I conducted a really direct, honest interview with Karen Gilbert, whose recent perfume book "Perfume: the Art & Craft of Fragrances" I reviewed on Perfume Shrine the other day. [The full interview is found on Fragrantica on this link.]
During our back & forth Gibert intimated the following interesting anecdote, which if nothing else proves that fragrance development is in reality far from what the average perfumista think it is. Let's give it to Karen.
|Pic provided by Karen Gilbert for use on PerfumeShrine|
"My role at the UK [IFF] office was to service projects which often had a very short turn around time. Sometimes we would only get a week or 2 (or less) to submit fragrances for a brief and we were juggling many different projects at a time. Unless it was for a huge launch like Lynx or Unilever or for a product that had technical challenges like a new type of antiperspirant base a perfumer wouldn’t even get the project – we would submit from what we call “shelf” fragrances which are collections developed for particular trends and already tested in product bases. I remember one particular brief for a mass market eau de toilette fragrance that we had no time on and the only suitable submission I had was a showergel fragrance that was less than half of the budget price we were given. I knew it would work but the client wouldn’t pick it if it was too cheap so I just altered the price to be in line with the other submissions. It won the brief and as far as I know it’s still in the fragrance market today, which goes to show that cost doesn’t always give an indication of quality."
Now, this is what I call honesty! Thanks, Karen!