Monday, April 28, 2014

Interview with Perfume Business Insider Sue Phillips

"'Niche' in the luxury marketing category has grown because consumers are looking for a more "experiential" approach to perfumery and luxury. There has been such a proliferation of "commoditization" in the luxury area, due, in part, to the overwhelming number of celebrity fragrance launches. If consumers are going to spend a lot of money on a "luxury" item, they don't want what everyone else wants. Also, "bespoke" items are more affordable than ever before.  No one has to wait for six months to a year for a bespoke item, because technology and high end items are more available than before! So individuals who have a genuine passion for art and luxury, can have it and they are willing to pay for it. As a result "niche" is the new direction!

Back in the 1980s it was all about designer perfumes because they represented care, quality, status. The old perfumes had a slow build, they were marketed extremely carefully, generating awareness in a brand and therefore saw a return of their investment in the macroeconomic sense. However it all changed with the introduction of celebrity scents and the numerous flankers which flooded the market. Fragrance thus lost a lot of its mysterious cachet. […]

America is all about the new and although there are some brands which have adopted a new name and added a new coat of paint to appeal to a new demographic, a desire for authenticity is always there in the market. The pie isn't getting any bigger, there are just more slices in the pie now!

When I started 5 ½ years ago, the idea of "bespoke perfumery" was considered most unusual and strange. But we have seen a huge growth and more people are seeking this out and we are filling the void."

Thus Sue Phillips explains the shift of the perfume world into "niche" and the rising trend for customized fragrances in a very thorough interview she granted me going over the subjects of the changes in the industry, the new ingredients restrictions, what a customized fragrance experience entails and how functional perfumery differs or influences our expectations out of scent. You can read the rest of the interview following this link to Fragrantica.


  1. Interesting interview as usual. I can relate when she says that the American ideal is scrubbed and clean. Of course this doesn't prevent pink syrups, presumably they're considered clean, in that fully artificial.


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  3. Thanks M! I appreciate your comment.
    I have written an article on Perceptions of Freshness, if you have missed it in the archives, in which I wonder the exact same thing: how can "pink syrup" be considered fresh and clean?


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