Givaudan turns to Haitian roots for anti-wrinkle ingredient

Swiss fragrance and flavours company Givaudan has begun recycling Haitian vetiver roots now used to make oil for fragrances to produce a new cosmetic substance it said can reduce wrinkles and help scents linger longer.


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Scientists and sustainability experts at Givaudan came up with a product they call Vetivyne by using water-soluble extract from exhausted vetiver roots, a by-product of the extraction procedure used to produce vetiver oil for fragrances, the company said on Monday.

In 2012 Givaudan established an organic, fair-trade partnership with Haitian vetiver farmers to improve cultivation practices in the poverty-stricken island nation. With its latest initiative, Givaudan hopes to cash in on increasing demand for products that consumers see as helping trim environmental waste

Vetivyne “contributes to answering the consumers’ need for more inspiring and eco-friendly products”, said Maurizio Volpi, who heads Givaudan’s fragrance division.

Other companies including Firmenich and New York-based International Flavors and Fragrances — along with Givaudan, the world’s leading producer of raw materials for the perfume industry — have also established sustainable vetiver farming programs in southwest Haiti.

Givaudan works with a cooperative of more than 260 vetiver farmers in Haiti, where living conditions in rural areas are among the worst in the world and some families earn $2 per day.

Natural catastrophes including a 2010 earthquake that killed some 200,000 people helped plunge Haiti into prolonged chaos, and some have pinned their hopes on vetiver — known as Haiti’s “super crop” — to help the economy stabilise.

With Givaudan’s new product, the active ingredient “is fully natural, concentrated, odor-free and offers clinically proven skin benefits”, the company said, including skin hydration, suppleness and wrinkle-reduction around the mouth.

The company gave no sales forecasts for the ingredient, which also helps boost the duration that a fragrance lasts when applied to the skin, Givaudan said.

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