For my current project at uni, my group and I are developing a fragrance brand, identify its consumer and beginning the process of creating the brand’s story. From our primary and secondary research, we will accumulate insights and utilise idea generation techniques in order develop the beginnings of our brand and our brand story.
Smells are routed through the olfactory bulb, which is the region that analyses scents. This part of the brain is closely connected to region that handles memory and emotion. This is how we link certain scents with particular memories from our past. “No matter what the fragrance is, scents and memory are powerfully linked. Certain odours can serve as strong reminders of past experience – more so than other sensory cues, such as sights or sounds”– online article by Imogen Groome for Metro “Fragrance Day: Why does perfume trigger powerful memories?”
We are witnessing first hand in this generation how much technology is influencing and damaging our lives and younger lives. Technology is replacing the outdoor experience we thrived off, its replacing children’s social and environmental development and replacing potential childhood memories. We want to create a collection of fragrances to help restore childhood memories of the outdoors that are inspired by the four elements that create our world which is slowly being destroyed: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. These are memories of campfires, playing in the garden, sunny beach days and long forest walks. With our fragrance we plan to empower the mind and create a mental trigger that re-connects you with the importance of being around nature. We spend on average 90% of our time inside.
- To trigger the memories of feeling free from technology and to reconnect with ourselves
- Re-connecting with nature in the form of each four elements and the importance of taking care of what’s around us
- Getting people to understand the importance of the environment and the issues we have now caused it to face
Three adjectives to describe our brand:
Transporting, Powerful, Beneficial.
Earth – Taking you back to the memories of walking through the frosty spring gardens. Scent – Woody base note, Aromatic mid note using more lavender scents and a fruity but light top note
Fire – Taking you back to the memories of sitting around a burning campfire with your best friends. Scent – Dark woody base note, Smokey floral mid note and warm spicy top note
Air – Taking you back to the memories of walking through a deep forest with strong pine trees. Scent – Woody but fresh base note, spicy fresh mid note and a light but more citrus top note
Water – Taking you back to the memories of a refreshing walk along the beach during the hot summer months. Scent – Slightly salty and spicy base note, more musky but light mid note and fresher top notes that we would typically recognise with ‘male’ fragrances
Primary research insights:
- Fragrance helping to restore mind-sets
- Nature fragrances having power over the mind
- Disconnect to reconnect
References to nature and connecting with nature through scent and visual merchandising.
Miller Harris’ new scents ‘Tender’ and ‘Scherzo’ were presented in a display of rocks as well as Proenza Schouler’s new fragrance ‘Arizona’. When talking about Arizona with the promoter in Selfridges, she said the story is all about disconnecting to reconnect, a free state-of-mind and the scent is about enhancing nature with its rare ingredient of cactus flower.
“Kids these days are getting iPads at the age I wasn’t even allowed a phone. I think that’s awful”.
“Technology is taking a lot of good experiences away”.
“People nowadays are way less chatty”.
“I find it easier to speak with people older than me”.
“I just think that technology is controlling everyone’s lives…it’s almost like a must have thing even for the younger generation, stupid if you ask me”.
Secondary research insights:
- The desire for wellbeing through a new focus on ingredients that improve health and mood.
- Evoking past experiences
- Uplift and energise
- Naturally derived ingredients with new accords to stimulate the senses
- Nature inspired ingredients
- People want comfort
FIT fragrance consumer trends – interest in added benefits, customisation, extension of scent
“I think there is a move towards connecting fragrances with pleasant experiences from real life. In times of instability and uncertainty, people might look closer to their own lives for a familiar, comforting fragrant experience.” – Sarah McCartney, 4160 Tuesdays
According to the annual Green Beauty Barometer survey conducted in 2016 people aren’t just wearing perfume to smell fantastic or sophisticated, they’re wearing it to be taken on a journey.
What’s happening in the market in relation to elements:
Brands focusing on ingredients that are reminiscent of being by the sea.
- Molton Brown’s Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel Eau de Toilette evokes the smell of the seaside.
- Philosophy’s Pure Grace Summer Surf Eau de Toilette features a sea-spray accord for a refreshing summery aroma.
- Michael Kors’ new Turquoise scent sees topnotes of waterlily combined with cucumber and lime.
What’s happening in the market in relation to memory:
- Supersense have created The SMK which enables you to carry smells with you and to record and memorise a moment. You just break open the SMELL KIT AMPULE, release the abstract smell molecules and take a deep breath. This smell will bring back the memory and the emotion of this very moment each and every time you open another of the same ampules.
- French mother-and-son duo Katia Apalategui and Florian Rabeau spent eight years developing a technique to reproduce human scent by taking the person’s clothing and extract the odour.
- Marketplace’s scent project in 2015 asked Parisians what smell they would choose to bottle. One woman said “the baby smell. When you have another baby in your hand and that reminds you the smell of your own children.
- Givuadan has partnered with communications marketing agency JWT Singapore to create bespoke “Smell a Memory” kits that harness the power of scent to evoke emotional memories, certain times in their lives and stories among Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Age: Teenagers to middle aged. Gender: Unisex. Income: Average. Hobbies: cycling, countryside walks, yoga. Lifestyle: Healthy vegan diet, enjoys the fresh air, gathering with family and friends, home cooking. They are passionate about caring for the environment ie; recycling, using renewable energy sources
Age: Teenagers to early adults. Gender: Unisex. Income: Average. Hobbies: Watching television, Netflix, blogging, gym, online shopping. Lifestyle: Technology obsessed (spends several hours on their mobile phone in a day), enjoys takeaways and fast food, gaming. They would prefer to be indoors than outside, they are conditioned to everything being instant and fast paced.