An Introduction into perfumery
As part of my latest Uni project we had the opportunity to attend a workshop in smelling and creating our own fragrance.
The workshop was two hours long and consisted of smelling and learning a number of scents often used in fragrance. We were layering the scents to create our own that could portray a particular story or archetype.
In creating all brands its important to have an aim of who will buy your product, the archetype is important to have straight in your head so you know what you want to create. As a group, we wanted to create a scent that would appeal to ‘the new age granny’. Linking with a macro trend of age having no boundaries. A female over 65 that doesn’t feel a day over 21. Taking inspiration from individuals like Iris Apfel or Grace Coddington. Falling under the archetype of ‘the creative’, perhaps having worked in the creative industry? Someone that is style conscious and energetic about living in a way that past generations wouldn’t be the same at that age. Creating a product that mimics the opinion of society at this time, embracing getting old, and with style. We are living longer and feeling younger so where is the product to cater for this consumer?
That in mind we proceeded to experiment with scents and how we combine them. To begin with in fragrance, you have heart notes, accessory notes, fixatives and harmonisers. Typically, you would have 2-3 heart notes then add 3 accessory notes playing with quantities. So our thought process went to how we thought stereotypically elderly ladies might smell… which was all wrong for what we were trying to create. We took that scent, and built on it. Keeping the accessory notes Vanilla and Aldehydic and loosing the Rose. We then added Orchid, Muguet and a hint of Spicy. This wont mean anything if you don’t know what these things smell like, just I wouldn’t have before the workshop. However, in terms of how we got to the final smell, experimentation and building on what we already knew was important in connecting with our target consumer. The hardest part of this was putting your self in the mind of who your trying to sell to. Getting out of my head what I like (sweet like candy perfume) and putting my self in the shoes of the target customer.
Something that I found really difficult with the experience was being able to describe a smell, something that you can’t necessarily taste, touch or see to give an indication. (You can only smell a see-through, un-drinkable substance to identify it!) The nose is like your eyes in it collects information so we had to think about what the fragrance reminded us of, using the emotions and memories we already had attached to the smell and transfer that into how we could describe it. Smells such as the smell of a bonfire on an Autumn night or a perfume your mother wore in your childhood emotes familiar memories.
My favourite part of the work shop was learning how to identify brand archetypes. Learning how to use archetypes helps set your brand aside from others selling the same product, it also helps to connect with the subconscious and basic human needs of a target audience. In doing this you can create a product that doesn’t just forgo age and gender but the type of person you are i.e. the rebel or the innocent. All brands fit in to a brand archetype and understanding this will help a lot in later work.
-The Lanky Giraffe