Q&A

To fragrance and beyond: Quintis on Australian-grown sandalwood in personal care

By Ravyn Cullor contact

- Last updated on GMT

Quintis grows sandalwood trees in Australia so brands can access the ingredient without worrying about illegal harvesting of Indian sandalwood. © Getty Images - AegeanBlue
Quintis grows sandalwood trees in Australia so brands can access the ingredient without worrying about illegal harvesting of Indian sandalwood. © Getty Images - AegeanBlue

Related tags: sandalwood, Australia, Fragrance, Skin care, botanicals

As Quintis and other companies grow sandalwood in Australia, making it possible to ethically source the ingredient, more potentials in personal care are being uncovered.

CosmeticsDesign spoke with Quintis Cheif Marketing Officer Vanessa Ligovich about the introduction of their ingredient ​to the personal care market, how sandalwood could be used outside of fragrance and what is next for the company.

Tell me a little bit about how things have been going with getting your sandalwood into the market.

It's going really well. We've released two studies in the last six months around the antioxidant effects of sandalwood. Since then we've had a lot of interest in the oil. The more we start to talk about it, the more interest we're actually getting. 

We're starting to work with some good brands within the industry. As we start to see more of those brands releasing products with sandalwood as an active, not a fragrance, its popularity will just grow within the industry. 

There’s still more work to be done because awareness needs to be built, but it's certainly growing, and it's growing quickly.

What do you think the value of having these more sustainable sources for sandalwood in Australia has in getting to explore it as an active botanical?

There's huge potential. Mostly, that's driven by the consumer desire for that more natural, sustainable, ethically sourced ingredients. When you look at our sandalwood, it fits all of the parameters for what consumers want. 

Brands can choose it easily and formulate with it easily knowing that it's satisfying what the consumer wants. We've got traceability all over it, we can provide the data that shows where it was grown. It's the future of personal care without question.

Can you expand a little more on kind of that traceability idea?

We’re vertically integrated. Because we plant and then process it, we can track it from the very beginning of its life. There's a number that gets assigned when it's planted, that essentially follows the tree through harvesting, processing, distillation, shipping, or whatever the case may be out to the customer. 

If a customer does want to understand where it came from, we can trace it back to the plantation and show them pictures and all sorts of great things. 

What does it mean for Quintus that you're able to edge into other parts of the personal care market outside of fragrance?

It's really important mainly because the ingredient is a great active, it's therapeutic for this skin. We can educate formulators in personal care, beyond fragrance, that now you've got an ingredient that smells great, but also it's good for the skin. You can take sandalwood and replace three ingredients with this one single, natural ingredient. 

What do you think other parts of the industry or other botanicals that have a troublesome supply chain can learn from what you're doing at Quintis?

The fact that we're vertically integrated helps with the supply chain because we control the whole supply chain of sandalwood. Our focus for the next 10 years is absolutely on the sustainable provision of this ingredient. 

Ensuring the reliability of supply, as a formulator, is important. You don't want to reformulate consistently, you want to be able to trust the source. The fact that we've got five and a half million trees means you can trust the source. Those couple of factors, reliability and sustainability are really important in formulating.

What's the next step?

We are always innovating, always growing. We will certainly continue to pursue and educate about sandalwood as an active ingredient. There's still so much more to be done and so many other formats. 

We're exploring powder as a cosmetic ingredient at the moment. That opens up a whole new market and a whole new range of possibilities. So continuing with new product development, continuing to demonstrate our sustainability, being active in adhering to our strategy and achieving our goals and making sure that people understand that this is sustainable and reliable.

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