To address the state of the fragrance markets in North and South America today requires a mentality comfortable with paradox. One must be a realist and a seer, a cynic yet an optimist, a traditionalist yet an iconoclast, a student of facts with the vision to look beyond them. I don’t lay claim to any of these combinations. But let’s give it a try.
I would like to start by saying I am fully aware that in addressing prefumers, I am addressing those professionals in the business who are responsible for creating the fragrances themselves. The perfumers out there are the center of the maelstrom. The rest of us manage, select, manufacture, advertise and sell what they create. Perfumers can do a superb job and fail—if the product is not handled right. They can do a mediocre job and succeed brilliantly—at least for awhile. They share the extreme satisfactions and deep frustrations of all artists—they can create the baby that becomes a star, can try to create a concept that aborts or refuses to be born. They often hover between being praised excessively for what they have accomplished—or not appreciated when an effort has been gargantuan.
As perfumers you have it within your power to change the direction of a market—perhaps an industry. More importantly, you have the power to please, in countless intimate, and not so private, moments of which you will never be aware.