Writing in its international patent, Coty said it had developed a refilling platform designed to be situated in-store and used directly by consumers. The machine featured a transfer system with several channels to mix preselected amounts of fragrance concentrate, distilled water and ethanol, in that specific order.
Ethanol dual power
“It has surprisingly been found that refilling a fragrance container with a fragrance concentrate, distilled water and ethanol, in that order, provides a fragrance to a user having the same organoleptic properties as the original fragrance,” Coty wrote in its patent.
The specific order also served an additional useful purpose, the company said.
“Refilling with ethanol last serves a dual function of adding an ingredient to the refillable container and cleaning the components to which the ingredients of fragrance concentrate, distilled water and ethanol were exposed.”
Coty said the refilling platform could be used for a “plurality of fragrance concentrates”, dispensed at concentrations of up to 20% w/w. It was also suitable for a range of refillable bottles, including transparent and/or opaque, that could be weighed by the machine ahead of filling. In some embodiments, the refilling station could also include a mixer, such as a vortex, magnetic stir or vibration mixer to blend the final fragrance formula.
A ‘simple user interface’
Importantly, the company said the station offered a “simple user interface without complex manipulations”. The interface, directly connected to the control computer, could be touch-screen, used via a keyboard and mouse or even accessed through personal communication devices via Bluetooth or WiFi, such as smartphones, personal computers, tablets or personal digital assistants, it said.
“The control computer, based on the input received for a desired fragrance and corresponding concentrations of distilled water and ethanol, calculates the amount of each fragrance formulation, distilled water and ethanol to create a final desired fragrance,” Coty wrote.
In November, last year, the beauty major launched its first refillable fragrance Chloé Rose Naturelle Intense. The product was also certified Silver under Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C).
A refill revolution?
Many fragrance brands had jumped on the refill revolution in recent years, with Mugler – now owned by L’Oréal – already offering refill stations for some time.
More widely in the beauty industry, many major brands were trialling refill stations on mass scale. In June 2021, Unilever expanded its in-store refill and reuse trials across the UK, across a range of its personal care and home care brands, including Radox, Alberto Balsam and Persil. The stations and concept had been developed in partnership with sustainable beauty brand Beauty Kitchen that in March 2022 secured a €3.6m funding grant to upscale its circular retail model coined ‘Re’.
WIPO International Patent No. WO/2022/251512
Published on: December 1, 2022. Filed on: May 26, 2022.
Title: “Method for refilling an empty fragrance container in-store”
Inventor: Coty – CJ. Silhavy