Starting Point: Sophomore Efforts... Rock On!

For football teams and music phenoms, the dreaded sophomore effort is the second season or the second album—the one that follows the first and has to live up to or even surpass its promise. Rock fans will argue for Radiohead’s The Bends, Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory and even Wilco’s Being There. It’s a great game to play.

The world of fragranced products turns on new product launches. Fine fragrances in particular come into the world with red-carpet fanfare and photo ops of the kind enjoyed by rock stars. Sophomore efforts are scrutinized with even greater intensity, and it goes without saying that some succeed better than others. Chanel No. 5 debuted in 1921, and it was followed by Chanel No. 22. Chanel No. 5 is a cultural icon, but Luca Turin called No. 22 a four-star “exercise in heavy lifting.” Lancome’s 1981 Magie Noire, on the other hand, was eclipsed by sophomore effort, Tresor.

Fragranced products in general—beauty and personal care, candles and home fragrance, as well as fine fragrance—have never enjoyed greater consumer popularity. Nor have they endured such scrutiny over ingredients and pressure to perform at retail. The industry as a whole could be said to be facing its own sophomore effort. What will that second act look like in terms of technological breakthroughs, regulatory burden and retail opportunity? Will fans embrace the effort?

GCI magazine and HBA Global Expo are pleased to present a sophomore effort of our own, one that will certainly add to the conversation about where the industry is headed next. Fragrance Business 2008: Architects of Innovation is the second fragrance business event to be held during the HBA Global Expo in New York. Some of the industry’s best minds and greatest innovators will participate in a conference focused on strategies for success. This insert is your guide to the event, as well as a tiny dip into some current thinking on related issues.

Don’t miss a minute of the conference, visit the innovation pavilion on the show floor and enjoy the awards luncheon where we’ll feature the Fragranced Product of the Year and Fragranced Product Marketer of the Year, selected by a panel of industry judges from nominations received from you, our readers.

I hope to see you there. Maybe you’ll share with me your favorite sophomore effort fragrance. And rock album!

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