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Inside Fragrance: Evolution of an Air Care Giant

Posted: December 21, 2007

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Febreze Air Effects entered the market as an aerosol spray designed to neutralize odors while adding a fresh, light scent to the air. “The air care market is a large, dynamic category where consumers expect and demand new experiences,” said Hettich in a press release announcing the launch. “Consumers already trust Febreze to freshen many kinds of fabrics in their homes, and we believe it is the brand consumers will also trust to fulfill unmet air care needs by bringing innovation to the category.”

Global Perfume Leader

Febreze’s expansion into the air care market was seen as a logical step for the brand. P&G research showed that nearly 70% of shoppers who bought Febreze were also frequent purchasers of air care products. And, as Hettich reminded attendees at Fragrance Business 2007 in September, P&G is a global leader in perfuming and the largest user of perfumes in the world, a position that carries distinct advantages. Chief among them is fragrance cross-pollination across categories. “Scent trends don’t just happen—they migrate,” he says. They start early in fragrance and beauty and then move to air care. “Being active in all those categories makes those transfers faster.”

Scale and the expertise that comes from having 35 people in the perfume group are additional advantages. This group goes through a rigorous three-year training and meets to bounce ideas off each other at regular group sessions.

Hettich himself has no perfumery training and makes no claims of being a particularly good nose. But as he says, he does not select Febreze scents with his nose. He puts his trust in his in-house fragrance experts and those fragrance folks are in on the project with designers of other kinds right from the start, and he then selects with his intellect.