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We caught up with Iberchem’s new General Manager in Dubai, Abderrahman Rahmani, and Perfumer Ana Gomez for a chat on the company’s latest updates in the region

Iberchem is a global fragrance manufacturer creating original scents for fine fragrance, personal care and home care products. Founded in 1985, Iberchem was one of the first European fragrance houses to set foot in the Middle East in the 1990s. Given the importance of the region for the company, it has developed a strong expertise around the market particularities and local tastes.

ParfumPlus (PP): How has the role of the perfumer evolved in the Middle East market over the past 5 years? And what do you think it will look like 5 years from now?

Ana Gomez (AG): People here are more and more educated in terms of fragrance creation. This is why I feel that my role as a perfumer is transitioning from creation to collaboration.

Beyond my technical knowledge, it is important for me to connect with the customers, to understand what they have in mind so that we can give life, together, to their ideas.

It reminds me of when you go to the hair salon and try to explain a hairstyle you saw a week ago in a magazine. If you have a good connection with your hairdresser, the result should be as expected. But if you only leave it to him or her, it can go in any direction! (laughs)

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PP: At the Dubai Expo 2020, Iberchem perfumed the Spain pavilion and created the official perfume of the country. What are your key takeaways a year after this event?

AG: It has been a unique experience. Not only was Spain the first country to present an exclusive perfume (created by Luz Vaquero), but it was also the only one with an immersive olfactory experience of such scale. On my end, I had the opportunity to share my passion for fragrances by giving a creation workshop on the international fragrance day. The event was opened to the public. Friends, colleagues and families came to create their own scent.

This is where I realised that people are a lot more enthusiastic about fragrances than I thought. We had over 200 tickets for the event, and it was sold out in less than 3 days.

Abderrahman Rahmani (AR):  After one year, we are still receiving positive feedback from the people who visited the Spain Pavilion during the Dubai Expo 2020. It definitely strengthened the link between Iberchem, a global fragrance manufacturer, and Dubai, a fragrance hub in the Middle East. Many new projects came to light following the Expo. I think that it really encouraged people to be more creative on how to use fragrances.

PP: What makes Iberchem such a coveted fragrance house in the Middle East market? Where does its success come from?

AR: Iberchem presence in the Middle East dates from many decades. This means that our team has a deep knowledge about the tastes and expectations of local consumers, and most importantly, we know where they come from. In other words, we know how we got here.

That makes a real difference. Also, everyone at the office just loves the industry, from our lab technicians to our sales team. They all work closely with our customers so that they can easily seize their precise needs. It is no surprise that, year after year, many of our creations figure among the top sellers in the Middle East.

PP: Iberchem was the talk of the town at the latest edition of Beautyworld Middle East. You were in the Quintessence zone with Moodzy, a voice-activated fragrance technology, you were also in the VIP Club with a food/fragrance pairing activity, you scented the Beautyworld Middle East Awards ceremony, and you even gave a presentation on sustainability in the Next in Beauty conferences. How are you planning to
top that this year?

AR: We are lucky to have an extremely creative team. What is important to know is that all of the experiences we presented last year were created and designed in-house by our employees. Although it seems like we have done it all, we still have a few tricks up our sleeves.

For this year’s edition, we have prepared a live and interactive concept that people will be able to discover at our stand. I have been in the industry for many years, and this is something that I don’t remember seeing at Beautyworld Middle East. We will be exploring the relation between visual arts and fragrances. Unfortunately, for now, I can’t give you more details, but I invite you to visit us (stand F28) to find out what the surprise is.

PP: What does the future hold for Iberchem? What is the growth plan of the company in
the market?

AG: From a perfumer perspective, I would say that we are evolving towards a more sustainable portfolio of ingredients and fragrances. I am always looking for new challenges, and creating sustainable scents is one that I particularly like as it is meaningful and serves a purpose.

I am taking it very seriously. We recently launched the “Iberchem’s Green Future” seal to help our customers navigate in the several options of sustainable solutions that we can offer. From natural Cosmos Ecocert to biodegradable fragrances and upcycled ingredients, we have something for everyone.

AR: In terms of business, we are about to announce a very ambitious growth plan for Iberchem in the region. We are expecting to consolidate our presence with the creation of a new office, the expansion of our labs, and the addition of new dedicated perfumers to the existing team.

Thanks to this, and all the synergies we are building with Croda, we expect to double our revenues in the next four years, in line with the overall growth plan of the company at a global level. .

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