tend to think the latter, but maybe I'm wrong, or maybe it depends on the olfactory problem, and it varies.
    * * * *

  18. #18

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Another current captive is Paradisone from Firmenich. It is an optically pure, pure cis form of Hedione.

    http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scenteds...y_from_42.html
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    The first was the macrocyclic musk Cosmone. This ingredient was, a while back, not listed as purchasable, though it is open for inquiries now (i.e., the above link did not exist). It appeared in an annual report, and in the marketing for Givenchy Pi Neo.
    Thanks, I hadn't noticed this addition to the Givaudan catalog. I see that it is an analog of Muscenone (Firmenich) different only in having one less carbon in the ring. I consider Muscenone to be one of the finest macrocyclic ketone musks. I see that a distributor lists Cosmone at about 2/3 the price of Muscenone ($600/kg for Cosmone vs. $900/kg for Muscenone).

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that there is also a captive, optically pure version of Muscenone.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Do perfumers have their 'own' patented synthetic aromachemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcampen View Post
    Another current captive is Paradisone from Firmenich. It is an optically pure, pure cis form of Hedione.

    http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scenteds...y_from_42.html
    This sounds like amazing stuff!
    * * * *

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