Consumer Products Perfumery in the ’80s and ’90s

A great deal has transpired during the 1980s to consumer products perfumery, the consumer products industry and the perfume supply industry. The 1990s most likely will be filled with change as well. In this article, I will discuss these changes from my viewpoint as a functional products perfumer and business manager.

The first major change has occurred not only in the ’80s but also for previous decades, namely the change in personnel in the perfume supply industry, which provides 85 percent of consumer products perfumes. This is a business built around people. From my initiation to the industry as a technician at Procter & Gamble in the late ‘60s, I was struck immediately by the dynamics of fragrance suppliers, and in particular, their people. From Hank Walters to Walter Lengsfelder, Charlie Young, Ed Gorham, Bernard Chant, Al Eisenkraft, Victor Di Giacomo, and Bud Lindsay, just to name a few, These were some of the great men of our industry in the ‘70s and ‘80s. This brings me to one of the major personnel changes to the industry in the ‘80s—women.

The consumer products industry and the perfume supply industry provide products purchased primarily by women, from fine fragrances to laundry detergents, soaps and fabric softeners. The majority of our creative talents are directed toward women yet our industries are virtually 100 percent run by men. This is changing, however, and changed rather dramatically in the ‘80s.

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