When consumers shop for fragrances, they’re looking for more than just the perfect combination of scents. They’re also looking for scents that reflect their unique personalities and brand desires. As a brand leader, creating a signature scent means knowing what drives your demographic and how that can be captured by a blend of creative fragrance.
A fragrance is more than just a smell. It’s a sensory experience that triggers a wealth of emotions and associations. Everything your brand’s signature scent triggers should be positive, motivating and inspiring. That might sound like an impossible task, but it’s really just a matter of knowing scent science.
How Do Buyers Perceive Your Brand’s Signature Fragrance?
One of the most compelling things about a brand’s fragrance is its subconscious power. Different smells can compel or repel consumers in ways that they aren’t even aware of.
You’ve likely heard of individuals who use aromatherapy to evoke certain bodily or emotional responses. As you create your brand’s signature scent, remember that an array of fragrances can be used to evoke emotions and responses in buyers in much the same way.
Striking a Note with Consumers
Imagine that your target consumer has just walked into a department store. As she browses the perfume aisle, she runs across your brand’s signature scent. She sprays a little on her wrist and brings it to her nose to sniff. What’s her initial impression of the fragrance? Maybe it’s a light, airy scent with a floral top note that makes her think of a sunny spring day. Perhaps it’s a deep, woody scent that awakens a feeling of the earth and mystical.
As she walks around the store, the fragrance begins to change. As it hits its middle note, it begins to create the lasting impression that the consumer has of the fragrance. Remember that every fragrance is a carefully balanced blend of scents that can continue to make an impression long after it’s been applied.
It’s essential that you align the impression that your signature fragrance makes with your overall branding strategy. If you run a bright and vibrant brand with a playful spirit, the scent that represents it should conjure a sense of delight. If you know your brand’s identity in and out, and you know what your brand wants to evoke in consumers, you can work with a perfumer to create the right fragrance.
Falling into Fragrance Families
One way to think about the note that your signature fragrance strikes is to evaluate each of the fragrance components used to make it. Perfumers use an array of scents from different fragrance families to create blends for their clients. Scents are grouped into families according to how they’re derived and how they strike the nose.
Looking at which fragrance families best represent the mood and identity of your brand will help you better communicate with your consumers and fragrance partners. Fragrances can be sorted into four broad categories:
- Floral: The floral group comprises a wide range of scents made from blooms. Everything from gardenia to lilac to rose is included in the floral group, which is incredibly popular among perfumers. These scents are classic and are often used in feminine fragrances and a wide range of scented home products.
- Oriental: Exotic scents that are both spicy and sweet are generally grouped into the oriental category. These rich, bold scents include amber, cardamom and clove. This is a classic-yet-exotic family of scents that can speak to both tradition and intrigue.
- Fresh: True to their name, scents in the fresh family draw on the spirit of the outdoors. Grasses, herbs, rain and oceanic smells are included in this family alongside a broad range of citruses. These scents are often used as top notes in fragrances. They’re widely associated with cleanliness, energy and new beginnings.
- Woody: An array of aromatic woods are used in perfumery. These notes are classic, grounded and earthy. They’re often used to provide a strong middle note in men’s fragrances but are also used in home products including candles and cleaning solutions. Gourmand perfumers use scents in this group to recreate food smells. These scents play on the emotional connections that consumers have with foods and beverages, and many are seasonally positioned.
Much Ado About A Scent
Creating a signature fragrance for your brand that strikes all the right notes means tapping into the intricate connection between scent and memory. It may seem like much ado about a single scent, but the right fragrance provides a way for consumers to remember and relate to your brand’s core identity and values. More than a smell, it’s an invisible signature that your consumers will associate with your brand wherever they encounter it.