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Fueling the Market—Fragrance Observations

By: Amy Marks-McGee
Posted: November 5, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Sniffapalooza, founded by Karen Dubin and Karen Adams, often partners with fragrance houses such as Symrise and Firmenich to create intimate events for “fragrance aficionados.” These fragrance aficionados, non-industry individuals, get an inside look behind the scenes, and frequently get to preview new fragrance releases. In conjunction with Parisian retailer Printemps, Givaudan designed Perfume Workshops in April 2010, to “educate the wider public in the history and creation of fragrances.” International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) partnered with Parsons The New School for Design, The Museum of Modern Art and Coty Inc. to present HEADSPACE: A Symposium on Scent as Design on March 26, 2010 [covered in the June issue of GCI magazine’s sister publication Perfumer & Flavorist and, in brief, in the July issue of GCI magazine]. The event was a one-day symposium on the conception, impact, and potential applications of scent.

The most significant fragrance collaboration to date is Longwood Garden’s Making Scents: The Art and Passion of Fragrance exhibit, on view through Nov. 21, 2010. Several fragrance houses—including Givaudan, IFF and Robertet—and fragrance brands such as Chanel, Guerlain and Annick Goutal helped create this exhibit. Longwood Garden describes it as “the first major exhibition, an intersection of flora, fashion and science.” To coincide with the event, Olivier Polge, an IFF perfumer, created the Always in Bloom fragrance.

Technology, Mobile Apps and YouTube

Mobile phone fragrance applications and the use of YouTube are the latest technologies being used for fine fragrance. In June 2010, Givaudan introduced the iPerfumer application for iPhone and Estée Lauder launched its Ascent iPhone application. Both apps provide fragrance recommendations to help consumers sort through the crowded marketplace and make their shopping experience easier. In August 2010, Sephora announced SephoraMobile, its new mobile application. Similar to iPerfumer and Ascent iPhone, SephoraMobile will provide personalized recommendations and it will allow consumers access to their own beauty purchasing history.

Besides fragrance advertisements and a handful of self proclaimed perfume critics, YouTube is relatively unused for information from fragrance suppliers. In April 2010, Arylessence, launched a YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/Arylessence) to introduce its new rose collection. The company featured various interviews with perfumers and fragrance experts discussing these new rose fragrances. Katie Puckrik—a broadcaster, journalist and performer—pioneered the use of YouTube to give perfume reviews. In 2008, she launched Katie Puckrik Smells, and, as this issue goes to press, has 14,000 subscribers.

In July 2010, Kylie Minogue released her seventh fragrance, Pink Sparkle. To promote her fragrance prior to launch, Minogue posted the “Kylie Pink Sparkle Video Message,” which had more than 22,000 views by September 1. It is only a matter of time before fragrance brands and suppliers better utilize YouTube and other social media sites to reach a wider, younger audience.

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