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  1. #1
    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Exclamation What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Here are my ideas for fixing the Fragrance Industry's problems; real and perceived. Number one: Make all fragrances originally formulated prior to 1965 exempt from IFRA restrictions and place a disclaimer on the back of the bottles. Number 2: Return all classic fragrances to their former glory by using the original formulas. Number 3: Require a two year public notice and period of continued availability after discontinuing a fragrance. Number 4: Return true luxury to the fragrances by using quality ingredients and bottles designs. Number 5: Change the industry culture to place equal emphasis on quality, profit and customer loyalty, not just profit. The current course of actions in the industry has placed the very nature of luxury fragrance in jeopardy; IMO the luxury is reduced as is the commitment to the art of fragrance. IMO the point of no return will soon be passed. Yes, I lament the loss of so many great fragrances and in my passion I detest the the concept of the blind obsession for profit at all costs. These are my thoughts as a perfumnista with an abiding interest in fragrance. I invite you to share your thoughts.
    Last edited by N_Tesla; 20th June 2010 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    I agree with all 5 points especially after my walkabout around Macy's and Sephora today ..........
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Oh, FABULOUS! ....I concur with every single one of your ideas....Now, if only we could put it into a petition and send it off en-mass to all the big perfume houses and media with the power that all of us mass consumers out here wield. We could plead to their "mission statements', long-term goals and strategic planning boards! Power to the Perfumistas! (We must have SOME?!)

  4. #4

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    I Agree totally.
    But I suspect the price of point 4 would be astronomical. Luxury fragrances made from the finest of ingredients would need to command luxury prices... just as they did back in the day. And I suspect that there would be much buyer resistance to that. One can hear the outcry about Guerlain charging Clive Christian prices for "real" Mitsouko already. (I for one would be prepared to pay it).

    The one benifit of the reformulation trend has been to keep prices down.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    I am going to take exception to several of the points above. I agree with the desire (i.e., "fix the fragrance industry"), but think some of the recommendations need modification.

    Number one: Make all fragrances originally formulated prior to 1965 exempt from IFRA restrictions and place a disclaimer on the back of the bottles.

    My comment: I would like this to occur, with a caveat: if an ingredient has a known carcinogenic property, I think it would be irresponsible to put it on the market.

    Number 2: Return all classic fragrances to their former glory by using the original formulas.

    My comment: While I agree with this desire in priniciple, I think thoughtful reformulation may be appropriate based on availability of ingredients and a changing marketplace.

    Number 3: Require a two year public notice and period of continued availability after discontinuing a fragrance.

    My comment: Is this required for any consumer good? I see this as expensive and impossible to enforce without government regulation. It is an unrealistic goal.

    Number 4: Return true luxury to the fragrances by using quality ingredients and bottles designs.

    My comment: There is a trade-off with this suggestion, namely price and affordability. I personally have no interest in an expensive bottle (a functional bottle that is somewhat attractive with an efficient spray mechanism is good enough for me) and will likely avoid the opulent. As to quality ingredients, I agree. But one must consider availability of those ingredients and cost vs. value. It would be a good discussion topic (another thread) as to what constitutes a quality ingredient.

    Number 5: Change the industry culture to place equal emphasis on quality, profit and customer loyalty, not just profit.

    My comment: I think this exists for certain brands. It is difficult to implement any culture industry-wide for any industry.

    Customer loyalty is an interesting subject to discuss. With many of our fragrances, we grow weary in time. We don't finish a bottle, let alone buy a second. True, there are exceptions, but the fragrances I feel I have a lifetime loyalty toward are a minority. And I certainly don't feel loyal to any house as such.

    I would also like a corporate culture that emphasizes safety, accurate representation of products and accurate representation of reformulations.
    Last edited by scentsitivity; 23rd June 2010 at 02:09 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Quote Originally Posted by John.G View Post
    One can hear the outcry about Guerlain charging Clive Christian prices for "real" Mitsouko already. (I for one would be prepared to pay it).
    Me too !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    I would love to see these put into action but I cannot conceive of any feasible strategy for implementing them. Corporations wouldn't adopt them voluntarily as it would involve large expenses and the majority of their customers just don't know or care.

    The best possible avenue for change, given the tiny number of perfume preservationists, is making the current practice of covert reformulation too expensive to maintain. You could go about this by a) drawing customer attention to the fact that the Chanel No. 5/whatever classic they shell out top dollar for is a pale imitation of the original and praying for some drop in sales or b) a series of consumer protection lawsuits under various state/federal laws that prohibit misrepresentation of goods (in this case, the packaging of different goods as the same, reformulations) and various other rules. (B) would be costly with no promise of success but it looks like it has a good shot in some states. Of course, you'd need way more money than anyone wants to shell out.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Many of the luxury fragrance prices are so expensive because of the luxury bracket the goods are aimed at. If the products were priced at a lower price point they would no longer represent that kind of demonstration of wealth ("I can afford to spend X on a luxury product") and the sales would drop. Quality of ingredients and price sometimes correlate of course, but it's not a direct relationship in many cases.

