Palette Naturals has arrived and fragrance ingredient labeling will never be the same

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

image courtesy of Palette Naturals
image courtesy of Palette Naturals

Related tags Cosmetics Perfume

On cosmetics and personal care product ingredient lists ‘fragrance’ has long stood in for a propriety blend of notes, for closely guarded intellectual property, or—where some consumers are concerned—for undisclosed potential allergens. Rather than slowly nudge an entrenched industry along, one new beauty industry supplier is selling a fully transparent on-trend fragrance solution.

Renowned fragrance expert Miriam Vareldzis has been at work on her new company’s first portfolio of 100% natural perfumery blending accords for 18 months. But until the debut of Palette Naturals at the California SCC Suppliers’ Day late last month, she’d barely told a soul what she was up to.

Palette Naturals is the fragrance solution that many formulators, R&D pros, and product development experts in the personal care and cosmetics industry didn’t know they needed until they started sniffing around the company’s 14 fragrance accords at the Suppliers’ Day show.

Natural perfumery

Palette Naturals is designed to be a “short cut for those who can't work with fragrance houses,”​ Vareldzis tells Cosmetics Design. Personal care and cosmetic brands, contract fillers, and indie perfumers looking to add sophisticated natural scents to their products can get a head start with the accords Vareldzis is offering.

The range runs from citrus to floral to spice to amber to woods scents. The Citrus A accord, for instance includes notes of bergamot, lime, and grapefruit; and the Palette Naturals marketing material describes its scent as “energetic, uplifting, zesty, dry, tart, fresh, [and] crisp.” ​On the other end of the spectrum, the Aromatic Woods accord includes eucalyptus, siberian fir, and camphor notes, while having a “camphoraceous, herbaceous, bracing, pine, foresty, balsamic, [and] clearing” ​scent.

Vareldzis is careful to distinguish her collection of accords from products sold for aroma therapy, which is the use of essential oils for the enhancement of mood or wellbeing. Palette Naturals is about the “art of perfumery, using naturals​,” she explains.

Palette Naturals accords are made of carefully blended essential oils, absolutes, natural molecules, isolates, and fractions. The accords “fit in a perfumer’s organ,” ​say Vareldzis; and they are intended to be blended not only into product formulations but also with one another or other notes to arrive at the desired fragrance.

ISO compliant

“The complete Palette Naturals range is created in strict compliance with the ISO 9235 definition of natural raw materials,” ​Vareldzis tells Cosmetics Design. This is the international standard for aromatic natural raw materials—the guideline that fragrance houses comply with. So any brand whose working definition of ‘natural’ falls within that standard can readily use the company’s accords in product formulations.

The Palette Naturals accords are fully concentrated neat oils (not dilutions). At the Suppliers Day show Vareldzis was letting attendees sniff not only each accord on a smelling blotter but also in sample lotions formulated with 1% of an accord to demonstrate how well the scents stand up in formulation.

To begin working with Palette Naturals, Vareldzis recommends starting with the sample kit, which is the entire current line of 14 accords in 5ml bottles. From there each accord is available in 10ml,1oz, 4oz, 8oz, and 16oz sizes. And there are “no minimums,” ​emphasizes Vareldzis.

Palette Natruals accords aren’t just tidy sophisticated natural scents, they come with complete ingredient lists giving brands the option of passing that list on to consumers. It’s an inevitable next step in the natural beauty movement and one that Vareldzis is helping brands take, “I'm in somebody else's supply chain,"​ she says. "I'm being transparent so they can be transparent.”

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