Priprioca is a plant only found in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest. It is highly fragrant and the essential oils derived from its roots have been used by indigenous people for many centuries.
But now its distinctive wood-and-spice fragrance is starting to make an impact on the European market, where a number of products have now been launched and reportedly well received by consumers.
Beraca Ingredients has been working on the development of this Amazonian essential oil for a number of years now. Given that 23 per cent of the planet's plant species are located in Brazil, that 5 per cent of this total have been studied and only 1 per cent are currently used as raw materials, the company believes there is huge potential for further sustainable exploitation of the resources.
Priprioca has proved to be its first step into the perfume segment. Having interested major international flavors and fragrance player Givaudan, Brazilian natural cosmetics producer Natura became the first company to take up on the ingredient for a fragrance product.
Sourcing the priprioca with local communities, Beraca processes the raw material at its factory in Belem do Para, without using any chemicals. The ingredient is then transported to Givaudan's plant in Sao Paulo, for further refinining.
From there, the ingredient is then formulated by Natura as part of its Perfume do Brasil range. This range is sold all over Brazil, and has also recently debuted at the company's newly opened store in Paris.
Beraca believes that priprioca could prove to be just the tip of the iceberg. With thousands of plant species still exploitable, the potential for new sustainable-sourced aromatic ingredients from the Brazilian rainforests is immense.