Perfume in the news

The 54th annual meeting of the American Society of Perfumers on June 2 included a discussion between seven panelists about the future of fine fragrance.  Questions included the following:

“How public should perfumers be?  How technical can fragrance companies be in their marketing?  Can and should consumers be introduced to the molecules and other nuts and bolts of scents?   Will that create more consumer interest or will it ruin the magic of fragrance?”

The industry is changing, partly because information is so easily shared online via blogs and boards.   I think there’s room for both the poetic side and the technical side when conveying information about perfumes and trying to describe them.  As long as the information is available, fragrance lovers can choose for themselves how much they want to delve into the technical side, so why limit the info when people can simply ignore it if they aren’t interested?   I assume blog readers enjoy hearing a little bit about the ingredients, both natural and synthetic, that go into scents.

Sounds like the discussion focused on how much technical background information to incorporate from an advertising and sales perspective.  Hope they’ll find some middle ground between listing chemical names and listing some of the goofy fantasy accords you see these days for the notes in perfumes.

More on the annual meeting here:


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  1. Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that I, for one, enjoy it when you throw those big chemical names into your posts 🙂 Makes me feel like I know something!

  2. I’m guessing that readers of fragrance blogs that are written by people who make perfume probably want to hear a bit about the process and ingredients. It’s hard to know exactly how much of that to include, but some topics seem general enough to be interesting (things like musks, fixatives, ingredient quality and costs, common ingreds in basic accords etc). Glad to know it is of interest!

    I think the small indie perfumers are usually used to talking about the whole process, partly because so many small perfumers communicate with each other and directly with customers, whereas the big companies have advertising and sales departments run by people who may not be familiar with the ingredients or the process and take a different approach when communicating with the fragrance buyers. The big companies are changing though because of the influence from the online community. Sounds like they had a spirited discussion at that annual meeting!

  3. Well… 🙂 I’ll have to look up some of my favorites, but they get more ridiculous all the time. The sweet ones like that are one whole category. The note of magma in one recent release stumped me too; volcanic eruptions make me think of stinky sulphur, lol.

  4. Adding, actually molten rock below the surface of the earth is called magma, but once it erupts it is called lava. Either way, I don’t associate it with smells you’d want in perfume. The gases associated with volcanic eruptions are often nasty smelling and deadly, though it depends on the type of eruption and how explosive it is.

    And that was getting too far off topic, but some of these note names seem like odd choices to me.

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