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Scent Sleuth: Holiday Fragrance Mania

By: Nancy C. Hayden
Posted: January 8, 2007

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Celebrity fragrances continue to target the mass market consumer and designers tend to launch in the prestige arena. Do we see some trends evolving, especially noticeable during the holiday buying season?

Annie Buzantian, one of Firmenich’s top perfumers and the creator of some of the most successful fragrance launches of the decade, says that this has obviously been the year of the chypre. However, the innovative twist has been with a definite gourmand note added to the chypre construction, according to Buzantian, and fragrances such as Euphoria, Lovely and Coco Mademoiselle have done extremely well utilizing this note.

“The woody category is freshened and given a twist with citrus or mandarin driven by Light Blue by Lauren. The floral category is still a mainstay being led by Pleasures and Beautiful,” she said.

The aqueous green floral category, launched with the introduction of Pleasures in 1996, still is going strong. Pleasures, relying on its strong identity at the counter, has expanded into a brand with Pleasures Exotic, Pleasures Intense and Pleasures Floral. If the consumer liked the original, why wouldn’t she try a twist?

There have been some big successes in the past few years including Thierry Mugler’s Angel. This fragrance was considered to be an unusual niche success in that it combined a heady, spicy, woody floral note with a very sweet vanilla amber oriental base. This grandfathered the vanillic orientals. Many offshoots occurred such as Jean Paul Gaultier (original), Anna Sui, Burberry Brit and Armani Mania. This category remains strong and continues to make statements with new entries such as Britney Spears’ Fantasy and Ralph Lauren Hot.