Exploring CPG Trends: How Electronic Lab Notebooks Can Help the Fragrance Industry Thrive

Consumer Packaged Goods, ELN

CPG trends
The fragrance industry is growing and ELNs can help enable firms to better capitalize on this growth.
Image Source: Sergey Venyavsky via Wikimedia Commons.

If you are an individual who has worn the same perfume for years, take note: the fragrance industry is booming and you might be interested in considering some new options. In 2013 alone, 1,432 new perfumes were released compared to ten years earlier when the fragrance industry released only 132 new perfumes. And beyond the release of new products, Global Industry Analysts released a report in 2013 titled “Fragrances and Perfumes: A Global Strategic Business Report,” in which the authors estimated that the market would reach approximately $45.6 billion in 2018, “driven primarily by growth in under-penetrated emerging markets and innovative product launches as well as relatively new growth areas such as men’s fragrance.” Beyond evolving consumer packaged goods (CGP) trends and the growing importance of fragrance among the groups mentioned above, industry magazine Perfumer & Flavorist also expects that the “importance of grooming among teenagers and young adults” will further boost market prospects.

As industry experts know, however, creating new fragrances to satisfy the needs of a diverse clientele is very difficult. As Jean-Pierre Houri, director general of the International Fragrance Association, told The Guardian, “Perfumers need to have a gift of working through trial and error, which requires a lot of patience and passion for the job. It can often take 500 trials to find the perfect note for a fragrance.” Beyond the extravagant, but necessary investment in time, Houri notes, “A project can take anything between six to 12 months if a scent is being created from scratch.” Thus, the fragrance industry requires its technicians, scientists and others to think about the long-term and be able to store information, data, trial notes, etc. in a long-term system as well.

Beyond body fragrances

Interestingly, it is not just body perfume that has been experiencing increased interests. In an article for The New York Times, reporter Joyce Jones describes an interesting scene: “Just off Route 22 here…the aroma of roast beef and pralines and cream wafts through the halls of a building complex. These scenes come not from a kitchen but from a laboratory at the headquarters of the Haarmann & Reimer Corporation, an international flavor and fragrance company.” In today’s world of healthier, low-calorie, sugarless and fat-reduced foods, many companies are challenged to reproduce not just the flavors of what “has been taken out,” but also the smells.

Additionally, BuzzFeed published a popular report in 2013 in which reporter Justine Sharrock discussed the fragrance company, ScentAir, which also has its scientists “recreate and sell the odors […] for use in medical and military simulation training…[and have] found steady business bringing smell to stores, hotels, casinos, bars and restaurants.”

Use ELNs to increase competitiveness and variety in the fragrance industry

Perhaps, like ScentAir, your company would like to go beyond body fragrances and become a member of the “scent marketing” industry or maybe you would simply like to maintain a better inventory of the many trails and permutations a fragrance must take before the perfect scent is realized.

Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) can make this process simpler and more efficient for the following reasons:

  • Storage capacity: As discussed above, companies in the fragrance industry go through many trial tests and hundreds of chemicals. In order to keep track of this information, industry specialists can record different types of data (video, pictures, etc.) and upload it to an ELN for later viewing and quick review. This frees scientists and other collaborators from the burdens of carrying around paper notebooks and ensures that any institutional knowledge gained in the process of creating new fragrances is not lost to time — or on a flammable piece of paper.
  • Search capabilities: We’ve discussed the search capabilities of ELNs in the context of food science; however, being able to quickly and easily find information is equally important in the fragrance industry. Especially given the many different ways data can be recorded (video, image, calibration numbers), it is important to be able to find information quickly in order to make sure deliverables are produced on time and with full quality insurances.
  • Data Sharing: ELNs relieve the tension inherent in making data available to all, but protecting the integrity of that information. By enabling specific users to have access to parts of an ELN (while restricting other components), managers can better control the flow of data while protecting proprietary information.
  • Machine calibration and optimization: As we’ve recently discussed, machine calibration is an important component of ensuring that machines work well and an ELN could be used to ensure that the instrumentation that perform analytical spectra, analyze chemical structures and create chromatograms, are all well calibrated and ready for use. An ELN thus informs workers of when these machines were last calibrated and their value readings in order to ensure the quality of a product and that all regulations are properly followed to prevent product recall.

Exploring CPG trends and moving forward with ELNs

With the constant evolution within many industries, including consumer packaged goods and the fragrance industry, electronic labs notebooks can help improve the workflow and increase efficiency. The fragrance industry requires the coordination of so many disparate parts: there are researchers who synthesize new compounds, others who improve existing compounds, those who isolate essential oils, and others who must interpret, process and analyze this information, which together leads a fragrance. ELNs enable industry leaders to automate this process and in doing so increase the quality of the product being produced, generate reports about the status of a specific process and track the development of compounds from inception to completion. This is done while unifying the manner in which information is presented throughout an organization to increase access to important (and protected) information, while increasing collaboration. To learn more about the features of the BIOVIA Notebook, please visit our website today.

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