Quintis Santal - Concours Parfumeurs

A global competition around Indian sandalwood by Quintis

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Quintis Sandalwood is organizing a competition open to perfumers from across the world, inviting them to present a creation around Indian sandalwood, of which Quintis is a leading global supplier. Participants must submit their entries so that they are received by March 31, 2022.

Quintis Sandalwood Pty Ltd. is a pioneer in the ethical production of Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) and Indian sandalwood (Santalum album). The company explains that it was formed in response to the over-harvesting and illegal poaching of sandalwood, tied to the surge in global demand at the end of the 20th century. In 1998, Indian sandalwood was added to the list of vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The following year, in 1999, Quintis created the first sustainable plantation of this variety.  

Today, its 12,000 hectares are home to more than 5.5 million trees, making it the largest plantation of Indian sandalwood in the world. The site is situated in northern Australia, which offers an ideal climate for the plant. If we refer to it as “Indian sandalwood,” it is because the trees were planted from seeds sourced from Mysore, in India, in 1999 so as to preserve the species’ availability.

Ever since, Quintis has been a leading global supplier of high-quality, sustainably-sourced raw materials from Indian and Australian sandalwood varieties, processing them into oil, logs, chips and powder. They are primarily used in perfumery, cosmetics, aromatherapy, incense and traditional Chinese medicine.

Quintis’s Indian sandalwood was featured in the book From plant to essence, published by Nez éditions in collaboration with the International Exhibition of Raw Materials for Perfumery (SIMPPAR), the trade fair at which the 10 competition finalists will be named in June 2022. 

On October 28, 2021, Quintis announced the formation of a new center, called Q-Lab, which focuses on three pillars: education, innovation and competition. For the educational dimension, the website describes the creation of forthcoming online modules and workshops looking to improve the understanding of sandalwood – its history, its chemistry or its possible future uses. As for the innovation pillar, it involves developing joint research around the demonstration of effects, new advances and certifications relating to quality. 

The third pillar is dedicated to the launch of a competition, “Sandalwood Reimagined,” which is now underway. It is open to perfumers from around the world. Entrants are asked to compose an eau de toilette containing a minimum of`1% of Quintis Indian sandalwood oil. Creations must be accompanied by a statement of creative intent, with “an overview of the nature and ingredients of the formulated base.” But there aren’t the usual parameters pertaining to the consumer profile or budget. “We encourage participants to show a spirit of curiosity, without constraints, to reimagine the future of this precious plant. Each proposal must be sustainable and developed artfully, just like the Indian sandalwood of Quintis,” explains Danae Christensen, the company’s marketing innovation manager.

The competition is hosted in partnership with the American Society of Perfumers, a nonprofit organization founded in 1947 whose membership consists of approximately 300 professional perfumers based in the United States: “Our mission is to foster respect for and to promote the high standards of perfumery. We are therefore thrilled to partner with Quintis Sandalwood for this competition. Indian sandalwood has played an important role in the history of perfumery, serving as a signature note in some of the most iconic fragrances,” says Sherri Sebastian, vice president of the American Society of Perfumers. 

Both the Q-Lab and the competition aim to recreate interest and attention around sandalwood. 

Those wishing to participate have until November 25, 2021 to register on Quintis’s website and must ensure that their entries are received by March 31, 2022.

Submissions will then be voted on by an independent panel selected by the American Society of Perfumers and made up of master perfumers who have collaborated with the big names in the business, including Givaudan, Firmenich, Mane, Estée Lauder and Ralph Lauren. The compositions will be assessed blindly, on blotters and on skin.

On May 15, 2022, the 10 finalists will be selected and announced at SIMPPAR on June 1, 2022, in Paris.

The two grand prizes will be awarded at the World Perfumery Congress in Miami in 2022.

“The Global Winner will receive AU$10,000 (approximately €6,400), and the winner of the Emerging Talent award, for a perfumery student or a junior perfumer, will receive AU$2,000 (approximately €1,280).”

To learn more or apply visit : https://q-lab.quintis.com.au/competition 


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