According to couturiere Christian Dior, “a woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” This was when fragrances were thought to be less the backbone of a well-established design house compared to what they are today.
Perfumes have been a part of human existence from the very beginning. At first, fragrances were based on flowery water and essential oils. But with time, innovations resulted in the improvement of perfumes and are now considered the number one fashion accessory let no woman or even man can do without.
Just a single dash of perfume reflects one’s personal style, outfit, and personality. Fashion houses are aware of this and realize just how crucial perfume branding is for their success. That’s why you’ll notice how every fashion house has its own line of perfumes. It’s how they use that method to promote their own fragrances, attract new customers, and make a name for themselves in the perfume industry.
The Concept of Perfume Branding
Call it whatever you want, aroma marketing, scent marketing, or olfactory marketing is the act of using fresh-smelling or pleasant scent to improve a company’s public image, increase sales, and enhance the customer experience. Scent marketing can also increase consumer foot traffic and influence how long consumers can spend within a perfume store.
This subtle method of marketing enables brands to connect with their audience at an emotional level. It’s used in several industries such as restaurants, retailers, airlines, hotel operators, and more.
Scent or perfume marketing is more than just having a product’s smell permeate from within a storefront. A lot goes into making an effective perfume marketing campaign, from the types of scents you pick to choosing how and where to disperse them. For instance, most beauty products, house cleaner, and food companies print scents onto their packaging labels to promote sales, and guess what? It works.
For consumers, their motivation can be described in four of the following categories as defined by Gerard Mazzalovo and Michel Chevalier:
- Desire: Something you want
- Need: Something you miss
- Pleasure: Something that’s good for you
- Interest: Something you find profitable
However, when it comes to perfumes, the logic for this chance to be a bit more complex when it comes to perfumes. But if we were to draw something, it all points to desire whatever they want to be, and what they could be.
The process of making a branch “scent” requires equal parts of instinct and strategy. According to Purpose-Built co-founder Kelly Kovach, the first step is to always ask the client for pure inspiration, which can be anything from legitimate fragrance benchmarks to absolute esoteric references. This is how Kovac and her team formulate fragrance benchmarks and then narrow the scent down eventually to its finest essence, as well as its cost of production.
Why is Perfume so Expensive?
Perfume has been considered a luxury product for so long now, but what exactly is it that makes it so expensive?
Perfumes are expensive not just because of their rare ingredients but also their posh branding and packaging. Most of these excessive scents are created from exquisite oils that are extracted from delicate tree roots or flower petals, or even a male deer’s musk.
Ingredients are one of the main reasons why perfumes cost too much. Some products consist of essences of the most unfamiliar routes, or rare flower petals; such as jasmine or tuberose. What’s more, is that an ingredient’s scarcity, like say for only one month in a single year, can increase its value.
For instance, the fragrance that was declared the 1930s “world’s most expensive perfume,” Jean Patou Joy ($190), was considered to be so upscale, as it took 28 dozen May roses and 10600 jasmine flowers just to make one bottle.
Some of the other pricey ingredients include oud oil, which averages over $30,000 per kg right now, and orris absolute, which averages over $50,000 per kg.
But no matter how rare the ingredients and the fragrances are, there’s no point in spending that much money on the ingredients if no one knows about these perfume products at all, and that’s where marketing comes in.
No matter how rare the ingredients may or may not be when making perfume products, they pale in comparison to the size of marketing costs. From the wide ad campaigns to the television, billboard, and magazine placements where they’re seen, everything comes with a price.
According to museum curator Chandler Burr’s book The Perfect Scent: a Year in the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York, only 3% of a person’s price is in its smell. The rest comes in advertising, packaging, and margins.
Also in his book, Burr quotes Carlos Timiraos, who was VP of Global Marketing at Coty’s at the time, by saying that the launching of a perfume product will cost fragrance companies 2 to 3 million dollars at a minimum. And after that, marketing costs and annual advertising will end up costing them tens of millions of dollars.
Source: Copycat Fragrances
And lastly is the packaging. Specialized bottles need to be developed to protect perfume’s integrity and quality by being airtight and safe. These bottles should protect the fragrance from coming in contact with light and guarantee an elaborate shelf life until it is bought. Interestingly, from the perspective of a perfume company, these are far from the essential considerations.
A perfume’s packaging needs to be presented in a package that’s attractive, unique, and represents the brand really well, as well as “feel good” to the consumer. For instance, some of the most expensive scents come in Baccarat crystal bottles. The French company Baccarat makes and sells the purest crystals in the world, to the point that the price of the bottle itself is precious.
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