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Sustainable Perfumes

“Scents have always fascinated me”

Healthy and sustainable fragrances: Why Frida Michailidou is planning a crowdfunding campaign.

By profession, Ms. Michailidou, you are a protein researcher at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health at ETH. But your project revolves around sustainable perfumes. How did it come about?

Fragrances and perfumes fascinate me. As a natural scientist, I also know the chemistry of the products. As a hobby, I have been mixing perfumes for years. I have even set up my own room in my kitchen.

The focus of your project is on healthy and natural fragrances. Are the perfumes on the market unnatural and unhealthy?

I would not go that far. In recent years, considerable efforts have been made to regulate and eventually ban harmful ingredients. However, the industry still uses chemical additives such as the so-called phthalates, which ensure that perfumes adhere to the skin for longer.  But it is also possible to create excellent perfumes without animal and chemical ingredients. Personally, I am fascinated by the wonders of nature and the possibilities of natural fragrances, and that is what I would like to do.

The perfume market as dominated by global brands like Channel or Yves Saint Laurent. What market niche do you see for your project?

I identified two target groups that partly overlap: On the one hand, pregnant women, and on the other, consumers with a high sensitivity to health and sustainability. But of course, also everyone who is looking for unique, imaginative and new fragrances. After our crowdfunding campaign, which we hope to launch by the end of the year, we’ll know how big the demand really is.

Do you wear your perfumes yourself?

Of course. I also pass it on to friends and relatives and ask them for their opinion.

And what are the reactions of your environment?

(laughs) my friends and family tell me they like these perfumes.

Frida Michailidou attended the Innosuisse Business Concept course in spring 2021