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Materials: The Scent of a Winner

By: Steve Tanner
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the September 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

There has never been more interest in fragrances, fragrance design and fragrance ingredients. This is good for fragrance houses, and it’s good for marketers, too. Any company looking to enhance consumer relationships and create brand loyalty can tap into a sophisticated, creative resource of global firms and rapidly growing U.S. fragrance houses to create just the right scent. That’s always been the major attraction of our industry. But today, we are doing that—and a lot more—for our clients.

At some firms, marketing planning, trend analysis and product design capabilities have been dramatically expanded—giving clients a tremendous competitive advantage. Across the board, there’s a much greater appreciation for the role fragrance plays in brand strategy. And the leading fragrance companies are perfectly positioned to help companies achieve corporate goals in critical areas, including sustainability, product safety and regulatory affairs.

Perfumers will always be the stars of the fragrance industry. But today, marketing planners, sourcing specialists and ingredient buyers, application and quality control scientists, and regulatory experts—who respond to a global onslaught of constantly changing rules and requirements—work right alongside our creative artists.

Creativity, Sustainability and Safety

This segment is built on creativity and innovation. A new celebrity or fashion fragrance is a big occasion, and a new, naturally sourced fragrance in a favorite skin care regimen will always capture the consumer’s imagination. Even after some consolidation in the perfume industry, fragrance houses today are busier than ever. Personal care companies have never had so many quality fragrances performing for their brands, and consumers who buy their products have never had so many beautiful ways to make their lives exciting and fun. Their work connects with consumers hundreds of times a day—and these encounters are growing.

Fragrance is now a major strategic component in a broad selection of everyday products. Apart from soaps and detergents (which have always smelled great), cosmetics, beauty and luxury items (which continue to push the boundaries of fragrance design), even leading hotel brands are discussing their signature fragrances, and major retailers are telling manufacturers what fragrances they want to see in products destined for their shelves.