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Scent Sleuth: Fragrant Translations

By: Nancy C. Hayden
Posted: November 8, 2007, from the November 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

An exhilarating fragrance experience is a primary goal of today’s bath and body products. Sensual lift and a mood elevation are the messages sent either subliminally or overtly to lure the consumer into purchasing products. This total experience in the bath and body world is more easily achieved through in-store presentations.

The store experience is intended to dazzle, to take the customer to a visually imaginative place with its tactile presentation of color, graphics, inventive names and destinations with gorgeous, sexy models. Yet, these elements require the fragrance to tie it all together, in order to truly captivate the consumer.

Back to the Base

In the past, extension products were most often derived from alcohol-based fragrance creations, and these fragrances were often compromised because of the base formulation. Fragrance can express the efficacy of any product, but in many fragrance line extensions, the fragrance identity is far off because of incompatibilities with base materials and chemicals.

The citrus notes were always a problem to translate into emulsion systems, as were some of the sharp green plant-like notes, such as hyacinth, muguet and galbanum. The fruity and gourmand notes have taken over in the bath and body market because they have a persistence and identity while providing excellent coverage for any base note problems.

In a bath and body product, one of two things is true: the fragrance drives the theme or the theme drives the fragrance. The realm of gourmands and exotic fruits gives way to the creativity of fragrance notes or captives. This trend in bath and body lines often becomes an inspiration to the alcohol-finished colognes and perfumes.