Until now, perfumers had little other solution than secrecy to protect their creations, which are not covered by intellectual property laws. However, this protection had become quite illusory in the face of the growing improvement in analysis technologies, in particular gas chromatography, which make it possible to quickly display the chemical composition of a formula.
Indeed, the creation of an original perfume is a long and meticulous process that requires different skills, a lot of time, and many tests. The process is expensive and counterfeiters – quite numerous in the luxury industry – avoid such colossal investments by pirating the work of the original creators. As a result, perfumes and cosmetics are among the most counterfeited products in the world! At European level, seizures of counterfeit perfumes and cosmetics represent nearly 10 billion euros, or nearly 10% of the cosmetics market. .
A colorless and odorless base
To protect the creative work of its perfumers and the investment of its customers, Symrise initiated in 2018 a program to protect perfumed formulas in blur the results of analyzes by gas chromatography regarding fragrance ingredients.
Developed by the Symrise R&D team in consultation with its perfumers, this technology is based on an innovative, colorless and odorless universal base, which helps to protect the originality of the perfume in which it is used. It contains a mixture of specific raw materials, with excellent UV resistance and excellent temperature stability, which induce a wide range of interferences during analysis by gas chromatography. By blurring the quantification and identification of certain raw materials contained in the perfume formula, the base makes it much more difficult to reproduce a specific fragrance identically.
Already tested in 45 formulas
Finalized in 2019, Cryptosym technology has already been applied to 45 formulas developed by Symrise for different olfactory families.
The chromatographic analyzes showed that out of 133 natural and synthetic ingredients tested, the technology induces a variation in the analysis results for 118 of them: 93 being difficult to quantify, 25 being difficult to identify.
Overall, according to Symrise, 40% of the raw materials tested were affected by Cryptosym and 29% of them were completely “encrypted” by the technology.
“Cryptosym is a revolution in the sector because until then nothing had yet been developed to protect the intellectual property of the perfumer’s creativity.“, highlighted Aliénor Massenet, senior perfumer at Symrise. “With Cryptosym, copying a perfume is now more difficult, the process is much longer and without any guarantee of finding that little extra that makes all the difference between success and simple reproduction.“
To date, Symrise is continuing its research to collect additional data but is already offering the technology as an option to its customers.