Love > Our People

RnD Chemist
Photo credit / Margarita Nikitaki

We spent an entire day with Danis, one of KORRES’ RnD chemists. Most of it was spent following him around- from his office to the RnD lab and from there to what he calls ‘his second home’, the KORRES herb extraction unit. A chemist, specialised in natural products, Danis has been with us since 2008 and the day our meeting was on our schedule, he had an Almond Blossom microscale extraction on his. “ The procedure is simple” he tells us. “It’s about studying the Greek flora, the benefits of Greek herbs and apply this knowledge to cosmetic use”. He talks about the applied research of natural products and hands-on operations, quality control tests according to European as well as international protocols, whilst at the same time moving around the extraction unit’s equipment, adjusting settings, running back to his office to look something up in his folders and books and coming back to the lab, only to start again.

It’s now past lunch time, and having watched him all this time, we cannot imagine him doing something else – something that is not somehow related to nature. When we say it out loud, he confirms our thoughts completely. “Cliché as it may sound, I grew up in the outskirts of a big city, Larisa, detached from any kind of urban setting, surrounded by farms and trees. My grandmother worked in cotton fields for many years. However, it was my father, who to this day has his own backyard garden, that passed on to me his love for nature.” Working on 10 projects at the same time, it may take more than 5 years for the final product to make its way to the market. “Having spent months studying a plant and all its properties, for it to be accepted from the company, and most importantly the consumers, is a great feeling. It feels like being part of a legacy, especially when a single plant becomes essentially the star ingredient of a whole collection.”

Since he started with KORRES, Danis has ‘moved’ twice abroad for considerable amounts of time. The first time, he went to Switzerland as a member of the NATPROTEC research project and the second time to the laboratory of pharmacognosy of a university in France. When we ask him if he minds this job requirement, he tells us how important it is that he gets to do what he loves and how he is one of the lucky ones. “Therefore, every time I am given the opportunity for further knowledge and research, it is more than exciting!” We are not the ones to disagree. Besides, he had earlier confessed to us that, aside of all the bibliographic research on plant properties that he does at the office, he also continues studying at home.

During our day together, everything went according to plan. However, Danis said laughingly, this is definitely not always the case. “During one of my first microscale extractions in the lab, I definitely hadn’t done something right. One of the tubes loosened up due to pressure and the lab’s ceiling was, in a matter of seconds, filled with brown Sage extract. It was definitely a late work night, trying to clean up the mess with the team. ” During one of his breaks, and before our departure, we ask him about his favorite plant. And that’s when his whole face lights up, talking about a super secret project that will enter the market in about two years time. This plant, he tells us, is an extremely ‘demanding’ and sensitive one. All we can do is wait and see!

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