Fragrance, perfume, scents, aromatics, essential oils - call
them what you may, but judging by perfume sales, there is no
doubt we all love the many different and new perfumes on
offer. Consumers have become fragrance connoisseurs, always
looking for new perfumes and scents. Some seek new
exclusive perfumes to such an extent that designers are
actively seeking to satisfy this luxury niche market.
Each of us has favourite fragrances that our olfactory centre
recognises. At an instant, our nose can detect, and associate, an elixir long
forgotten. Thanks to a perfume, the surging memory of a special moment in our
lives can be instantly restored. In a second our spirits can be lifted and soar with
joy, or drown with sadness and longing.
Right - A suggestion from Harrods for the woman in your life.
Versace new fragrance £58, 100ml, an idea from
2007 Mother's Day Gifts at Harrods.
Eager to cash in on our love of perfumes, the latest
fragrances being launched for 2007 are for the so called niche
markets. Several are the libraries of 'exclusive' perfumes.
I have to write that as I looked at the price range of these
exclusive niche perfumes, I found that at a starting price of £80 I don't think the prices are that
prohibitive. Two of the best offers were from the Tom
Ford Private Blend collection at £80+ and the Chanel Exclusif at £120. If I can afford one of these perfumes as a treat then I suspect you can too.
So what does this say to me? The answer is - clever marketing, very clever
marketing! Maybe if the most you normally pay for a new
scent is around £40, then twice that amount will sound expensive
and even rarefied. These niche perfumes are supposed
to be exclusive, yet I feel they would have to cost a lot more
than £100 to be truly exclusive. Exclusive would be a perfume
designed for you by an expert like Roja Dove at Harrods, but of
course at much, much greater cost. At Roja Dove you would be
involved in the consultation and savour some samplings - that is what
having an exclusive perfume
This idea of niche exclusive perfumes is the same marketing
technique that has been successfully employed for 'must-have' and
'want it' bag
ranges. Do marketers think none of us ever read the fairy
story of the Emperor's New Clothes? If you remember, it took the fool to tell the Emperor that what his designers told him were fancy clothes, were in fact, nothing but their
Now it's clear to me this all looks like a clever marketing way
to hike the price of top brand name perfumes. It is so
simple, but this is just marketing genius - exclusive - but not
so exclusive that the item is unattainable. Hard to obtain
maybe, but priced so that even if you had to save for it, the perfume is
attainable, rather than priced out of your dreams. This
is simply attainable luxury. Pricier than normal, but
nevertheless doable. Available in selected outlets or boutiques, rather than so
exclusive you couldn't get a bottle from a major
city boutique, or from a top store like Harrods or Bergdorf Goodman.
Such perfumes are desirable and are lovely, but always remember
that branding and vanity branding is big business. Read
selling the haute couture dream here.
I love Chanel perfumes so am pleased to see Chanel have launched a small group of ten exclusive
designer fragrances that use rare ingredients. These rare perfume
ingredients are also very expensive. The man behind
this is Jacques Polge, Chanel's current chief perfumer. It
is hoped that this exclusive fragrance collection will prevent
regular Chanel perfume wearers from defecting to new lines of
other designer brands such as the
collection noted below.
The Chanel heritage project draws from 4 old
scents, plus the creation of 6 new scents. None of the scents are advertised nationally
and these designer fragrances will be
sold at a limited number of selected perfume boutiques, for
example at Chanel boutiques or luxury stores.
Because the ingredients are costly, there is only enough produce
for a limited production run.
According to the makers, these precious rare scents
are to be regarded like expensive jewellery. Many of the
Chanel scents are
named after places where Coco Chanel lived or worked. All
are intended to evoke the haunting spirit of Coco Chanel, her
homes and furnishings, her connoisseur personality and the mood of an era.
The Les Exclusif Chanel Range Includes:-
Les Exclusifs de Chanel
Bel Respiro - a fresh green scent reminiscent of fresh spring air
when all the trees burst into leaf and bud. Les Exclusifs de Chanel
Coromandel - a dry oriental fragrance that is bold and suggestive Les Exclusifs de Chanel
28 La Pausa - a perfume with an iris note and woody
silkiness. Les Exclusifs de Chanel
No 18 - the mingling of rose, ambrette and musk intended to evoke
the sensual opulence of Chanel's Jewellery
Boutique. Les Exclusifs de Chanel
31 rue Cambon a bracing chypre style perfume with bergamot and
oak moss. Les Exclusifs de Chanel
Eau de Cologne - a citrus go anywhere fragrance
A 200 ml splash bottle of any will start at £120.
new scents have been re-launched along with these old Chanel favourites
from the 1920s - Gardenia, Bois des Iles, Cuir de Russie and
that in the know favourite Chanel No.22. Rumour has
it that these four are harder to find.
Tom Ford along with Armani is also developing exclusive niche perfumes.
I like the work of both Tom Ford and Armani who have both been
forward looking pioneers in the fashion world in their time.
Ford continues to play out even more talents. Ford's new scent called Black Orchid was launched last November 2006, but
now he has revealed the project that he has been working on for some
time. Tom Ford's latest project is the creation of a library of 12 floral and citrus
In March 2007 sales start of the 12 unisex fragrances which
belong to a library of perfumes called Private Blend. The
Private Blend niche perfume collection is the brainwave of ex
Gucci designer Tom Ford and he regards these 12 scents as his
scent laboratory. Ford has collaborated with Estée Lauder
Cosmetics to create these 12 new scents.
Selling outlets for the Tom Ford Private Blend collection are
be very limited to exclusive venues with 1.7 oz of EDP costing
$165/£80. As time moves on some of the blends will be
removed/renewed so that new blends in keeping with the mood of
the times can be added.
So of the new perfumes this year apart from the
2 collections mentioned there are new directions.
There is a clear resurgence of specific florals such as rose,
iris, gardenia and orange blossoms often blended with citrus and
Rose perfumes of note old and new include
Rose Absolu - Yves Rocher Lancôme - Mille et Une Roses Le Labo's - Rose31 Vera Wang - Truly Pink L'Occitane - Rose and Reine as well as other rose
versions Aveda - Rose Attar Pure-Fume Valentino - Rock and Rose Serge Lutens - Sa Majeste la Rose Perfumers Workshop (1975) - Tea Rose
If asked to pick out a perfume for this spring, I would choose either
a rose based perfume, a citrus lemon or orange based fragrance; indeed, why not blend them all! And if you want to be ahead of the crowd
opt for organic perfumes such as L'Eau de Jatamansi by L'Artisan
Parfumeur and available at the L'Artisan boutiques.
The Body Shop have a very inexpensive perfume
kit selling for just £15. It contains 9 vials of designer fragrance so
you can and experiment making your own blends.
The Body Shop tell me "The Invent Your Scent Kit
is 100% recyclable after use and White Musk was the very first
fragrance to use cruelty free musk. All our store staff are
fully trained on each of the perfumes so are on hand to advise
customers on how to layer scents, blend, give information on the
various notes in each fragrance etc."
Shop say, "All nine fragrance collection is also all available
the 'The Collection', a gift box of 3 ml mini vials. 'The Collection'
has been especially developed to encourage experimentation and
includes the fragrance blends to start you off. It makes a great
gift for friends and loved ones, or even better – for you!"
I have to say I enjoyed mixing the samples they sent me which
were surprisingly sophisticated with all day lasting power.
Best of all, none of them got up my nose to make me sneeze for
hours after like some modern perfumes do.
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