    Great OP. I agree, except that I wouldn't want to use perfumes with real musk and civet etc. I don't even let my husband eat veal.

  9. #9
    DON'T DRINK AND DRESS

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    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    A good dose of honesty, integrety and creativity would be appreciated.
    Our job is to live joyfully in this world of sorrows--Joseph Campbell

  10. #10
    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    I can certainly agree with your comment.



    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    A good dose of honesty, integrety and creativity would be appreciated.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    You're not going to get the industry to change by appealing to the industry, directly. The only way you can hope to change the actions of the industry is by changing the mindset of the consumers.
    ***For sale:

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    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  12. #12

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    The real problem lies with corporate culture in general, not the perfume industry specifically. Large corporations have created an economy (and society) based on cheap, throwaway goods. If you want quality perfumes, there are indie perfumers out there who make them, and they are often competitively priced.

    Why go to McDonalds for meat and bread or Red Lobster for seafood when you can get a much better meal at a local privately-owned restaurant? The family restaurant's prices may not be significantly more than the chains', but quality is likely to be better, not to speak of originality. The same argument could be made for just about any other product.
    Blog: www.perfumenw.blogspot.com
    Website: Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes http://orchidscents.com.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    I agree with #1, the exemption. That's a good idea. But, it still would be problematic to use the original ingredients of the older perfume formulas b/c of the use of real musks, real civet, etc. It would certainly allow the chypres to exist again, which would be a good thing, IMO.

    The others are just never going to happen, not without heavy-handed intervention by one government or another, which would probably create more problems than it solves. I think Sculptureofsoul and Doc Elly hit the nail on the head. Like everything that is "wrong" with a free society, the problems begin and end with the consumers and their choices. Of course, good luck in changing that!

  14. #14

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Just as mentioned before, also return to the pre-reformulated composition of certain vintage Chanel, Guerlain, YSL, Dior etc. frags

  15. #15

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    I think the perfume industry will reform itself once it realizes that consumers no longer dig fragrances that smell like watered down versions of other fragrances. Or classics that has been raped and destroyed...say when the 'new' Opium makes a loss, the owners would have to rethink their strategy because discontinuing it is not an answer as it used to do well in the past.

    When consumers move in to niche perfumery, the designer ones will be left in the dust. That is when the designer companies start to realize that what they are doing is stupid.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Here's a question:

    You have a famous, old vintage perfume. Turns out its great secret ingredient is vetiver grown from some volcanic island in the Pacific. A volcano destroyed that island completely. However, it turns out that Haitian vetiver would make a perfectly fine substitute that is indistinguishable except to the most sensitive noses in the perfumery industry.

    Or someone who made a secret "base" for a great perfume never went out and patented their base. That company goes out of business. Then what shall the perfume company do?
    ============
    About the bottle: I don't care about the quality of the bottles as long as it's functional; I'm a juice-head. I know the bottle-collectors and I will never agree on this, so let's leave it at that.
    ============
    I also object to the "great perfume at any cost" philosophy. I know I will piss off many people here, but I'll say it. I can buy a modern Mitsouko 75ml EDP for about US$70; and I think it's probably easily the best in my collection even if many hate the modern one.

    I know the modern Mitsouko probably has cheaper ingredients than what it was in say 1960, even measured in 1960 dollars. Let's say to bring back the old glorious Mitsouko would make it cost twice as much. Let's say that I smell this 1960's Mitsouko remake and I think it's only slightly (20%) better. Would I be willing to pay double for it? Probably not.
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
    - Pierre Bourdon

  17. #17

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Well, it sounds from the above like there are really only two feasible choices:
    1) Make the big players change their corporate practices by force (an army), or
    2) re-educate the consumers (Manchurian Candidate).

    But which one???
    Anakin: What was that all about?
    Obi-Wan: Well, R2 has been...
    Anakin: No loose wire jokes.
    Obi-Wan: Did I say anything?
    Anakin: He's trying.
    Obi-Wan: I didn't say anything!

    -ROTS


  18. #18

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Anakin: What was that all about?
    Obi-Wan: Well, R2 has been...
    Anakin: No loose wire jokes.
    Obi-Wan: Did I say anything?
    Anakin: He's trying.
    Obi-Wan: I didn't say anything!

    -ROTS


  19. #19

    Default Re: What Would It Take to Fix the Fragrance Industry?

    Only thing we can do is buy niche and good quality perfumes which my be Mr Bon's 2nd option - re educate us- the consumers.
    Eliza
    (seems like vintage L'origan was made just for me)

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