I haven’t been to Colette for a while, and a recent post in 1000fragrances certainly made me want to check out the store. It’s not surprising to hear that this hip store in Paris has done a good job of building its olfactive identity. After all this is the store in Paris run by an innovative trendsetter ‘sarah’.
Olfactive branding is a relatively new area in the fragrance business… but I see two problems here.
The first issue is whether to scent a space or to launch an olfactive campaign, it doesn’t require tons of fragrance oil to achieve these goals. This is not really a good business for the suppliers. To profit from this new trend the suppliers will need to change their old-fashioned billing system which has been spoiling their clients for many years and be prepared for a new business form. Not an easy thing to do.
Solving the second issue could be even more difficult. Today’s big companies are like young people. They want to be cool. However both fragrance business and its market are uncool, and worst of all, this is contagious – an example: Tom Ford used to be cool, and Estee Lauder wanted to borrow some of his leftover aura. In the beginning of Lauder-Ford alliance, some people in the industry made fun of one of the big bosses at Lauder who was trying to dress like Tom Ford. How does the relationship look today? I think Tom blended in with Estee Lauder so nicely that it’s hard to remember that he had been undeniably cool in the ’90s… will it be possible to change this uncool environment into a cool one, and how? That I don’t know yet.
In brief, this short film is so Tokyo – it’s almost too good for an ad. I haven’t smelled the fragrance but am pretty sure that it isn’t anywhere near this level.
Oh, and ladies (and some gents), if you encounter a young caucasian male in a trendy part of Tokyo, he will likely be as handsome as the “gaijin” in this film. If he is driving a car, it could be a sporty Mercedes or a red Ferrari.
There’s one thing I have been thinking about for a while to make perfumers’ identities more visible. The idea came up as I began to hear some perfumers being unhappy only to find their names in a motley list of perfumers in the web. I think it’s not a bad idea to have a reliable source to find information on perfumers, I mean an orgnized list of perfumers at recognized houses with their bios and photos.
– sort the list by house (Givaudan, IFF, Firmenich…), by category (fine fragrance, beauty care, household…), and by location (New York, Paris…)
– have a photo (nice ones) and a bio (less corporate, more personal) of each perfumer
– update information every year (wins, transfers…)
– include perfumers from Beauty Care and Toiletries (they are equally important assets for each house)
– list only the notable wins of each perfumer or list only what each perfumer is proud of
The information is obtainable… but who is going to put the time and money for it? This is clearly not my job. So, I suggested Perfumer & Flavorist to think about making a directory website of perfumers. The editor seemed keen on the idea, and I hope something will come out from them.
There is something striking about the image below…
It reminds me of a fragrance that perfumer Loc Dong was working on for S-Perfume® more than a year ago. You may not have heard about Loc Dong yet, but his recent achievement is compared to that of Jacques Cavallier when L’Eau d’Issey was created. Naturally, other suppliers are now waiting for a chance to lure Loc from IFF.
I have a sweet spot for Loc Dong for many reasons, but the biggest reason is simply because he’s a god damn Asian. Loc often said to me, “I want women to feel beautiful when they wear my fragrance.” His simple statement is very powerful, just like this stunning beauty in a white ao dai.
So, why didn’t we finish the fragrance? Well, I thought his great mods should fall into the hands of L’Oreal or P&G one day, and not in mine. Loc Dong’s fragrances should be appreciated by as many women as possible, and they are simply not meant for niche markets.
An article in the May issue of Perfumer & Flavorist discusses what it means to be a perfumer today. The article is loaded with revealing quotes from respected figures in the industry like Carlos Benaim, Jean Guichard, Frederic Malle and more. The full article is available for purchase here. Highly recommended for beauty writers and avid consumers of perfumes.
True or not, I don’t know, but once heard that the designer and the perfumer were overjoyed about the concept of the scent – Shower After Sex. Unfortunately the real shower-after-sex effect can only be experienced from the juice straight out of the lab, not the one from the factory. During the mature(oil)-macerate(solution)-chill-filter process the elusive “molecule S” seems to fade away. By the time the product reaches the store shelf the shock value is hardly there… at least for most people’s noses.
“S” was supposed to imply semen, shower, and soap. Cologne S… this great name also has evaporated during the maceration process.
Several weeks ago I promised to offer a limited number of samples of fragrance which was born from a collaboration between perfumer Dominique Ropion and photographer Terry Richardson. I apologize for the delay. Let’s say it’s not easy to bring back a fragrance which is no longer in production… but it’s coming. Thanks for your patience!
A few weeks ago I mishandled a subject in my post and decided to delete it with the comments. Among the deleted comments there was one asking about how to become a perfumer. Obviously there is not much information out there…
Well, anyone can become a self-proclaimed perfumer since there’s no rule to be a self-proclaimed perfumer, but being a “major league player” in perfumery means working with one of the legitimate houses that dominates the fragrance market. Most people don’t know how to enter one of these houses as a perfumer or as a future perfumer. Is it part of the secrecy of the industry? Maybe so.
I may post something related to the “how to” topic in the future, but let me tell you why it is so obscure. It’s quite simple – the industry doesn’t need to publicize the “how to” since the openings for new perfumers are extremely limited. Each house (fragrance supplier) has only one to three openings per year, and there are enough sources to recruit great young talents already.
So, where do they look for the potential noses? ISIPCA is the most known place to look for future perfumers, but there are several other places. I’ll tell you more about it some other time…