BOTTLING THE ESSENCE OF A BRAND: Why fashion houses have signature scents.

The smell of roses, musk, the ocean, citrus fruits and such are on our top of mind in the fragrance section. For many years women and men didn’t have many (near as none) options to choose from and the ones available were really generic. Cinnamon, cloves, roses, patchouli, cotton and baby powder anyone?

There’s story, legend and myth to it: Which house and designer made their own perfume first? But controversy aside, the first to stand from the others and the one to have an impeccable marketing strategy for it was Coco Chanel. She didn’t wanted her clients to just smell like a rose, she wanted them to wear the essence and the scent of a woman and so she created Chanel N°5, following her tradition of showing her collections on the fifth of May, which is the fifth month in the calendar, tradition or superstition, it was her trademark for sure.

For the marketing of N°5, what was then the representation of her brand’s personality in a bottle, she made the statement of having none other than herself, aka the soul and source of inspiration of the brand until this very day, on the marketing photograph for the perfume. With her name labeled in big, bold and front of it all, Chanel’s women are basically an army of ‘’getting it my way or no way’’ woman, one ahead of her time and not afraid of taking her chances, a game changer just like the designer herself.

Years passed and many if not all fashion houses have their own signature scent. There’s many reasons why this is an important product for any brand but clearly two reasons prevail overall: Because it is another opportunity to establish the DNA of the brand in a smell-like, imagine a Chanel smelling like a vintage leather and hairspray, it just doesn’t fit. The ingredients can say a lot of what the imaginary and message of the brand truly is, another reason for reaching to the fragrances market is to get closer or be more approachable to the aspirational client: Been there, done that!.

Perfumes are lower in prices than any other fashion product including accessories and having a perfume that speaks for the brand creates the space for other clients to actually step inside their stores and participate and experience the brand, the clients know they will leave the store with the brand’s logo bags and the brand have the chance to show their own values, authenticity and to make an engagement with not just a portion of their clients but a larger one, ones that may never think of buying anything from them but actually, they like the smell of it. This genius math formula has a very high hit to it and proves itself to be a right path over and over again, basically you pay for a grilled cheese and you get a grilled cheese with a chocolate bar inside, you are welcome.

Purchasing a little bit of the brand isn’t enough for today’s clients, integrity and the story behind it can be as important as how the bottle looks like. Inside and outside the fashion industry, people have their own favorites and it can change from city to city: Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Margiela, Gucci, Hermes, Calvin Klein, Versace, Chloe, Elizabeth and James are among the most popular ones.

Back to the pioneer, Chanel N°5 its made with flowers from the fields near the southern french perfume-making area of Grasse which is reportedly in a danger route for possible new constructions made in that area, these fields are the same ones you have seen on those so french and chic photos on instagram, Phoebe Tonkin we are looking at you. If you are afraid of possible losing this millenary scent forever, fear not Chanel will release the new Gabrielle perfume launching this spring alongside the new bag’s design under the same name. We are expected to encounter with a rebel at heart with tones of a young and reckless Chanel through this new bottle. Gabrielle before Coco, a new generation full of endless possibilities are in the near horizons of Chanel and we surely can’t wait.

Article by Viviana P.

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Discussion about this post

  1. Celia says:

    I don’t really fancy CHANEL nº5 but I am absolutely in love with nº19.


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