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Case Study: Tru Blooms Chicago First Harvest

By: Tru Fragrance
Posted: October 18, 2013, from the November 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

Tru Fragrance, a Chicago-based boutique fragrance development company, creates custom fragrances and scented brand extensions for some of America’s most recognized national retailers, including Charlotte Russe, Charming Charlie and Francesca’s. Working behind-the-scenes with its partners through every step of the fragrance development process, from ideation through launch, the company consistently delivers clever, innovative, and highly successful products for its clients.

An Innovative Showcase

Working to showcase Tru’s innovative thinking and embark on a pioneering fragrance initiative outside the industry comfort zone, and also give back to Chicago, the company developed an idea to celebrate nature, Chicago, sustainability, collaboration, philanthropy and more with an enticing, beautiful fragrance project.

Tru’s executive and product development teams ideated Tru Blooms Chicago, a first-of-its-kind fragrance initiative to transform the city’s green spaces into growing spaces, cultivating flowers that would be harvested and bottled into a limited edition perfume. This is the first project of its kind where a city has come together to fulfill a mission of sustainability, urban beautification and economic development through the planting of flowers and gardens specifically for use in a fine fragrance.

Working with local partners such as the Chicago Park District, Chicago Botanic Garden, Growing Power, Growing Home and NeighborSpace, Tru Fragrance transformed more than 22 neighborhood and public green spaces, including areas in Grant Park and the Chicago Botanic Gardens, into growing spaces for roses, lavenders and violets. Perfumers from Ungerer & Company captured the essential oils and essence of the flowers, and worked with Tru to fashion a fine fragrance infused with unique notes only found in Chicago. Tru designed, packaged and distributed the fragrance to women’s perfume retailers in time for the 2012 holiday shopping season.

The Results

The Tru Blooms Chicago initiative resulted in the following:

  • further positioned Tru Fragrance as a leader and innovator in the fragrance industry with the ability to launch trend-right products;
  • enhanced urban beautification initiatives by cultivating more than 22 gardens (two acres) of green spaces throughout Chicago;
  • provided specialized job training for more than 150 workers, and created or extended than 60 jobs for economically disadvantaged local residents; and
  • established partnerships with more than 50 local retailers.

Due to the success Tru witnessed from the first iteration, it was determined that Tru Blooms Chicago would return for a Second Harvest, which kicked off in May 2013 and had a scent that debuted in September 2013.