Tuesday, March 3, 2009

C-Thru fragrances et al from Sarantis Group: some musings

Many of you must have seen the new advertisements and editorials on the newly exported fragrance line C-Thru in Allure magazine and been wondering about them. The line comprises of identically shaped/designed bottles in different shades with various gemstone names corresponding to different scents. As they have been produced by the Greek company Sarantis for quite a few years I am in a position to let you know that they're competently made but rather derivative of well-known styles of fragrances that are popular, offering a low-budget solution of a twist yet without them being dupes. After all, their motto is "great brands for every day".
C-Thru of course stands for See Through which evokes both the diaphanous packaging but also -subliminally- the showcasing of one's personality through their scent choice and the fantasy taking flight via choosing a personal fragrance, as if our eyes "see through" a story. I think the name choice for the line is quite clever, actually!

The Greek-aired commercials featured Andriana Sklenarikova-Karembeu, extremely popular in Greece because her footballer husband had at the time signed a contract with a Greek football team and thus Andriana was a common sight in the fields and the streets of Athens. Comparatively the US-airing commercials are less "sharp" and more "romantic".
The line consists of gem-named fragrances in Eau De Toilette 75ml, Eau De Toilette 30ml, Deodorant Body Spray 100ml and Natural Spray 75ml.
The company urges us to "Discover...
...the purity and fascination of water in Aqua Marine,
...the warmth and nobility in Ruby
...the sparkling light in Emerald
...the vitality and beauty in Amethyst
...the ultimate love and eternity in Black Diamond
...and the purity and luminocity in Pearl Garden".

Sarantis has never been short of budgeting nor attention given towards their advertising, producing small "films" that have actually a story-line and recognisable frontmen, judging by their B.U. (ie. Be You) fragrance line especially (a comparable project with mass-market fragrances encased in tin cans looking shiny and bright on the drugstore aisles), when they hired local pop-sensation Sakis Rouvas to front their commercials, quite memorably.

And they had also the good instincts to hire Christina Aguilera for their more "out there" fragrance line Xpose (with the characteristic netting on the bottles recalling both fishermen's nets and spider webs, entangling men).

From a marketing point of view, the expansion into the very competitive market of the US, especially in terms of drugstore and mass-distribution (let's not forget the giants Bath & Body Works and Coty), is well-timed. Sarantis has striken when the drop in consumers' buying power is directing them to 'combustible' products that do not present a huge commitment but brighten their day a bit with their optimism. The fragrances are shiny, fun, and tongue-in-cheek enough and I bet they seem completely exotic due to their origin to the average American consumer. Are they really that exotic smell-wise? Not really. The company kept that characteristic Mediterranean touch for their Olympic products called Olympic Spirit commemorating the Athens Olympics of 2004, which are now sadly quite rare to get.

But my favourite commercials were shot for a masculine fragrance: to follow on the next post!

Clips originally uploaded on Youtube.


  1. Anonymous14:53

    "Combustible"? I hope not!

  2. Anonymous14:53

    "Combustible"? I hope not!

  3. Metaphorically-speaking of course, LOL!!!

  4. A really good idea to use plastic in different shades to "imitate" the gemstones for "almost but not yet a dupe" fragrances :o) and indeed a clever name.

  5. They're a little kitchy but in a fun way and they're not pretentious, which is rather nice! They're not exact copies, just following the general "recipe" of popular things (something that department store fragrances do with each other anyway).
    Their advertising (printed and commercials) is quite well-made, which is what caught my eye in the first place.

  6. Anonymous17:20

    They are not copies? Ok, can you please tell me about Pearl garden...it "follows the original recipe" of the original perfume named...? Thank you very much.

  7. Anon,

    thanks for asking!
    To be perfectly honest with you I'm not sure I recall. They're vaguely familiar alongside best-sellers of the selective market (there's a fruitchouli >fruity+patchouli a la Angel or Code, there's a light white musk type a la TBS, there's a floral woody etc.)
    Let me get myself to the closest store and refresh my memory. I kinda think it should remind people of Noa, but I'm not 100% sure yet. Hopefully they will still stock them.


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