Fragrance Masterclass with Karen Gilbert

Monday, 16 March 2015

Last week we had perfume expert Karen Gilbert give a lecture to us on marketing fragrances. We then had the opportunity to make our very own fragrance as part of our project to release and promote our own fragrance brand. 

Karen's lecture was extremely useful, as she knows the ins and outs of the industry like the back of her hand. She provided some priceless information and tips with regard creating our fragrance brand - I particularly loved her "Are you vanilla or pistachio" analogy, helping us decide where we stand in the market; are you mass or are you niche? 

When speaking to Karen about our concept for our fragrance, she helped us to define it and reconsider our target market, in order to really make our brand unique. We were considering a mature demographic as our target market but, having spoken to Karen, she encouraged us to be more specific and target a much older demographic than we were initially considering. She also helped us to make some valuable decisions in terms of packaging ideas and to reconsider our initial ideas. Her advice has really helped us with the further development of our fragrance brand. 

As previously mentioned, we were also given the chance to actually create a scent for our fragrance which I was extremely excited about. As there were so many different scent options to choose from, we struggled initially to decide which scents to include! We wanted our scent to be sophisticated and classic to coincide with our brand values and consumer needs, but neither did we want it to feel ageing. We eventually decided to go with Naturelle and Narcotic for our base notes, a combination of both a fresh and heddy floral scent. We then went for Tobacco as our accessory, which made our scent more sophisticated and musky, preventing it from being too overtly floral and feminine. We chose Moss and Musk as fixatives, to give our scent a lasting 'woody' smell and then finally added Bergamot as a harmoniser to give it a fresh, fruity kick. 

I found the whole process extremely enjoyable and beneficial in helping us to establish our brand values and message, however I would have loved to have a longer session to fully experiment with different scent options.  

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