A longing for natural ingredients, ethical luxury and sustainable consumption – these are the key trends on the beauty and fragrance market. It takes a special kind of expertise to preserve naturalness in these products.
Naturalness – the new luxury
Nature may be free for all, but naturalness is more valuable than ever before. There is a noticeable desire for naturalness in cosmetics and perfumery – giving exclusive essential oils the chance to take centre stage. Is there a formula that defines desire? If there is, then it could possibly be summed up as follows: the further something is from one’s own sphere, the stronger the desire to possess it – and hence also the demand. This could explain why the longing for the countryside, for nature and naturalness is particularly pronounced amongst city-dwellers and urbanites. The seed of the “organic” trend was sown in the cities, and from here it has flourished, as have superfoods, veganism or natural skincare. Big cities are “the laboratories of new developments”, says the GfK* market research institute: singles, DINKS (Double Income, No Kids), students and the “creative class”, all of whom are status-driven pleasure-seekers, are key trendsetters. In the past, cars were a means of personal expression; now, the focus is on sustainable, conscious consumerism – a mindset in which naturalness plays an especially prominent role. “Naturalness, including natural ingredients for beauty products, is a form of ‘ethical’ luxury that shuns waste and instead focuses on conscious, mindful pleasure”, says Christian Lüke. He is Marketing & R&D Director at the Hamburg-based fragrance company Düllberg Konzentra, which has been supplying natural essential oils for over 75 years. “For centuries, natural essential oils were almost exclusively used in medicine and healthcare. At the beginning of the twentieth century, modern aromatherapy first appeared; now, serious scientific research is being conducted into the effect of essential oils, for instance on viruses, bacteria and even cancer. But the main focus remains on using these traditional ingredients and harnessing their benefits in bodycare, cosmetics and perfumery.” This presents challenges, as Christian Lüke knows very well: “Essential oils and complex mixtures of terpenoids and other compounds obtained from various parts of plants, such as flowers, leaves, seeds and resins. The complex composition of essential oils makes obtaining and processing these products such a demanding and unique task.”
Düllberg Konzentra’s portfolio includes several hundred of these ingredients and oils in different qualities, from certified organic, refined or completely natural. They are used in fine perfumery and premium niche perfumery, in household perfumery, cosmetic products as well as in pharmaceuticals and aromatherapy. Due to the heterogeneous composition of the different oils, working with these oils is something that demands considerable perfumery expertise. Düllberg Konzentra also has a portfolio of so-called Natura Fragrances which are natural oil blends that are eligible for certification in accordance with the major labels, including Cosmos, EcoCert and NaTrue, and which are ideally suited for use in organic cosmetic products. Christian Lüke is delighted about the rising interest in these exclusive, natural essential oils: “The market and the demand for these products will continue to grow. However, it is important to remember that purity and authenticity, and a consistently high, standardised quality play a very important role, particularly for natural products. At Düllberg Konzentra we are acknowledged specialists. Any brand that aims to offer consumers natural luxury is in the best possible hands with us.”
Essential oils – the bestsellers
EUCALYPTUS (EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS) grows in Australia, the Mediterranean, India and South America. The essential oils are obtained from the leaves through steam distillation; the oil content is about 2%. Eucalyptus has a revitalising and refreshing effect on the mind, and it can help to boost concentration. The oil is used to treat colds. LAVENDER (LAVANDULA OFFICINALIS OR LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA) is popularly used in aromatherapy; it has a balancing, relaxing and antispasmodic effect and can promote sleep. Amongst other things, it is also used to alleviate asthma. The essential oils are obtained by steam distillation of the herb; the oil content of the plant and flowers is about 1%. PEPPERMINT (MENTHA PIPERITA) grows around the world, including Europe, Asia, North and South America. The oil is widely used in aromatherapy for its refreshing, clarifying and cooling effect. It can boost the ability to concentrate. Medically, it is also used to treat asthma and colds. Peppermint is obtained by steam distillation of the herb; its oil content is approx. 2%. *GfK Consumer Index Total Grocery 4/2018