Our world provides constant ‘sensory overload’. It drives us to just ‘tune out’ aromatically. So, how does a marketer begin to create fragranced products that stand out in the crowd and “tune in” to the needs and desires of their consumers? Success or failure in the marketplace can be attributed in large part to what transpires during the fragrance design process.
Fragrance design is a pivotal and complex process. At its best, it is masterful storytelling, which creates a world where the consumer wants to belong.
However, in order for the “story” to be successful, several artistic, technical and strategic factors need to be considered.
Who is your audience?
As is true of every artistic composition, the fragrance design process begins with honing in on one’s target audience. Whom are you trying to reach? What are their dreams, hopes and desires? What captures their attention? Drives them? Inspires them?
As the marketer, you will often address these questions in the initial project brief. In essence, the brief is a character sketch explaining who the fragrance should appeal to and why, the characteristics this fragrance should embody and the message it should convey (classy, sexy, etc.).
The designer’s insightful marketing team, well-versed in consumer trends, further frames the fragrance dialogue, which the perfumers and evaluators then use as the script for the creation.
Create Engaging Characters
A story is only as good as its characters. Similarly, a fragrance is only as good as its ingredients. They drive the plot, engage the audience and transport them on a journey of the imagination evoking emotion, memory and mood.
During the fragrance design process, seasoned perfumers and evaluators tap into their extensive knowledge of olfactive profiles to source the perfect combination of high-quality ingredients. They then brilliantly intertwine them to create intriguing aromatic characters which connect with consumers on a deep and personal level.
The synergistic fusion of “characters” allows the “story” to transcend itself to become a complete sensory experience.
Follow the Script
Continuity is the cornerstone of any story. The thematic thread must run through every chapter of the fragrance narrative from the actual scent to its packaging, ingredients, benefits and texture.
The continuous collaboration and communication between you and your manufacturing partner during the fragrance design process is critical to ensuring that the project stays on point and remains true to the story.
Edit for Impact
Perfumers formulate a series of different versions called modifications during the fragrance design process. These “mods” are screened by the creative team on blotters (or smelling strips) and then, most importantly, in the final product form. Each version is evaluated for its character, strength, appeal, emotional impression and its overall manifestation of the story direction set forth in your initial specifications.
Perfumers will often edit their work several times before the fragrance sample is revealed to you. During the final development process, you may request additional editing be done to guarantee your creation has the greatest impact.
Meet the deadline
Fragrance design must concentrate on the actual as well as the abstract. Specifically, the design process must focus on producing a fragrance that is not only emotionally engaging, but sensorily sound as well. Regulatory professionals ensure that each fragrance meets the specified safety guidelines before it goes out the door. Additionally, production teams work tirelessly to make sure that your fragrance story makes its release date.
Ultimately sensory storytelling is serious business where a cohesive, creative and thorough fragrance design process is the key to transcending from “once upon a time” to “happily ever after”.