Improving consumer fragrance testing

Ivor Shalofsky
Symrise S.A., France


Much of the consumer fragrance testing that is carried out these days is probably not helping the fragrance industry as much as it could, and, more to the point, is not really helping the industry's clients. Why?

Because a great deal of testing of fragranced products is still being done just using “good old fashioned” sniff-testing. Sniff testing in itself is not a problem. Indeed, the present author has previously called for the industry to be allowed to run sniff tests as it sees fit.

But what is a problem is that the industry may be relying on sniff testing far too much, instead of the considerably more robust method of home-use testing. Too often the industry is using sniff testing for final decisions, when it should be using this methodology just as a preliminary screening tool. As a result, there is a risk that the wrong fragrances are being submitted to clients – perhaps more often than we realise.