Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1

    Default The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    For all of the importance of the actual frangrance of a fragrance, how important is the fragrance or designer brand, the concept or image behind the fragrance, and the the look of the bottle and other packaging?

    As purists by intent, we often strive to care only about the scent, or at least convince ourselves that only the scent matters. I have tried in my past few sample binges to neutralize all other factors through blind sampling. They were interesting experiements, but ultimately unsatisfying. Perhaps with a luxury so ephemeral, the associated images and ideas are a necessary or vital element of the experience. After all fine fragrance is a luxury, and blind sampling ulimately makes me feel like something is missing. Like like trying to evaluate a full-colour painting from a greyscale print.

    While it was not my first fragrance by any means, the first fragrance I owned that I fully enjoyed was l'eau d'Issey - of which I was an early adopter in '94 or '95. I was at that time a fan of Miyake's vision, so anithetical to the party lines of New York and Paris. His antifragrance was likeweise, so different at that time from anything else. I loved the cold frosted obelisk of a bottle, and even the ads which flouted the industry norm by just showing that bottle without further embelishment. No bare skin, no zombie-eyed models. It was a pleasure everyday to open the bathroom cabinet and anoint myself from that bottle. It wasn't just a scent - though amazingly complimented - it was an idea and a larger experience. How many others feel the same way today with their Creeds and Guerlains, et al?

    Conversely, how can ideas (or the lack thereof) and image prevent us from enjoying a fragrance? I once blind bought a bottle of Kenneth Cole Reaction on the recommendation of a beautiful girl to deliberatly break with my usual pattern. At first smell, the scent evoked laughter - watermelon bubblegum - but it was actually a nice fragrance it is fruity fresh style, once I got over the idea of smelling like something I thought would be sold to 12 year old girls. It was extremely well suited to the desert summer. What stopped me wearing it wasn't so much the scent itself, but the displeasure of picking up the chintzy Reaction bottle everyday. I could no longer bear to wear "Kenneth Cole."

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Carlos; 7th August 2008 at 05:40 AM.
    "When he shook hands with me my nostrils were assailed by all the perfumes of Arabia."
    - W. Somerset Maugham

  2. #2

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    The majority of the time I get decants so I cannot be influenced at all by the packaging except if the person puts nice pink and shiny heart stickers on it !

    I enjoy a perfume with my eyes closed, I love the ritual of oil, it's just a special moment for me in the day ...

    Adds to me are there to sell you crap and most of the time they do not correspond to what's in the bottle. A real perfumista gets collection bottles with gorgeous scents inside.

    I've been brought up on the African continent, there weren't anything like adverts there and I just kept away from these things, sorry.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Texas (formerly Boston)
    Posts
    3,089
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Whether we like it or not, we're influenced by advertising, brand, image, etc. I've thought many times that "if this fragrance was in a (any niche house) bottle people would consider it more highly". While there's no doubt that the average niche is of higher physical quality than a mass produced designer fragrance, there are definitely those who will give far more credence to a niche fragrance because of its origins than perhaps it deserves (or perhaps even more than they even like the scent), and vice versa. The notion of exclusivity is probably a big part of that. Of course even as I write this I acknowledge my own guilt because although I buy designer, I find myself favoring the higher-end designers (Hermes, Chanel) and giving less of a chance to more common designers (Ken Cole, Perry Ellis).

    I'm not as concerned with Carlos as to how image fits into a certain social vibe (probably because I haven't lived in NYC for over 10 years), but I'd be lying if I didn't say the brand, the bottle design, and the associated feeling associated with a fragrance wasn't part of my daily selection process, even if it's on near unconscious level.

    One thing that does not effect me is specific ad campaigns. I rarely look at the magazines these ads run in, and when I do see them I marvel at how un-persuasive they are. I will always check out a scented pull-out flap, but otherwise the ads don't register for me.
    Last edited by bbBD; 7th August 2008 at 06:41 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #4

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    They don't really have perfume ads in Kansas, except in magazines which I don't read. Occasional Axe commercials.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    The whole idea of a "pure" perception is a deception, I think. Everything in the world needs to be staged properly to be really enjoyed. In perfumery, the stage is a bottle and a story, in dining it's a white cloth, ambience and a perfect waiter, in fashion it's Paris Hilton. A Paris Hilton purse would not be interesting without Paris Hilton. And these Dsquared2 jeans would not be interesting without them being swept over this ass, tucked inside those boots:


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,135
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    I would call that photo "S&M Chic".

    .

  7. #7

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    As both a graphic designer and someone who's easily influenced by visuals, I love the packaging.

    I've kept all the boxes and the cards samples come on.

