Co-Authors Fanny Le Bonniec & Emma Dumasdelage @matizbarcelona
A bit of History
The first perfume was Egyptian, according to archaeology. It was the Kiphy, a sort of incense that was made to honour Egyptians Gods and for some medical uses. Today, the original recipe is staying unsure. But something that multiple texts – that mention about the Kiphy – have in common, is the fact that it might need around 12 ingredients and that it was in a solid form. Perfume stayed solid until XIII century, when process of alcohol distillation was brought to Occident.
Today, we are used to perfume in its liquid form, but new alternatives are showing in the market place. Wipes, cushion fragrance, sticks, pens or solid perfume concretes are turning into a new trend.
How is solid perfume made ?
Solid perfume is made out of vegetal oils, beeswax and essential oils that are melted together. By letting the mixture cooling off, it sets and becomes solid. The major difference with liquid perfumes is that the liquid ones are made out of alcohol – instead of oils and beeswax – and that their process takes more time.
Why is solid perfume coming back ?
Today, cosmetic brands – even luxe brands – are creating their own solid fragrances. One of the reasons of this might be that the consumer is getting bored. In fact, 97% of new perfumes launches won´t stay more than 2 years in the marketplace.
Solid perfume has many advantages.
- First of all, the price of a solid perfume can cost half of a liquid’s price. Also, even if the smell is a bit softer than traditional one, it stays longer on the skin, and much longer on skin that are usually dry, because it moisturizes it.
- It’s more practical. Indeed, it’s easier – and less dangerous – to travel with a solid perfume. It can be brought in a cabin luggage, and takes less space.
- It’s novating. Companies are creating new designs, as sticks, rings or collar.
- It creates a new ritual gesture. Instead of pressing the pump of a glass bottle, so everybody smells it and knows you are perfuming yourself, you would add some solid perfume on your neck or inside of your arms. It is like using a lipstick, it is a new sensual way to wear perfume and externalise your beauty.
- You can do it yourself. Many DIY are available on Internet, and you can create your own unique fragrance. But be aware of not using too much essential oils if you don’t want to inherit of a burned skin.
- It can be safer for your health. Because it doesn´t content alcohol, you can wear your favourite perfume during summer, without fearing the emergence of pigment spots on your skin. Industrial liquid perfumes contain about 15 to 20 components when solid ones are often made with 5 to 10, so it’s easier to check what is inside it. Liquid fragrances often contains phthalates – endocrine disrupters – allergens, artificial colours and synthetic musk, that are non-biodegradable and may have some effects on health. But these products may also be present in the solid versions.
- It’s eco-friendly. Because the solid perfume doesn´t need a glass container, nor needs a pump to be used, it´s packaging tends to be simpler. It doesn´t need to be protected as much as a liquid fragrance, and its container can be easily reused – some brands are expanding the refills’ trend – and recycled.
Is the solid perfume the solution for sustainable packaging?
Among the latest sustainable solutions as refillable perfume bottles, recycled glass and plastic packaging, solid perfumes are another great alternative.
The perfect solution might not exist yet, they all have their problems… organizing the refilling point of sales, cleaning and sterilization of reused bottles, preservation and sealing issues, disposable packaging of the refill itself…
The solution as usual might be a mix of various reasonable and imperfect solutions.
Featured brands & products:
(1) Salvatore Ferragamo · Signorina designed by MATIZ Barcelona
(2) Sabé Masson · Eu Vent de Vous
(3) Marc Jacobs · Lola Solid Perfume Ring
(4) Gorilla Pefume · Solid Perfume
(5) Thierry Mugler · Angel Ring
(6) Le Labo · Solid Perfume Refill
(7) Diptyque · Solid Perfume
(8) Le Labo · Solid Perfume
(9) Juniper Ridge · Desert Cedar
(10) Solid State · Journeyman
(11) Glossier · Solid Perfume
(12) Lush · Lust
(13) Thierry Mugler · Aura Perfuming Pen