Originally Posted by Zizanioides
What do perfume houses/brands really even mean? I used to think of houses as being like authors and other artists, releasing products that followed a certain aesthetic style or level. Now I think of them as publishers or record labels; the brands don't develop the scent, most of them don't even manufacture the juice anymore, they just decide what to bottle and how to market it. The author is the nose, perhaps we could shift our dialogue in that direction.
"What to bottle, how to market it" + the brief to the perfumer and how much of a budget he/she has to work with.
It's an interesting topic and any decline overall seems to me to be due to various factors: IFRA restrictions, corporate financial policies within respective houses, a saturated market leading to declining sales for each and every house therefore leading to a need for showy 'crowd pleasers' and 'me toos' to elbow thru the crowd etc.
I agree with the music biz comparison inasmuch as there are still a handful of labels who throw squillions into marketing very mainstream musical content, but I think the comparison ends there because at least when Chanel do their big budget films they know people will pay money for the perfumes and there's profit to be made - the record labels don't have that luxury any more - paying customers, that is
Reformulations aside I think Guerlain & Chanel are trying to keep their end of the deal up where they can, but as with other bigger houses (Dior, Hermes) it's more often than not the 'exclusives' that offer a bit of pizzazz.