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Calling All Noses: Global Perfumery Competition

October 29, 2021 Sophie Pitt
October 29, 2021
Sarah Worth via Unsplash

In 1998, Indian sandalwood was added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUNCN) vulnerable species list due to mass illegal poaching and harvesting of the ancient tropical tree. For the past 20 years, Quintis Sandalwood has been tirelessly advocating for the ethical supply of sandalwood. The raw material suppler owns and manages the largest sustainable Indian sandalwood plantation in the world, which is home to over 5.5 million trees, spreading across 12,000 hectares of northern Australia.

Quintis launched Q-Lab, a new center of education and creativity for sandalwood, open to fragrance masters and juniors. As one of Q-Lab’s first initiatives, they have partnered with the American Society of Perfumers to launch a global competition for perfumers of all experience levels. The competition, named “sandalwood reimagined,” challenges perfumers to “reimage the ancient botanical of sandalwood within a fragrance, using it as their muse,” while “elevating the role of the perfumer and celebrating the perfumery process.” Perfumers entering the competition will be expected to create an Eau de Toilette featuring a minimum of 1% of Quintis-grown Indian sandalwood oil. All entries must be accompanied by a creative intent statement that outlines the nature and ingredients used in the base formula.

Danae Christensen, Market Innovation Manager for Quintis Sandalwood, revealed, “With this competition, perfumers have the chance to be recognised as a world leader in fragrance creation. We encourage entrants to have a spirit of curiosity, unbound by constraints, to reimagine the future of this precious botanical. Each entry should be sustainable, visionary, and artfully crafted, just like Quintis’s Indian Sandalwood. When creating this competition, we removed the normal parameters of a commercial fragrance brief, like consumer profile and budget, and instead are encouraging participants to use Indian sandalwood as their muse.”

“Quintis’s fragrance competition is the first initiative to be launched as part of Q-Lab, which will become a centre of excellence for sandalwood within a range of different industries such as fragrance, cosmetics and aromatherapy. As we continue to roll out initiatives, it will become a hub where brands, formulators and educators can go to access information about sandalwood and how best to maximise its capabilities in the development of products,” added Vanessa Ligovich, Chief Marketing Officer at Quintis Sandalwood.

The winners of the competition, judged by the American Society of Perfumers’ hand-selected panel of independent fragrance masters, will be revealed at the World Perfumery Congress in Miami in 2022. The winners will be decided through the process of evaluating blind, judging creations on blotters and skin. The competition will have two winners: the global winner, who will receive 10,000 AUD, and an emerging talent award for a perfumery junior or student, who will receive 2,000 AUD.

Sherri Sebastian, Vice President of the American Society of Perfumers, commented on the collaboration with Quintis Sandalwood, stating, “We value technique, craftsmanship, and the ability to transform artistic ideas into masterful fragrances, so for this competition, our independent judges will be looking for submissions that demonstrate these skills along with a unique expression of sandalwood.” She added, “The American Society of Perfumers’ mission is to uphold and promote high standards of perfumery, so we are thrilled to partner with Quintis Sandalwood on this competition. Indian sandalwood has played an important part in the history of perfume, serving as a signature note in some of the most iconic and desired fragrances over the past century. Quintis’s initiatives to promote the availability of sandalwood sustainably gives us peace of mind knowing this beloved ingredient is back… and here to stay.”

The deadline for entry is March 31.

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