Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A Fragrance For Our Times?

(perhaps not this one)

Harry ponders perfumery.
Some years ago I used to visit a client with headquarters just outside Geneva. They shared their location with a sister company who were , and still are, in the business of flavours and fragrances.
In the reception area were a number of glass display cases. And in some of these were giant flagons of perfume. With names even I recognised. Over lunch one day in the director’s dining room ( very fresh and healthy Swiss cuisine and only Swiss wines) I enquired about this side of the business. I was fascinated to learn that in this huge plant fine perfumes were indeed created in large volumes.
I have scanned their current annual report and have found the following list of new products: L’Oreal: Ralph Wild by Ralph Lauren
LVMH: Vivara by Pucci• My Insolence by Guerlain
P&G: Rock’n Rose by Valentino
Puig: Infusion d’Iris by Prada
Men’s Fragrances
Coty: Pure Energy by Adidas
Estee Lauder: Unforgivable Multi Platinum by Sean John
LVMH: Fahrenheit 32 by Christian Dior
Liz Claiborne: Juicy Couture

But I was also told that the majority of the company’s fragrance business was in a far less glamorous sector. All those pine –fresh and alpine and lemony and citrussy and whatever smells that go into so many domestic products. Each one would be separately commissioned and sourced for any number of global companies.
But I was then told , much to my amusement ,that one fragrance the company was particularly proud of was ‘new car smell’. That unmistakeable (and actually quite exciting ) aroma you get from a pristine vehicle had in fact been synthesised and was now marketed successfully to used car dealers around the world.
Who says business lacks imagination and creativity?
Anyhow, I think this product of theirs will be going from strength to strength in the foreseeable future.

( The Citroen DS. When the future looked stylish. And fragrant. )


greying pixie said...

Do you think they used a synthetic smell to convince you that the lunch was fresh and healthy? I lived in Geneva for many years in my twenties and these are not words I would ever use to describe Swiss food!

Marian D said...

Love the car, hate the idea of synthetic smells to make us buy.

Marti said...

About 8 years ago when I was crawling through the new van that I was about to buy, I complained that it didn't have the "new car smell". Their reply? "It will tomorrow."

cheap smells said...

How amazing, i wonder how much they would charge for the fragrance to an individual, so then we could keep that charming smell in our cars and move away from the chip wrappers and kebab stains!