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Profile: Creating Scent Connections

By: Alexendra Voigt
Posted: February 27, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

Laura Donna, Owner/Founder, LauraDonna.com, www.lauradonna.com

While individual fragrance consultation isn’t an entirely new concept, it has been slow to catch on with those who may benefit most from its proliferation. To build a notable position today, fragrance marketers must look beyond standard advertising or marketing schemes to connect consumers to the art of fragrance creation. Highlighting the value and unique nature of their product must take precedence in order to appeal to consumers.

However, focusing on the uniqueness of any given fragrance requires a unique approach, and one option is individual fragrance consultation. No one believes this more than Laura Donna, who recently launched her own individual fragrance consultation business. The business recognizes the value of the fragrance industry, and does not focus on a particular niche or positioning—knowing that consumer wants and needs cut across these delineations and hinge on the personal connection between consumer and scent. Donna refers to herself as the interpreter, the guide and the coach, and works with consumers to identify both appropriate ready-to-wear and custom scents.

Letting people know this type of service exists is among the first challenges and is followed by those associated with fulfilling the immediate potential such a service has for consumers and the longer-term potential for an industry that finds real strength in forging tangible bonds between products and an established consumer base. “Am I the creator of a new breed of perfume lovers? Probably not. A creator of happier perfume users? Definitely,” Donna says.

Donna was motivated to venture into this relatively uncharted territory of the fragrance industry by a combination of the gap she saw between fragrance and consumer and her passion for perfume. “A fragrance is founded on the promise of individual pleasure, but marketed to a demographic. The only way to find out what smells good to an individual is to ask,” she explains.