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Live from New York: Russian Middle Class Grows

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: October 8, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

Symrise and Sniffapalooza, led by founder and director, Karen Dubin, and executive operations manager, Karen Adams, partnered to present a multi-sensory presentation in Symrise’s Creative Studio in New York City, focusing on Russia: Extremes and Paradoxes.

Extensive research conducted by Symrise on Russia’s emerging market provided insight into the current fragrance industry, consumer preferences, lifestyle and olfactive trends. The presentation, by Doreen Bucher, senior director of marketing, fine fragrance, Symrise, and Jeanine Dzuroska, vice president, consumer and market intelligence, scent and care division, Symrise, explored the history of Russia as well as current conditions.

“While there is great income disparity in today’s Russia, we are interested in the middle class, because they are the ones spending more money on beauty products, and beauty for women is part of the Russian heritage,” Bucher said.

Joining the group were Symrise perfumers Jean-Claude Delville, vice president and senior fine fragrance perfumer, and Christelle Laprade, perfumer, who commented on the variety of fragrance families explored in the conceptual platforms, including White Spring, Green Fall, Red Summer and Golden Winter, part of the Wonders of Nature concept; Baby Swan and Black Princess in Epic Romanticism; and the luxury platform of Luxe Fantastic and Luxe Radikal, in the Splendor Forever concept.

Delville noted that the fragrance market in Russia is undergoing a change as younger consumers develop a different language for describing and experiencing fragrance. Hence, their expectations are also changing. “There is a lot we are borrowing from flavors that we were not using before. We try to be inspired by everything,” Delville said. “We have reinvented rose and violet for men, and at the same time we are exploring new territories. From Russia to China, to India—everything is based on sensation. We take curry, for example, and take it somewhere else. Curry for us is the starting point. You have to keep an open mind. Good fragrances have no sex. As long as you like it, that is your own personal pleasure.”

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