  8. #8
    jenson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bombay
    Posts
    5,903
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    all the branding, concept and look will fail miserably if we decide to swap that product or sell it after using it for 3 days. i dont think it's a decider factor in the long run for the sucess of a product, intial infatuation, definitely Yes. At the same time, it is important to have all those aspects tied together with a honest approach supporting it to have a sucessful product. afterall, our senses work in tandem wiht each other. take for eg. food. a dish served in a local joint v/s the same dish served in a plush seven star hotel...one would obviously marvel at the presentation and sometimes we do spend that little extra to serve our visual appetite....also, the color of food too ignites our taste buds to be prepared for the red chilli and pepper...imagine a plain white pizza tht tastes exactly like a regular pizza...one would definitely go for the regulra becoz it also fulfills our visual appetite.....but if the core product, which is pizza in this case isnt good..i dont think ill go buy one again...
    Last edited by jenson; 7th August 2008 at 04:43 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    A good fragrance smells good. A best-in-class fragrance is a delight for all the senses. (Well, maybe not the literal sense of taste.) The juice smells unique and complex and wonderful, yes. Yet the bottle is also gorgeous to behold and heavy in the hand, as if it contains something truly priceless. Guerlain's Vetiver or Dior pour Homme, perhaps. Even the sound of the name makes the hairs on the back of our neck stand up: Antaeus, Shalimar, L'Air du Temps.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Texas (formerly Boston)
    Posts
    3,089
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    all the branding, concept and look will fail miserably if we decide to swap that product or sell it after using it for 3 days...
    While this is definitely true, by the time you actually make the purchase the manufacturer will have collected your money, thus scoring one for its marketing. Of course feeling deceived has its own consequences (i.e. loss of faith in the brand's future products).

  11. #11
    surreality's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,137
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Most of the fragrances that I've tried, I tried first in samples or small decants so the box and bottle designs don't really have that much of an impact in what I buy. Also, I hardly ever read stuff that has fragrance ads in it, so advertising copy doesn't really come into play when I test a fragrance either.

    There are some houses that I regard more highly than others, just for the simple fact that I've had better experiences with their scents than others, so that is probably a (big) factor that comes into play when deciding which perfumes I want to sample, as are the reviews and opinions of some basenoters who seem to have similar tastes.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,034
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Anyone who buys a perfume bottle based on aesthetics is just as much a victim of marketing as those who buy according to name brand or reputation.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Quote Originally Posted by samplermike View Post
    Anyone who buys a perfume bottle based on aesthetics is just as much a victim of marketing as those who buy according to name brand or reputation.
    So are you a victim of marketing too? (Staring at the fragrances listed on samplermike's signature)

  14. #14
    jenson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bombay
    Posts
    5,903
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    Most of the fragrances that I've tried, I tried first in samples or small decants so the box and bottle designs don't really have that much of an impact in what I buy. Also, I hardly ever read stuff that has fragrance ads in it, so advertising copy doesn't really come into play when I test a fragrance either.

    There are some houses that I regard more highly than others, just for the simple fact that I've had better experiences with their scents than others, so that is probably a (big) factor that comes into play when deciding which perfumes I want to sample, as are the reviews and opinions of some basenoters who seem to have similar tastes.
    i agree to that...but the question is a lil different...would you be fine with your entire collection in decants...? or u wud like to spice it up with nice pacakaging once in a while...for eg. Malle.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Parfums de Nicolaï's packaging is a bit "no frills" considering the quality of their fragrances. Sitting next to my other bottles they look very "helping hands at home."

  16. #16
    Hoos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    959
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    I find myself agreeing a lot with surreality these days!

    I too have moved toward decants. After discovering that the scents that really wow me are few and far between but liking some variety, I've found that decants are a great way to go. And decants are bought after vial samples are tried.

    While not directed at me, in response to jenson's question, I could care less if my entire collection were decant bottles/sprayers. A nice bottle/box adds a layer. But not an important one. Unless I walk around carrying my bottle of Bulgari Black or whatever.

    The scent is what's important. What it comes in, almost negligible.

    As to advertising, I don't think it influences me. I stopped reading/buying magazines that contain perfume ads a long time ago. I'm more likely to be guided by reviews and postings here and PoL than advertising.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  17. #17
    jenson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bombay
    Posts
    5,903
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    well i did emphasize on the product first. if the product is good, then i dont mind shelling out a lil extra for the packaging..and secondly, i feel decants loose a bit of its essense as every frag is not available in Flacons...decants are only good for testing pruposes to get an idea... and thirdly, it would be quite boring for me to look at my entire colelction in decants....its like having audio cds/vinlys with no labels and inserts.....

    and fourth point advertising doesnt do anythign for me...matter of fact, no one has heard of creed in india...so the impact of these is irrelavent in a plce like india. my motivation and information comes from the people here in basenotes.
    Last edited by jenson; 7th August 2008 at 05:09 PM.

