Leading perfume maker Firmenich has partnered with French start-up Jungle to source vertically-farmed fragrance ingredients. Fiemenich currently uses 1, 000 plants for its perfumes. Now, around 20% of these will come from Jungle’s vertical farms.
The partnership has already made perfume history with its first ingredient Muguet Firgood. Muguet Firgood is made from lily of the valley flowers grown in Jungle’s farm north of Paris. Due to its short blooming season, perfumers have never been able to obtain enough biomass for a natural lily of the valley essence. Instead, the industry has relied on artificial approximations. With vertical farming, Firmenich can extract a natural scent from this ‘silent flower’ for the first time.
Firmenich extracts botanical essences using a propriety technology called Firgood. Earlier this year, Firmenich used their method to create a new range of all-natural extracts. Their collaboration with Jungle will inject sustainability into their offerings. Indoor farming reduces pesticide and fertiliser use by freeing crops from seasonal cycles and variable weather.
On top of being more sustainable than conventional methods, vertical farming also expands olfactory creativity. By offering precise control over nutrient and light inputs, perfumers can craft scents at the point of cultivation. “When you have the controlled environment of the vertical farm, you can impact how plants are going to express themselves,” explains Jungle founder Gilles Dreyfus. “Through controlling the environment, we’re going to be able to express the smell in a stronger way”.
Although normally used for food production, luxury perfume represents an exciting market opportunity for vertical farming. “Food is a lot of large-volume, low-margin produce. These plants have less volume, but much higher margins”, explained Dreyfus of Jungle.
Firmenich is a Swiss perfume maker that has been in business for 125 years. It is the largest privately-owned fragrance company in the world and has created acclaimed fragrances like Daisy by Marc Jacobs and Versace’s Pour Homme. Jean Paul Gaultier’s Scandal and Calvin Klein’s CK Everyone. In 2021, Sustainalytics ranked Firmenich first among 14, 000 companies for ESG.
Jungle was founded in 2016 by Gilles Dreyfus and Nicolas Séguy. The startup operates vertical farms where plants grow in water under LED lights. Their crops supply the food, perfume, and cosmetics industries. In March 2022, the company raised €42 million to launch three vertical farms in France.