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A Sensory Journey: Fragrance in Branding

By: GCI Editors
Posted: May 23, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Patti Allyn, vice president, evaluation, consumer goods, Mane, USA: Beauty products are first and foremost benefit-driven. Therefore, a superior fragrance will not only enhance the personal experience, it will be the primary signal to the user that the product is delivering its intended benefit.

Anne Silsby, senior marketing manager for bath and body, Philosophy: Fragrance is key to sensory experience—impression, association and inspiration. A beautiful fragrance is the perfect way to elevate your mood and enhance your well-being.

Amy Braden, director of product development, Tru Fragrance: A good fragrance helps create a connection and develops a relationship between a consumer and product. Many consumers choose beauty products based on functionality—fragrance adds an element of pleasure. Scent enhances the experience of using a product and the benefits one associates with it. People want to use products that appeal to them, and that includes fragrance or scent.

Q: Obviously skin care and bath and body products tend to be more fragranced, but what are the challenges and/or opportunities for applying fragrances to color cosmetics and hair care?

Harper: When it comes to color cosmetics, the focus is not on fragrance. Fragrance plays a minor, supporting role if present at all. When fragrance is used in color cosmetics, its primary role is to lightly mask or complement any unpleasant odors that may be present in the base formulation. Masking fragrances are usually very simplistic in composition, often containing only one or two fragrance ingredients. 

For hair care, base formulations can be very tricky, specifically in conditioners and hair colorants. Raw materials used in these product bases can often have fatty or amine base odors, which are difficult to cover or complement with fragrance. Our extensive experience with fragrancing difficult bases has taught us to be selective in our fragrance design for these products in order to get the best results. Fragrance compatibility and excellent performance are achievable with perfumer and evaluator expertise.