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Therapeutic work with blind children inspires new niche fragrances

Apr 11, 2018

Quintessence shines spotlight on bold experiments, creativity without restraints, and inspiring stories at Dubai trade fair

Dubai, UAE: Perfumes inspired by therapeutic work with blind children, and scents redolent of the spirit of Scandinavia are a couple of examples of the most unique fragrances created today that will be on display at the Middle East’s largest beauty and wellness trade fair next month in Dubai.

Swiss-based Brigitte Witschi is the founder of the Art of Scent – Swiss perfumes, and one of more than 20 perfumers at Quintessence – an exclusive showcase of niche perfumes at Beautyworld Middle East, which runs from 8-10 May 2018 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Her hand-made Bergduft perfume line captures the ‘magical secrets of the alpine world’, with a base of alpine flowers that she says possess unsaid magical healing powers. 

Witschi said her ideas began to take shape as she visualised lush, green alpine meadows, casting her mind on different feelings and experiences. She would then start mixing and blending numerous essences.

“It’s through my longstanding work with blind and multiple handicapped children that I’ve been able to improve and refine this knowledge regarding essences, ingredients and aromas, and their beneficial effects,” said Witschi.

“My fascination with scents, fragrances and aromatherapy in recent years prompted me to deepen my knowledge in the creative and sensuous realm of perfumes. During the various therapeutic methods that I’ve applied on my students, I began to experiment with scents as a way of reaching out to them and penetrating the doors of their sealed world.”

Witschi then attended the perfume academy in ASFO (professional training centre for perfumes, aromas and cosmetics), in the world’s fragrance capital, Grasse in France.

“My vision to find my own label has since been fulfilled, and as a skilled perfumer and scent designer, I now have the immense joy of creating personal and unique fragrances. Bergduft is my first perfume collection, and is dedicated to the wonderful Alpine world and to Switzerland.”

Niche perfumes such as Witschi’s Bergduft line are becoming increasingly popular among consumers who’re looking for a more personalised experience that niche perfume brands offer, defined by bold experiments, creativity without restraints, and inspiring stories. 

That popularity has been underlined by Quintessence, which was first introduced at Beautyworld Middle East in 2016, and has since nearly doubled in size in its 2018 edition. 

DOFTA from Sweden is a debut exhibitor at the exclusive showcase, and is launching in the Middle East region its entire range of niche perfumes, reed diffusers, candles, soaps, body lotions, and purifying lamps.

Rex Riller, International Sales Manager at DOFTA, said the brand’s Founder Anna Bodmar Riller’s journey into perfumery began in her childhood by the boisterous Kattegat Sea on Sweden’s west coast.

“The scents of the ocean, the dewy forest, and the blooming warm summer fields was Anna’s playground,” said Riller.  “Being surrounded by and immersed in nature, she came to develop a profound understanding of what was real and what had substance.

“Through world travels, her understanding of people, cultures and foreign commodities became deeper. Whether living glamorously in cosmopolitan cities or leading an ascetic life on the sands of exotic beaches, she got to see, feel and taste many walks of life.

Added Riller: “After several years she moved back to Sweden and settled down once again in the countryside, not far from where she grew up, and she started a craft.  Drawing from her love of fragrances and natural materials, she decided to start creating perfumes and candles.”

The result, Riller said, was the launch of DOFTA, the Swedish word for ‘beautifully fragranced’, representing a reflection of Anna’s life and travels: “As a chef trains his palate for flavours, Anna trained her nose. Without realising, she became an artist. She came to know exactly what to blend for the perfect balance.  Clean and pure in nature, yet luxurious.”

Quintessence – the Art of Perfume, is one of more than eight special highlights at Beautyworld Middle East 2018, which will feature more than 1,600 exhibitors from 60 countries in its 23rd edition. 

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of the show’s organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Quintessence brings alive the heart and soul of a fragrance to perfume lovers from across the region.  Here we learn the story behind the creation of unique scents and the fine art of isolating and blending the various essences that go into crafting memorable perfumes. 

“When we speak about niche, we speak about a new segment in the fragrance industry that emerged some ten years ago and is maturing now,” Pauwels added.  “It’s a narrow segment, and it’s a mix of creative driven and market driven strategy.   The creative side puts the perfumer and scent alchemy first, and the marketing side uses the key value proposition that translates the perfumer’s story to the customer.”

Other niche brands at Quintessence in 2018 include When from Korea, Nishane from Turkey, Pierre Precieux from the UAE, Signature Fragrance London and Tom Daxon from the UK, House of Potentia, Odin, and Ulrich Lang from the USA; Rebatchi Prive from France; Germany’s The Oriental Perfumery; and Areej Le Dore from Thailand.

Aside from Quintessence, Beautyworld Middle East 2018 returns with other popular highlights that attract thousands of professionals every year, such as Centre Stage by Nazih Group; Nail It! by Artistic Nail Design & OPI; and the Battle of the Barbers.  New this year is the Innovation Zone, Blend it! in collaboration with centdegres, and the Advanced Aesthetic Therapist Conference and Workshop.

The annual three-day event covers the five product groups of Hair, Nails & Salon Supplies; Cosmetics & Skincare; Machinery, Packaging, Raw Materials & Contract Manufacturing; Fragrance Compounds & Finished Fragrances; Personal Care & Hygiene, and for the first time in 2018, Natural and Organic.

Its strong international flavour will be highlighted by 22 country pavilions from Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil, China, Japan, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Morocco, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, the USA, and for the first time in 2018, Palestine, Peru, and Russia.  More information is available at: www.beautyworldme.com.