[I want to write about some of the perfumes that have influenced and led me to the creation of my perfume brand, Zoologist Perfumes. They have sparked ideas and given me new understanding about niche fragrances and the marketing of them.]
Pt. V. What Does a Perfume Mean to Men and Women? – Creed’s Aventus
After spending three years reading posts on various Facebook fragrance groups and perfume review sites on an almost daily basis, I have noticed a huge difference between non-editorial posts made by men and women.
My observation tells me that men are more obsessed with their perfumes, such as their manufacturer batch numbers, and are more eager to show off what they have on Facebook. But the amount of details are often lacking, resulting in just a “Scent of the Day” photo of their perfume sitting on a kitchen counter, with a comment like, “This juice is amazing”. We already know that men are “visual”, may be a photo is really all you need to communicate with other men, just like if you post a photo of yourself sitting in a Porsche with a babe feeding you a banana, what really do you need to write about? “This banana has a linear fragrant indolic tropical fruity note, but it has a soft silky smooth texture. (Almost too slippery.) It is best eaten on a cold winter day, highly recommended”?
In a male-dominated group, I feel like the quality of a fragrance is often judged by how cool the bottle and the packaging look, how expensive it is, how hard it is to get, and how often it appears in the group. Of course, the fragrance itself needs to be good enough for a hype storm to form, but once it has started, it seems almost unstoppable. The best example I’ve seen is Creed’s Aventus. I don’t own a bottle, but the amount of “love” and Scent of the Day posts it has gotten makes it impossible not make you at least smell it at a department store once. Just two days ago before I wrote this post I saw a man buying a bottle at a department store without sniffing it for more than a split second. He told the sales that everyone said good things about Aventus online.
Posts made by women are a different animal. A photo of the actual perfume bottle is not necessary, but the quality of the writing and the imagery that it provokes do make a difference. (A panoramic landscape photo or an exotic painting complementing the review always help.) Where would this fragrance take you to? An enchanted garden with wisps flying around you? An unforgettable encounter with a romantic medieval knight who invites you to a grand ball and breaks your heart with some mercilessly hard bottom notes? A thorny dark rose that wraps around you like a soft blanket? Wearing this you’ll meet a tall dark stranger…
A few years ago I read an article on the differences between public toilet stall graffiti made by men and women. Studies found that men were more likely to write insults and nasty comments, and doodle penises to reinforce their dominance. For women, the washroom was a sacred place of reflection and confession, and they more often wrote about relationships, religion and philosophy.
Furthermore, I have watched a crowd-funding pitch video by a woman who wanted to create some “engineering toys for girls” called GoldieBlox. The toy set included a board with a grid of holes, some spinners, rods and ribbons and a book of challenges. Note that it’s a book, not instructions on a single-sided piece of paper. The creator said that boys liked building and girls liked reading; if you pour a bucket of Lego blocks on the floor that might not be enough to entice girls to play. You also give them something to read along.
These two seemingly unrelated pieces of information might explain a little about the phenomena I see online. I wonder, for my perfume to succeed, maybe it needs both a rocking packaging design and a potential story for people to tell?