  18. #18
    surreality's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,137
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    i agree to that...but the question is a lil different...would you be fine with your entire collection in decants...? or u wud like to spice it up with nice pacakaging once in a while...for eg. Malle.
    There are some fragrances that I want in full bottles, but not for the bottles design but the scent inside. And yes I would be happy if most of my frags were in decant form; there are many that I like but not enough to even consider purchasing a full bottle of. Maybe it would be different if I kept my frags on display but they are tucked away in a draw, only ever seeing the light of day when I decide I want to use it.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  19. #19
    jenson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bombay
    Posts
    5,903
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    There are some fragrances that I want in full bottles, but not for the bottles design but the scent inside. And yes I would be happy if most of my frags were in decant form; there are many that I like but not enough to even consider purchasing a full bottle of. Maybe it would be different if I kept my frags on display but they are tucked away in a draw, only ever seeing the light of day when I decide I want to use it.
    well i guess it's just me.... i too keep my entire collection tucked inside a drawer with their boxes on...i think i suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder i somehow feel it wud look disorganised if everything is in decants and also, feel the content would be slightly different than the original..unless it is poured from a flacon (this is just my thinking, im sure the juice would be same...but somewhere, i feel otherwise)
    Last edited by jenson; 7th August 2008 at 05:20 PM.

  20. #20
    surreality's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,137
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    ...decants are only good for testing pruposes to get an idea...
    I must repectfully disagree, decants are a great way to own a small amount of a perfume that is not bottle worthy.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  21. #21
    jenson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bombay
    Posts
    5,903
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    I must repectfully disagree, decants are a great way to own a small amount of a perfume that is not bottle worthy.
    well, i didnt say it right i think..i totally agree with you on that one. there are many a frags tht come in that criteria for me. and like i said, i do have decants. but to think that my entire collection would be of decants..hmm..i don't think so. i wouldnt shy away to tell that- any perfume that i feel is bottle worthy and if it happens to have a good bottle, i would admire it for that as well. i wouldnt be saying that i don't care about how the bottle looks and turn a blind eye to it. like you and me, the scent is more important than anything else...where we divert is you dont care about the bottle art whereas i appreciate that as well.
    Last edited by jenson; 7th August 2008 at 05:34 PM.

  22. #22
    Dependent
    moltening's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,270
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    bbDD -- I've had the thought as well -- "if this fragrance was in a (any niche house) bottle people would consider it more highly" -- and also the other way around..

    Imagine this, if Creed's Millesime Imperial was sold as say.. "Pizza Hut Millesime Extra Supreme" and sold only at their restaurants and comes in a bottle that looks identical to Ralph Lauren's Rocks but with a "cheesy" glittering Pizza Hut logo stamped on it -- I'm sure the experience would've been different.

    Brand, concept, and look is important -- and we are all influenced by it one way or another IMHO. This is true for other things as well, such as cars, clothing, and electronics.

    Now .. bottles. I love bottle art. I love bottles! I feel that they are similar to action figures that I played with when I was younger. I get the same feeling of satisfaction as I did when I looked over my Masked Rider, Gundam, and various vinyl models all lined up prepared for an epic cyber-transdimensional battle and what not. But of course, the actual scent is what really matters -- but you can't forget the fact that a lot of folk put hard effort into the design, marketing, and image so it is actually part of the price you pay.

    As for decants -- I tend to find used bottles or mini's before resorting to them. An example -- I'd prefer a bottle with 11ml left over a 15ml decant ... or ... I'd buy Hermessence's 15ml spray instead of getting a 18ml decant. One more thing -- if the bottle is "meh" such as PdN's or Le Labo's (which has the annoying "expiry date") -- I'd happily go for a decant. I wouldn't want to see my scent's expiry date everytime I pick up the bottle to use it anyway.

  23. #23

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    631
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    I believe that packaging does influence us to a great extent, at least in the initial purchase expeience.I have read that ( I think) Le Labo will re fill your bottle after of course, the initial purchase. If someone wanted to supply me with a plain vanila bottle after my intitial buy, I would not mind, but I lke that feeling of perceived quality when spending 200-300 for a jug of juice.

  24. #24

    Default Re: The importance of brand, concept, and look.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoos View Post
    I find myself agreeing a lot with surreality these days!

    I too have moved toward decants. After discovering that the scents that really wow me are few and far between but liking some variety, I've found that decants are a great way to go. And decants are bought after vial samples are tried.
    The scent is what's important. What it comes in, almost negligible.

    .
    Very true Hoos, as usual a very well thought-out reply!
    We need to make a distinction between what influences Basenoters (not ads or package, etc) and what affects the mainstream consumer (ads, packaging). In the case of Basenoters I am all for smaller bottles/and or decants, except for THE few "wow" scents.
    Last edited by afraafra; 8th August 2008 at 03:38 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •