Understanding What Affects Our Perfume Experience & The Olfactory World
Posted on October 22 2019
Excerpt From A Letter Addressed To A Perfume Retailer by Mahc Beau.
EUROPEAN V.S MIDDLE EASTERN PERFUME EXPERIENCE
The primary difference in the perfume concentration experience of fragrances used in Europe is that they are not as overpowering when compared to Middle Eastern inspired fragrances, and the notes of the perfume can be richly individually experienced in contrast to an abrasive pungent overpowering smell.
Naturally, some perfume notes are mild, some are fresh and some are strong, and regardless of the concentration of the perfume in a fragrance, the lingering experience is determined by the character of the notes used. So for example, this could mean a delicate rose with a mild note in its singular pure form may be harnessed but cannot be manipulated into smelling like a strong woody note. It’s important to understand the scope of limitation in the art of perfumery or one will be altering a perfectly good note into something entirely different. The job of a great perfumer is to enhance and not to distort the experience.
SUBJECTIVE PERFUME EXPERIENCE
Evidently, perfume preferences are subjective and vary with each individual need and experience. So what one person may like, another may dislike. And our efforts to capture the fleeting escape of a fragrance is part of what makes a perfume so precious to own. Much like the fragility of life and its fleeting moments and memories, perfumery is a delicacy that is better understood in romantic settings and by trained noses. It requires a certain social etiquette and cultivation of taste to appreciate the differences in perfume. Not all perfume are the same or equal but they can all evoke beautiful sentiments depending on its beholder and wearer.
For example - “Dear Weather” by Mahc Beau is loved by almost everyone because it has a commercial quality to it but it is not as distinguishable to me as “Smoking Hot”, partly because its notes are milder and floral, and also because Smoking Hot was an innovative creation for me and my team.
Smoking Hot has been considered a novelty among Oud fragrances particularly because most Europeans who are not keen to wear Middle Eastern Oud fragrances have purchased and fallen in love with Mahc Beau’s blend of Oud, and at the same time, several Middle Eastern Oud lovers equally buy Mahc Beau’s Smoking Hot perfume because they find our blend of Oud more contemporary and different to what they are ethnically accustomed to. Mahc Beau’s Smoking Hot Oud & Woodsmoke has been described by some of our customers in the United Kingdom as “a beautiful compromise” because it appeals to both the East and the West.
BODY PARTS & PERFUME
Further to another enquiry you mentioned, there are places in our body that can retain the smell of a perfume longer than others and it’s good to know where to spray for this reason. For example - behind the ear lobes, the base of our throats, in the cleavage and chest region, the inner wrists, inner elbows and generally where there is more hair on our skin. Hidden and warm areas on the body retain and activate perfume scents and will often prolong its emission. Also, different clothing fabrics absorb and retain perfume scents differently.
SUMMARY OF A PERFUME EXPERIENCE
Additionally, as perfume vary in customer experiences, I have included more information below that you may find useful in educating customers who may make further enquiries about the use of perfume before or after a sale:
There is always a scent of odour and perfume in the air. We are never without it. So the open air and the smell of our surroundings can contribute to the overall experience of a perfume sprayed. Many people are unaware of how true this is yet it is a contributing factor that can make a perfume feel more or less desirable to us at different locations and time.
2. BODY SCENT
Our different body odours can account for subtle variations in different customer experiences. Body odours can often create differences in the outcome of a perfume sprayed on different bodies and clothing. Perfumes are like invisible clothing sizes. They fit certain body types and may not fit other body types. So finding the right perfume for you is like discovering your size.
3. PERFUME LIKE WINE IS TEMPERAMENTAL
Perfume are substances of liquid as opposed to solid, so they are naturally temperamental. Just like wine, which can taste sweeter or sourer over time, a similar reality is true for perfumes - where they are stored and the temperatures they are stored in are important to consider as this can create subtle differences in customer experiences.
4. MOODS & PERFUME
Our moods can affect our sense of smell. There are moods that can heighten our experience of smell and others that make us feel indifferent to a perfume experience. This reason is perhaps one of the most important reasons to note. I say this because many established brands go at great lengths to create a perception value to enhance customers mood, to project a desired image to their customers, to protect the image of their brands and discourage customers from finding faults because they realise that perception is more important than reality to most customers. So if something is found to be wrong with a product belonging to a well known brand, most customers are unsuspecting, emotionally disarmed and are likely to feel that the product is the way it should be or it could be their fault and not the brand’s. After all, they associate the established well marketed brand with credibility but are quick to look for faults with an unknown brand that they may have just discovered. Over many years, customers are commercially programmed and conditioned to associate quality with perception than reality and it is our job to sometimes enlighten them on the differences particularly when we are tasked with introducing a new brand to them.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Mahc Beau luxury fragrances are made in the United Kingdom, and according to the UK and European industry standards (particularly France). Our fragrances are considered to be of the highest quality by the IFRA (International Fragrance Association). With our origin in London, UK & Europe, this makes our fragrance different in comparison to fragrances that are predominantly used in the Middle Eastern region.
POINT OF SALE
Further, I will like to suggest that at the point of sale, to inform your customers about the additional art experience that they are being given access to when they purchase Mahc Beau fragrances as these are the only fragrances in the world that provide a visual and musical audio experience for customers. It is a trademarked multi-sensory luxury perfume brand for this reason and it is ideal as luxury gifts for friends and loved ones. It is also modern in that customers can use their iPhones to access the digital story by the perfumer and writer, which inspired the perfume notes. I have included some of the perfume audios here for you as well should you choose to play this at your shop when potential customers visit and enquire.
I hope you find these insights useful in your continued sales effort with your customers. Thank you for retailing our luxury brand and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further enquires.