A COMPANY which created Anita Roddick’s very first Body Shop perfumes has opened a new state of the art factory.

The million pound investment follows a fire in 2013 at Quintessence Fragrances in Newhaven, started by a fault in a forklift truck.

Now it has expanded its workforce from 25 to 50.

MD Francois Robert said: “The fire closed the company for many months and we are extremely lucky to have survived at all.

“Most companies never make it through such a disaster.

“However we have great backers from India who believe in our business, and the people in it, so we have rebuilt the business through this amazing investment.”

Bharat Kamte, the Indian owner whose perfume empire also includes facilities in India, Hong Kong and Poland, flew in specially for the opening of the new factory.

He said: “This is a very special day for Quintessence, the people we employ, and our wonderful customers who continued to support us while we rebuilt the business.

“This is a big investment and is an indication of our belief in the future of business here in the UK.”

Quintessence has become one of the UK’s leading fragrance houses, creating perfumes found on virtually every retailer’s shelves, from shower gels, foam baths, candles and body sprays.

The factory is based on the Hawthorn Industrial Estate, Avis Way, Newhaven.