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Firmenich Drafts a Battle Plan

Firmenich is reviving its winning formula of team building among its perfumers to position itself among the top global fragrance suppliers.

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Firmenich has also recruited five perfumers in two years to handle the rising pressure on its development teams, which includes 80 noses. They have been increasingly active this year following a weaker launch season in 2005 versus prior years, according to Firmenich. Company executives declined to disclose how many scent projects it has won. However, recent fragrances created by Firmenich include names like Hypnôse by Lancôme, Pure Turquoise by Ralph Lauren, Emporio Armani City Glam for Him and for Her, Baby Phat Goddess, Cherry Blossom by Bath & Body Works, Juicy Couture and Princess by Vera Wang.

"We have a high number of launches with our existing celebrity brands," said Firmenich. "Forty-five percent of our launches are flankers or celebrity fragrances."

As well as growing organically, Firmenich said he is open to acquiring companies.

"Our acquisition strategy is to target firms that bring specific technologies or access to new segments or markets," he said. "One example is our successful integration of Noville Inc." Firmenich acquired the South Hackensack, N.J.-based firm in February 2005.

"In less than one year, this acquisition has helped us to react to new opportunities on the home care and oral care markets," he continued. "We are continuously on the lookout for acquisitions to complement our strength. However, a large proportion of acquisitions fail. We have made a few good acquisitions so far, and we would like to keep that track record."

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