- To symbolize Basenotes and basenotes.net
- To symbolize the worldwide community of fragrance lovers therein
- To do the above with important Anglophilic and historic aspects
- To do these things in a commercially successful manner
- To free the perfumer to achieve these ends without undue constraint
When looking at the membership of Basenotes, one sees that the diverse membership is, in fact, unified by the common tongue of English. Although the majority of members are from countries descended from the old British Empire and colonies, it is equally clear that the membership is now worldwide – from nearly every place and culture. This fact leads us to an important truth – that the true influence of England on the world was never in the political realm, but rather in the subtle spread of its intellectual influence, which both carried knowledge to the world, and brought even more back home, enabling its further spread. This history nicely parallels the influence of Basenotes, which is quietly British, yet unites the world in knowledge and a common love of fragrance.
The theme of this fragrance is embodied in the working name, Voyage of Discovery. Although one might jump to the conclusion of a well-worn, purely nautical/aquatic/”Eau” theme from “Voyage”, it is the “Discovery” aspect which frees the perfumer and allows for unlimited novelty. Although there need be no overt connection, the voyages of Charles Darwin (2009 being the bicentenary anniversary of his birth), James Cook, and others, are emblematic of the exotic, worldwide set of components available to the perfumer, and thereby provides a facile way to symbolize the worldwide membership of Basenotes. Yet, despite the familiarity of the nautical theme, or perhaps even because of it, there are provided both a target market beyond Basenotes itself, and a way to introduce the simultaneous modern and traditional thematic aspects which are so beneficial in a fragrance. “Voyage” is the classic, traditional, historical side of the theme. “Discovery” is always fresh and exciting and new, even if steeped in history. The idea of representing the journey of the fragrance lover as a “voyage of discovery” is almost a common idea of the community. With little effort, I found the phrase used several times on Basenotes, and also in this quote on Perfume of Life:
“To me perfume is a voyage of discovery and the thrill of the hunt!” (Annegina)
There are minimal constraints on the perfumer, other than to respect the basic theme. Suggested ways of doing this are:
- Consider components from varied sources, particularly those parts of the world encountered by the early British explorers and naturalists.
- Feel free to use aquatic notes and cool citrus notes to support a nautical sub-theme or unisex appeal – the former being useful for broadening commercial appeal, and the latter being representative of the Basenotes community.
- With the above in mind, avoid a purely aquatic or nautical fragrance, typical of the broad market. This is not any voyage – it should be mind-broadening, as befits a true “voyage of discovery”. Thus, the fragrance offers the possibility of something new and exciting, should the perfumer have a groundbreaking idea that fits the basic theme.
- Avoid coming too close to earlier aquatic/exotic contrast ideas such as “Old Spice”, yet study the success of any predecessors to avoid duplication, find patterns of market success, and discover new opportunities for a breakout fragrance idea which can claim novelty
- Avoid an overtly “synthetic” feel, which negates the historical aspects of the theme. Something leaning toward a classic citrus eau de cologne is a possibility.
Marketing and Other
The word “Voyage” has been used in six fragrance names in the Basenotes Directory. The word “Discovery” has been used in two. The combination of them is not found. The phrase has been used in the website wordage for Baldessarini Del Mar, but was not used in a similar context. The usage there was less intellectual, and more targeted at a luxury theme:
“The luxurious clear blue fragrance is inspired by the idea of a voyage of discovery across azure waters – the cool freshness of relaxing on the deck of your yacht, reminiscent of exotic places.”
I can think of no better description of what we would be trying to avoid. The word “yacht” should be kept far away from this fragrance, as it easily diminishes the traditional aspects so important for the theme.
The closest potential for a collision of names is with the various fragrances of Nautica – four of the six fragrances using the word “Voyage” are theirs. However, the other two predate Nautica’s use of the term, and with a sufficiently unique theme, “Voyage of Discovery” is likely to be distinct and free of legal entanglements. In addition, Nautica’s Voyage is usually used by the full name Nautica Voyage.
If the word “Voyage” is deemed too risky from a marketing standpoint, then the similar phrase “Age of Discovery” – which retains most of the proposed theme – is a useful alternative. There is no fragrance with this name.
Potential marketing icons include globes, maps, ships, exotic flora, and assorted nautical and exploratory accoutrements. British icons can be borrowed if kept subtle, tasteful, and world-welcoming in outlook. It might be fun to involve our good Captain Grant and his very fetching “First Mate” in the publicity and marketing of this fragrance – at least within the community and industry - should it be one of those
Submitted by Redneck Perfumisto