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Perfumer POV: Fragrances for Troubled Times

By: Pierre Gueros, Delphine Jelk and Kevin Verspoor, drom
Posted: January 16, 2009

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On the fine fragrance side, we have more and more launches every year. Many of them including flankers or reinterpretations. It seems logical that, due to the financial crisis, there will be fewer launches in the coming years, and that they will be more interesting.

The [financial downturn] could also affect the way we create fragrances. In times of crisis, people tend to go back to basics. If we examine the example of the 1929 depression (knowing it will not be the same this time), we went into the 1930s with darker fragrances that were rich and deep (Vol de Nuit and Taboo). We will probably go in the same direction again. If you have money to buy only one perfume, you want it to be luxurious and rich, but also darker because your mood is darker. There will probably be more parfums and extraits (as opposed to simple eau de toilettes) for the same reasons. Another factor that will increase in the coming years due to the financial crisis is hyper-luxury, with a surenchère of rare and precious fragrances featuring premium raw materials and flacons. This will be targeting some emerging areas such as Russia, India and the Asian markets, as well as others. This hyper-luxury is also present in cosmetics, and more generally in all consumer areas (fashion, food and jewelry).

Also on the creation side, we see more and more predominant green notes in both men's and women's perfumes. It also seems that overly gourmond fragrances are not so trendy anymore because they do not convey a luxurious image. Fragrances will become more opulent and sophisticated. They will include ingredients from aldehydes to spices, and warm woods to new varieties of woods to set emphasis on this important family: a cocoon with reassuring effect, which will intoxicate.

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