Perfumer Raj Walavalkar on PuraVita: The world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified fragrance

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Raj Walavalkar, senior perfumer at International Flavors & Fragrances, recently helped develop PuraVita™, the world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified® fragrance, which was launched officially on May 12th at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in New York City.

We sat down with Raj to talk about this significant milestone and his role helping IFF achieve its long-term sustainability vision.

What does sustainability mean to you personally and in your line of work? 

Sustainability is about protecting and preserving our resources today and in the future. There has been so much progress and enthusiasm for integrating more sustainable solutions into all aspects of our lives in recent years, and it has been particularly exciting to think about how to bring that thinking into my line of work as a perfumer.

Working to create PuraVita required a different mindset, as I had to consider all the ways the fragrance would impact people and the planet from the very first moment. It’s gratifying to see how much we can do to produce high quality, sustainable products that enhance our well being and respect the earth’s resources. I will carry this perspective to my future fragrance development challenges.

 You said you were challenged to think differently about creating the PuraVita fragrance. How so, and what about your process changed? 

To create exciting scent experiences, a perfumer must a balance art and science, passion and skill, innovation and chemistry to create something that is both memorable and technically on-target.

When creating PuraVita with the rigorous Cradle to Cradle product standards in mind, I had to think differently about creation and innovation. I had to find substitute ingredients that met our sustainability criteria. I had to redefine the olfactive space to create the effect I desired.

What’s next for you? 

PuraVita is an important milestone on our journey to embed sustainability within our corporate strategy, our culture and everything we do at IFF. Together with my colleagues, I look forward to continuing to conceptualize and experiment with a variety of ideas, flavors and scent experiences to delight our consumers.

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