Natural Progression For Ecover, and others household care firms with a natural slant, fragranceselection is often a highly complex decision that goes beyond creating a great olfactory experience; it also entails materi- als sourcing, supply and sustainability issues. “Ecover has been and always will be about making sustainable products, products that de- liver the expected performance but are at the same the best ecological choice you can make within the category,” said Domen. “Consumers
also expect from a brand like us to make the best
ecological choices. That is also why we use mainly
plant-based ingredients for our formulations, in-
cluding the fragrance.”
And cost is yet another factor to contend with in the house-
“Working with natural fragrances limits the variety you can
offer enormously, compared to using synthetic components,”
Domen told HAPPI. In total, there are 325 natural components to
use, compared to 1418 synthetic components. But out of those
325 natural ones, only a few are affordable to use for washing
and cleaning products. It’s no use to make your product twice as
expensive, just because of the fragrance.”
According to Domen, there are approximately 40 components
that Ecover can play with to create affordable, natural scents. And
to its credit, the company has developed some unique ones. In ad-
dition to scents such as Sunny Day fabric softener and a dishwash
liquid with a Chamomile and Marigold scent, the company re-
cently launched a new Pomegranate liquid dish wash and a toilet
cleaner in Bay Breeze.
Seventh Generation—a company that has natural in its DNA—
is equally assiduous about fragrance.
“We have a very stringent list about ingredients and processes
to get those oils for fragrances; it would be a lot easier if we used
synthetic fragrances made in a lab, that lasted for a long time. It
would be easier and, frankly, cheaper,”Daron Byerly, category manager at Seventh Generation told HAPPI.
His firm recently closed the entry period on its Nature Makes
Perfect Scents sweepstakes and will award one winner and one
guest a trip to see the sources of the essential oils featured in brand’s
lineup. For example, they could head to France to see the lavender
or Italy to see where the lemons and clementines are grown.
The contest was designed to call attention to Seventh Generation’s long-standing diligence in sourcing natural ingredients—but
the company embarked on the project to also highlight its fragrance
P&G’s Gain franchise is all about
fragrance. This is the brand’s Island
gens, what then in most cases will be a product with a
synthetic fragrance or no fragrance at all,”he said.
To meet their needs, Ecover has rolled out Ecover
Zero, a new concentrated HE laundry liquid that is
free of fragrance.
options in a category where the sniff test, not performance,
is often the deciding factor for consumers.
“Scent is a purchase driver in dish liquids—it is a
scent-driven category, said Byerly, who added
that Seventh Generation also revamped the dish
detergent’s packaging in the process. Rather
than waste“valuable real estate” on the front
panel of the package to make claims about
cleaning (which he said are a given), Seventh
Generation now features a large photo that
shows fields from where the ingredients hail.
A Whiff of the Future
When asked what scents are on the olfactory
horizon within household product categories,
fragrance suppliers and marketers have their
In hard surface cleaners, the market should
continue to see citrus and fresh as central characters, according to Mack of Arylessence.
“However,” she said,“we have seen a great
focus on the fragrance experience in the bucket dilutable floor
cleaner area so I would expect to see more variety. New launches
will tend to follow the fragrance trends we see in the mass market
air care and laundry brands.”
“We see the influence of edible, gourmand and woody notes
that are already highly successful in the fine fragrance, personal
care and air care categories steadily make their way into house-
hold products,” added Lattarulo of Robertet, which has devel-
oped household fragrances with notes such as Madagascan
Vanilla, Moroccan Fig, Dark Chocolate, Tropical Coconut, Oud
Wood and Rich Leather.
The trick is in balancing those notes with ones that reinforce
the primary role of the product.
“The challenge for some household categories such as all-purpose cleaners is to develop fragrances that have“sheer gourmand
notes yet still smell fresh and clean, not sticky, cloying or overly
Mack’s colleague, Monica Burke, pointed to one gourmand accord she believes will influence the cleaning product category.
“I believe that the new‘clean’trend will be ginger—not as a
featured note but as an accent, underlying the usual clean notes
of citrus, pine, fresh florals,” said the Arylessence perfumer.“It is
this hook that will make clean a new experience and a sparkling
Marketers are always on the prowl for the next big scent.
Ecover is working on new variants in other categories that could
hit stores sometime this year, according to Domen.“New scents will
be a major theme for 2012,”he told HAPPI.“We want to explore many
different options of what we can do with our perfumes. We will fine-tune our perfume concept and will be looking for more creative ways
to offer a much larger perfume variety to our consumers.”