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The Spirit of the Brand

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: August 28, 2008, from the April 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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GCI: What are the trends in fragrances for skin care?

P-C G: There are two main trends for cosmetic products in general: high-tech products and exotic and natural products.

There are more and more products with a high technological base, almost medical, developed through involved research. In these types of products, the perfume has to translate the high degree of technology using some abstract notes—water, oxygen, ions. A lot of studies on that subject show that the efficacy of skin care products is reflected in their scent. Aquatic or green notes are antiaging; warm vanilla notes are smoothening and nourishing.

On the other hand, more and more brands want to incorporate new, exotic and natural extracts into their skin care lines—from rice bran to algae to Brazilian nuts and cocoa extract. For these products, the perfume will describe what the customer expects the ingredients to smell like—a nice warm chocolate smell for a product with cocoa extract, for example.

But for some technical reasons and also to refer to a classical cosmetic scent, perfumes in skin care very often share a basic and common structure: rosy, powdery, musky; often with a fresh fruity or green floral aspect on the top note.

LS: In our product innovation process, we look at overall lifestyle trends in the marketplace, evolving consumer attitudes, color trends and partner with our fragrance house to look at the trends in the fragrance arena. We synthesize all this information with our brand essence and strategy early in the process with the goal to elevate the consumer/brand connection through fragrance. Of course, fragrance is part of a mix of elements that communicate the overall brand essence.

We are seeing consumers attracted to a more sophisticated fragrance blend. A great example of evolving consumer fragrance choices is in the female teen target. In the past, these consumers wanted a very sweet fragrance, and now we are seeing a desire for a softer, more high-end fragrance.

The upcoming fragrance trends that I believe will continue to be strong in skin care are the gourmand trend and the florals and aromatics for the natural-based skin care product lines.