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Q&A: Chandler Burr and “The Perfect Scent”

Posted: January 7, 2008

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Burr: I think it's changing already. The marketers and execs are starting to realize that much (though not all of) the public wants to go behind the scenes. They want to see how the things are made. They don’t want to be fed “stories” and more pretty, empty faces. That is where the growth will come from. A woman said to me yesterday, “What’s that Beyoncé perfume? I’m buying that because I think she’s cool.” This woman is already a perfume consumer. She is irrelevant to you, the perfume industry executive or marketer. What is relevant to you are all the people who are not her, who do not buy perfume, who could not care less about Beyoncé’s putting her face on a box, who are convinced they don’t need scent. They’re the challenge. Stay with the same tactics, and inside the demographic your market share will increase 0.0%. I do believe things are changing, though obviously not fast enough for my taste. (Easy for me to say, of course.) I think Frédéric [Malle] and Le Labo and Tom Ford and maybe Francois Demachy are going to create new approaches, and I don’t think even they are doing one quarter of the innovative things they could be.

*In his recent review of Chloé for T Magazine, Burr says, "It’s hard to do a good scent for under $40 per lb ... "