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A Note on Fragrance, A Feminine Point of View

By: Amy Marks-McGee
Posted: May 23, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

This article originally ran in the January 2012 issue of Perfumer & Flavorist magazine. All rights reserved.

A November 2010 article appearing in Perfumer & Flavorist magazine sister publication GCI magazine, “Fueling The Market—Fragrance Observations,” examined fragrance trends. A year and a half later, fine fragrance competition remains fierce, and brands continue to jockey for position as consumers seek new and unique products. Fortunately, according to the NPD Group, “in fragrance, the prestige market grew by 6% during the first quarter of 2011. The increase in prestige fragrance is due to the positive performance in top existing juice brands, as well as strong sales from 2010 fragrance introductions.”

Ingredient stories, compelling marketing themes and attention-grabbing packaging are conventional methods brands use to differentiate themselves, create emotional connections and gain market share. Rose, gold, love and life are the resonating themes impacting the women’s fine fragrance market.

A Bed of Roses

Rose is a dominant theme in women’s fine fragrance launches. Classic and feminine, a variety of modern interpretations of this iconic floral are influencing fragrance introductions with warmer, fuller structures.

To add appeal and to reinvent traditional rose fragrances, brands are creating stories based on specific rose varieties and adding warmth and depth with chypre, woody and gourmand nuances. Van Cleef & Arpels Féerie Rose des Neiges is based on the fée des neiges rose, a white winter rose also known as the iceberg rose, while Trish McEvoy Black Rose Oud features “a heart of prized black baccara rose and precious oud oils.” Emanuel Ungaro Diva Rose emphasizes an “intoxicating bouquet of Bulgarian roses” and is marketed as a woody floral chypre. Also classified as a floral chypre, Soap & Glory’s Original Pink eau de parfum features a signature rose and bergamot scent. Under its Aqua Allegoria range, Guerlain introduced a limited edition Rosa Blanca, interpreted “as a fresh, crisp rose with peach, jasmine, and magnolia notes.” Caron Delire de Roses is “an intricate intertwining of roses, leaves and fruits that reunites all the olfactory facets of the queen of flowers,” while Trésor Midnight Rose from Lancôme “is a more gourmand version of the original [Tresor]; the notes include raspberry, pink pepper, jasmine, peony, rose, vanilla.” Heeley’s Hippie Rose highlights rose, patchouli, cedar and musk, and natural indie Providence Perfume Co.’s Rose Bohème was created with “rich aged patchouli, fir, red tea, oud, saffron, Turkish rose, rare white rose essence and artisan rose petal infusion.” In contrast, Avril Lavigne uses rose as a symbol in her packaging and the promotion of her 2010 Forbidden Rose fragrance and her 2011 Wild Rose scent. However, neither fragrance actually contains rose notes. Wild Rose is a fruity floral described as “a feminine and exciting blend of sun-kissed fruits and beautiful flowers.”