Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

I smell a trend: Narrative Perfume

In DINU on September 24, 2008 at 12:29 pm

As you know, I’m all about the Deeply Immersive Narrative Universe. For the most part, that includes seeing, hearing, touching and maybe tasting a brand. But not very often are the olfactory senses engaged to tell a story. Marketing opporunity? Some think so. Grant McCracken tips us of to Etat Libre D’Orange, a frangrance company that takes a different approach to perfume. I really can’t do the brand, the site or the descriptions of the scents justice, you have to check it out. They have fantastic descriptions of the perfumes that can best be described as: If Victoria’s Secrets wrote the J. Peterman Catalog.

A sampling of the names of the scents: Magnificent Secretions, Real Blonde, Hotel Slut, Anti-Hero & Praise of a Traitor.

Perfumes have always been about fantasy, but increasingly they have become about slapping a celebrities name on something manufactured in a lab in New Jersey. Etat Libre D’Orange bring the mystery back to the category in a completely unique way.

But wait, there’s more. Read the following on Andrew Sullivan’s blog today:

Endorphin branding is the use of scent as a means of imprinting a highly emotional, positive experience in tandem with a targeted signature scent, which can be reintroduced at a later time to trigger and recreate the desired response. This strategy should be implemented at political events, which are positively charged environments ripe for this type of scent branding.

This presidential election has already seen historic, innovative campaign efforts, particularly Senator Obama’s use of the Internet to raise funds and communicate his messages. A multi-faceted, scented campaign could provide the edge one of these candidates needs to help gain victory in November.

This comes from a Newsweek article highly sceptical of the concept.  I’m not so sure though. I remember when the Mirage Hotel & Casino opened in  Las Vegas. The air was infused with the smell of Pina Colada. I think using scent to tell a story, or at least to add another dimension to a story is a powerful idea. I’m sure the smell of a Nike Store or Ralph Lauren store could help tell their stories in a new manner. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this.


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