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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.

page 7 of 9

Ultimately, the best fragrance for a given product is one that enhances the product’s positioning or function through strategic scent design. A product designed to clean should always have a fragrance that clearly conveys that message. A product designed to smooth or add shine needs a fragrance that enhances those attributes.

Enriquez: What you have to remember is fragrance is chemistry. Certain fragrances do not work in certain bases because the base is either to powerful for that fragrance or the fragrance could not be right for the base (the fragrance could discolor the base). It is not recommended to use the (exact) same fragrance in different bases, because you will get different reactions.

Allyn: Effectively, hair and skin products can have a similarity; however, they are technically designed differently. The expectations per product, even within hair can vary greatly, i.e., fragrances designed to be substantive on hair for styling or a diffusive, highly fragrant experience in the shower for shampoo products. Skin care systems can contain maskants with low odor or be designed to layer as a fine fragrance ancillary.

Silsby: There are many variables in creating a wonderful scent, particularly if you consider the type of fragrance and other elements included in a formula. When designing a fragrance, it is key to inform the perfumers of all the different potential applications for the fragrance, so they can design a profile that translates well in all products.

Q: How do you see fragrance being used to promote brands and branding efforts in the future?

Harper: As product developers, fragrance remains one of the most powerful, yet most underutilized tools in our arsenal. Fragrance is a game changer. The most successful brands know the power of fragrance and use it to unleash the success of their product in the marketplace. Strategic fragrance design represents the future of product branding. Expect to see more seasonal fragrance variants and limited edition offerings within personal care and even home and institutional product categories.