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Packaging Signature Scents

By: Annette Green
Posted: May 9, 2007

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Gourmand effects enlarged the perfumer’s palette in a very positive way. What’s most important is that the consumer has responded extremely well to these olfactory additions. Young consumers have particularly liked one-note “food” smells. Packaging in this category usually takes advantage of the dominant food note through color and simplicity (back to nature) in design.

Return of Chypre

I applaud the return of chypre and those marketers who are brave enough to accept the category. Some of our great classics—Miss Dior and Femme—are chypres. What is interesting about the category is that it combines intense woody notes with clarifying citrus to create sweet warm scents which are very much in the mood of today’s fashion-aware consumer. I believe this category is wide open for the most varied, eclectic designs that combine the integration of masculine and feminine visual qualities.

Spotlight on Perfumers

Spotlighting perfumers has always been “iffy” because the industry has operated on the principle that the consumer wants to believe that, particularly in relation to a famous personality, that the perfume was the creation of that personality. There is a point to that. Also, the supply houses are very jealous about their perfumers and don’t like them to have a public persona. On the other hand, when a perfumer reaches star status, it can make sense to spotlight his or her genius, particularly to potential customers in the industry and to the media—but I don’t see it as any great trend. Several small houses have been successful with this approach at retail, but it is not, I don’t believe, going to become dominant. The most successful packaging in this category appears to have a perfume lab look, which can be appealing to both men and women.

Floral Elements in Masculine Fragrances

I think it makes all the sense in the world for perfumers to include floral notes in men’s fragrances, as long as they are subtle. Men are much more open to more complicated blends, and softer, less harsh formulas have a broader appeal, particularly to women, who, in the final analysis, most man would like to please. As far as packaging these fragrances, bottles that have a more unisex quality would seem to be the most appropriate.

As a final word, whatever the packaging, it must make its presence felt, in a crowded environment, at retail. Delicacy and subtlety have no role. Drama, glamour, sexuality are all essential and basic to successful packaging.