The World Perfumery Congress was held in Cannes on June 1-5, 2004. 1200 delegates attended from 32 countries, there were 30 speakers and 62 exhibitors.
Here is a short summary of some of the main points arising from lectures given at the Congress:
There were 227 fine fragrance launches in 2003, compared with 32 in 1980.
The consequences of such a proliferation of new fragrances are:
1) Demotion of fragrance from a desirable luxury to a commodity item
2) Sameness, lack of creativity, and copy-cat fragrances
3) Declining growth in the fragrance market
4) Shorter product lifecycles reduce the impact of the brand message
Perfume Creation and Marketing:
1) Emotional connection in the creation of the perfume pushes creative boundaries
2) This creates a “provenance”, the perfume’s creative history
3) Marketers should allow much more time for the creation of the fragrance-”time to breathe” – and not rely on market testing
4) Natural products bridge the gap between functional needs and emotional desires
5) The population is ageing in Western Europe, the “Silver Surfer”’s decision to purchase is personal: “cool” factor, self-indulgence, aspiring.
6) We must look for creativity outside the industry, e.g.Absolut vodka
7) We must create products with technical, functional, and emotional benefits.
8) The fragrance industry can use many emotional hooks to get consumer to trade up.
All of the above are used extremely effectively in Niche Brands:
1) Original and creative products lead to exceptional brand loyalty
2) Investment is in the product and its presentation,not on advertising
3) High quality raw materials
4) Ultra-selective distribution
5) Exclusivity through word-of-mouth emotional contact
6) Strong effective ties with press
Natural products have emotion-loaded personality that can be used to great effect in a fragrance’s creative history.
Aromachology: Natural fragrances have been shown to change the perception of physical characteristics of cosmetic products.
Therapeutic value: Essential oils have been demonstrated to have clinically proven therapeutic effects.
Regulations: The industry needs to be more proactive in testing for allergens, speak with one voice, and have greater active dialogue with dermatologists, environmentalists and opinion leaders.
Rational odorant design can be used to create non-allergenic fragrance raw materials.