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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.

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The adoration of rose is also visible in personal care products such as Korres’ Wild Rose Skincare collection and Japanese Rose body butter and shower gel, as well as and Olay’s Silk Whimsy collection. According to Korres, “Wild rose oil is a natural source of vitamin C, which smoothes and brightens dull skin.” Olay Silk Whimsy’s products are formulated with rose extract and almond oil, and the marketing copy reads “Feel it hush over you like rose petals floating in a Venetian bath.” Rose is a classic flower whose popularity fluctuates depending on its translation, and while classic rose will remain, new rose species will be explored to continue to inspire contemporary fragrance launches.

In Love

Like the feminine allure of rose, romantic love-themed fragrances are a fashionable concept that translates well in prestige and mass-market channels. Interpretations range from feminine and playful to flirtatious and sexy. As expected, many of the fragrance directions are floral bouquets intertwined with fruity nuances, sensual warm woods, and gourmand sweet undertones.

Love by Chloe “is a celebration of radiant, generous, and spontaneous femininity” with “a fine, powdery scent—light, sensual, and iridescent with talc and rice.” Oscar de la Renta’s Live in Love is described as a green floral and was inspired by many flowers found in the designer’s Connecticut garden. The fragrance is “about how you embrace life—you live in love,” and the ad for the fragrance is illustrated by David Downton with a retro feel.

Reality star and expert marketer Kim Kardashian also produced a limited edition fragrance, Love by Kim Kardashian, in conjunction with her now-infamous wedding. Said fragrance sold out in 10 days. According to Kardashian’s blog, she “thought it would be fun to create a special fragrance that represents this special time in my life! We’ve only produced 1,000 bottles … one for me to wear on my wedding day, 200 for my bridal shower, and 799 for you guys.” The fragrance Love and Light from Jennifer Lopez is a flanker to her Love and Glamour scent, and according to Lopez “it’s about how you feel inside; it’s not about your outside world.” Mariah Carey added Lollipop Splash the Remix to her fragrance collection of Inseparable, Never Forget You and Vision of Love scents. Like Carey’s original Lollipop collection, the fragrances are fruity and gourmand. Vision of Love is described as “a colorful chic fragrance inspired by the combination of French macaroon and purple jasmine for a tasty surprise.” Kimora Lee Simmons’ sixth fragrance, Baby Phat Luv Me, blends apricot blossom, tangerine, jasmine, vanilla blossom and sandalwood and has a similar marketing message to Jennifer Lopez, “what’s most important is that you love me ... for me. Love yourself.” Vera Wang Lovestruck states, “It’s all about being overwhelmed, inexplicably, hopelessly in love … a new definition of Romeo and Juliet!” The fragrance is “a sparkling floral with notes of pink guava, mandarin, tuberose, lotus blossom, precious woods, and sheer musk.” Loverdose by Diesel is “the new elixir of love” formulated with “an overdose of ambroxan and liquorice absolute,” and according to the company, the fragrance is said to “stimulate the hypothalamus.” The fragrance is packaged in a purple faceted heart bottle reminiscent of Vera Wang’s original Princess fragrance. Love by MCMC Fragrances clearly follows the love theme, but surprisingly the fragrance highlights unexpected ingredients such as “Japanese yuzu citrus, French sweet basil and Chinese magnolia oil” with “the burning intensity of ancient templewood and gunpowder.” Watch as new fragrance interpretations of love continue to arise.

A Slice Of Life

In the same vein as love, life is another emerging fragrance theme. However, it is a bit more ethereal and harder to translate into fragrance. La Prairie added two lighter versions of the company’s Life Threads scents, Sheer Gold and Sheer Ruby. Addict To Life from Dior was developed for “the confident woman who knows what she wants and lives life fully and intensely” and “the bouquet has a natural freshness with sparkling rose, vibrant jasmine, lilac and white musk.” Mary J. Blige’s second scent, My Life Blossom, launched on the Home Shopping Network in August, and $1 from every bottle sold is being donated to The Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now. According to Blige, “Life can be beautiful when you’re clear about who you are,” and the fragrance has gardenia, mandarin, freesia, orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, marigold, sandalwood, cashmere wood and vanilla notes. In specialty, Bath & Body Works introduced the Charmed Life signature collection, “a positively sexy blend of juicy guava, sparkling pear and creamy vanilla musk, inspired by taking chances, having fun and savoring life’s fabulous moments!”