Alcohol-free, solvent-free… the WPE patent helps create water-based scented and moisturizing formulas. Compatible with Cosmos and Ecocert certifications, this technology is now flooding the perfume and skincare categories.
The alcohol-free perfume trend had been brewing for a few years. It is now becoming clearer and clearer, with major launches like Dior’s J’adore Parfum d’Eau. And it is an opportunity for Neovix Biosciences, a specialist in plant-based O/W microemulsions, to highlight its patented WPE (for Water Plant Emulsion) process.
“With my partner Christian Sarbach, we have been working for more than ten years on this technology, which had already been used by Hermès for the water-based perfume series Jardin après la Mousson, Jardin sur le Nil, and Jardin en Méditerranée. Now, the trend for natural and alcohol-free products and fragrances has grown, and we have many requests”, says Marc Bonnevay, Director of SCM Cosmétiques – Neovix Biosciences Group.
Sabé Masson, with its Soft Perfume Liquide, and Maison Sybarite, with the collection of eaux de parfum, also chose this solution in keeping with a more skin- and environmentally friendly offering.
The WPE technology is an innovative process for dispersing the perfumed composition in pure water, without using any alcohol or solvent, but based on a plant-derived ingredient.
“It is an oil-in-water dispersion; not solubilization, which is used with alcohol, nor encapsulation. That is what makes our technology different and interesting. The binder is a plant extract in very small quantity: a saponin derived from a variety of tea. Today, our formulations pass accelerated stability tests for one month at 50 degrees”, explains Marc Bonnevay.
The billions of micro-droplets in the composition give the juice a milky effect. It is recommended to use opaque packaging to protect the emulsion, and to add Ecocert preservatives.
“The same technology is used for skincare products. It all depends on the oil concentration. For a perfumer, it is 5% to 15% of perfumed concentrate, but you can go up to 20%, 30%, or 40% of argan oil, for example, while keeping great fluidity. Therefore, the product moisturizes and perfumes at the same time”, adds the Director.
A fragrance for everyone
The absence of alcohol directly leads to base and heart notes, producing an olfactory identity that is as close as possible to the perfumer’s creation, as well as reinforced remanence.
The fragrance concentrate used with the WPE patent therefore provides a 100% natural, non-irritant perfume. Moisturizing and non-oily, the microfluidic emulsion melts into the skin without any risk of allergy. As a result, the solution suits all skin types, even the most fragile, such as that of children and babies, and has just been chosen for the new range of Toofruit perfumes for children. It can also be applied as a fragrant mist onto hair, without drying it out.
“This is a major development. Alcohol-free perfume is a very strong trend, and pump suppliers such as Aptar and Silgan are all working on models designed for microemulsions, because they believe it is the future”, says Marc Bonnevay.
Between perfume and skincare, the WPE technology seems to be imposing itself, with new launches planned this year on an alcohol-free perfume market that is still struggling to find its feet. “The Dior Parfum d’Eau effect is beneficial and will set an example. We are still dealing with the constraint of a high industrialization cost, but the more we grow, the easier it will be to lower costs”, concludes Marc Bonnevay.