A Behind The Scenes Look At The Fragrance Creation Process

A fragrance line creates the olfactory narrative of a particular brand. Without it, there is no real connection between buyers and products.

A brand story can be many things to many people, and can far exceed knowledge about the history behind a fragrance or a company’s mission statement.

A fragrance line enables a brand to harness the minds and emotions of consumers, feeding into their feelings and potentially leading to sales.

If done correctly, attaching meaning to the tale of a fragrance line will encourage others to see themselves wearing it and passing along its unique message to others, and it’s something we’ve done for decades.

What Are The Elements Of An Effective Fragrance Line?

Our perfume experts at Alpha Aromatics understand that whichever aspects are included in a fragrance line, their purpose must always be to either make potential wearers feel a certain way or conjure pleasant memories of another place, long faded into the mists of time.

Like any art form, success requires skill, talent, daring and patience; it is no magic trick, like pulling a rabbit out of a top hat.

Perfume must be an experience in order to be successful and this requires a combination of elements that merge in the consciousness of consumers and also can also connect them to the ethos of their psychological selves.

Notes and the shape and general appearance of the bottle can also have profound effects on consumer perception and sensibilities. Price, marketing and understanding your target audience, are also important concerns.

Establishing a fragrance line is no easy task as there are no shortcuts; only hard work that leads to success.

Not to discourage anyone who wants to do this, but first there is homework that needs to be done because fore-armed is fore-warned when it comes to meeting the dynamic and fickle needs of the public at large.

The key to success lies in harnessing the power of research and all it has to offer. Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from others, and hopefully avoid major pitfalls?

Some other important questions to ask include: what are the steps involved; how much will it cost and what to watch out for. The answers are there, but must be uncovered and and added to a roster of practical knowledge.

The True Meaning of A Fragrance Line

Our teams warn newcomers that the personal responsibility of starting a fragrance line cannot be underestimated.

Your name is there, which means that the buck stops with you if there are any problems or mishaps, which can happen.

Consumer safety must be paramount within your composition and the first steps in creating a fragrance are not putting on that lab coat and mixing diverse elements. Instead, they involve first conducting research and then creating a business plan, which is known as a fragrance brief.

The Dream And The Fragrance Brief 

Perfume formulation like all forms of artistic expression, stems from a recurring idea that just won’t let go.

Transforming this dream into a workable reality requires the establishment of a tangible blueprint that connects them both.

The ideal fragrance brief addresses the balance between expected, traditional aspects of a formulation and leaves sufficient space for creative enhancement.

There can be problems with these briefs because some can lack important details and others can be so heavily underlined that there is no room for artistic expression.

Direction and purpose are the key elements that define the success of an effective fragrance brief. 

Basically, there are two types; namely the manufacturer’s brief and the creative brief.

The former is assembled by the marketing team of a specific brand, but usually lacks the specific direction and knowledge of anyone with a keen knowledge of perfume, such as our master perfumers at Alpha Aromatics.

Standard inclusions are: a desired fragrance profile; estimated costs; a development schedule and ideas about packaging and design.

The latter type is also known as a Blue Sky brief and is conceived and executed with no particular client in mind.

They are usually technical and highly detailed While the characteristics and values of the expected fragrance is always included, the perfumer is still granted creative freedom concerning fragrance evolution.

Fragrance Creation Research And Development

Conducting market research is the key to gaining insight into the needs, demands and preferences of a dynamic target consumer base, even if true constancy is impossible to determine.

Some important exploratory areas should include: age, gender (male, female or unisex), country or origin and academic background.

Delving deeper often leads to discoveries concerning things like: color preferences, product names, bottles and packaging designs.

Research can also glean perception into any gaps that might be present within a particular marketplace, which could offer clues about how to stand apart from competitors. 

The Functions Of A Fragrance Line

All of the fragrances we’ve designed serve to either disguise an unpleasant odor or to add into an existing scent in a specific product.

The power of smell in personal care and cosmetic products and its success or failure greatly depends upon how well a fragrance performs.

Psychologically, a perfume must elevate mood and induce a sensory experience that encourages linger time and buying impulses or alter a certain mood and impression.

Advertising A New Fragrance Line

 Advertising must connect psychologically with a certain abstract idea such as: masculinity, femininity or erotic passion. Perfume ads from decades past relied heavily on this idea.

One particular pre-Internet magazine ad for Lanvin’s My Sin perfume featured a black cat surrounded by three white kittens, cleverly suggesting exactly that. 

Today, press releases, websites and social media pages are considered effective ways to harness attention from a targeted consumer base.

A New Fragrance’s Place Within The World of Perfume

According to Edison Diaz, president of the German Society of Perfumers, newcomers to the fragrance industry are besieged with other, newer challenges than those who came before them.

More than ever, the intersection between fragrance and health requires more advanced, targeted research and more of the most coveted element of all; time, to proceed. Innovation does occur, but not on a grand enough scale to disrupt established grounds.

In Diaz’s own words: “What we need is disruptive, discontinuous innovation…Another issue for the industry is the need for unity and its competitively….If you are launching a new ingredient, this product needs to be registered world wide. This is fine because we want to protect consumers and create great products.”

He also believes that the members of the fragrance industry should all come together for the common good to strengthen supply chain flexibility and respond to demands for transparency and safety.

He states: “We need to have the time and the team for discovering new benefits in perfumery.”

In Conclusion

If you need help developing your fragrance line, or maybe would rather trust such a project to experts who deal with this kind of thing every single day of the year, send our teams a message!

We’re always here to help.

Roger Howell, Alpha Aromatics Master Perfumer

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