What’s the key to creating classic fragrances and how can they help scented products such as fine perfumes, soaps and cosmetic brands remain in style decade after decade?
Designing fragrances, let alone classic fragrances, is not an easy task, but there are some consistent elements master perfumers can reach for in the process.
When one hears the word, classic, several things may come to mind.
For some, it may conjure images of a sleek Lamborghini or Model T Ford. For others, it could be a vintage Dior gown or a perfume, such as Chanel No. 5.
One quality that defines all products that are considered classic is the universal recognition associated with them.
This helps to perpetuate a sense of a product’s freshness and newness because it sends an unspoken message to the consumer of familiarity and acceptance.
After all, humans inevitably seek and find olfactory pleasure experiencing that which is known and comfortable to them.
Classic vs Dated
As a noun, classic is a perfect and/or early example of a particular style.
“Dated” refers to a fragrance that is no longer aligned with the needs and aspirations of the times.
For example, the violet and rose waters of the Victorian era do not fit the spirit and personality of the women of today.
They are obsolete and old-fashioned and capture the nature of humans to believe the past held more passion and glitter than it may have actually had. (Truth be told, Victorian women were repressed and lived difficult and often unhappy, unfulfilled lives.)
As adjectives, the difference between classic and dated is that the former is either of or relating to the first class or rank, especially in literature or art, while dated signifies ‘marked with a date’.
What Qualities Define A Classic Fragrance?
Obviously, a perfume, just like any other commodity in the modern market place, cannot survive the passage of time without enough people buying it.
Sale stability is one aspect of a classic perfume, but by far not the only one.
Scents must be considered of superior quality, known to have had an enduring influence on the industry and they must have propelled a multi generational following. More details are below on each characterization.
Superior Product Quality
There are several characteristics that make a perfume superior.
One of them is wear time, which refers to how long it will last on the skin. When a fragrance is made with premium essential oils, it indicates its intensity and the capacity to remain for a longer period of time.
Complexity of scent is another factor, although there are exceptions, such as Chanel No. 5, which is a single note and remains one of the most highly desirable fragrances in the industry.
Long Term Influence on The Perfume Industry
Perfume trends evolve over the years and can last for decades, but they are always the reflections of a particular time, spirit and space.
Fragrances adapt and ingredients may change, but a classic fragrance prevails and eventually becomes a reference point all its own.
People liking and buying a fragrance is not enough to make it a classic.
A best seller, such as Last Gaga’s Fame, provides such an example.
This fragrance, as well as other celebrity scents by Beyonce and Nicki Minaj, are not considered classic because they have not brought any long-term benefits to the industry.
Most fragrances are like flashes in the pan that shine brightly and briefly and then then extinguish forever.
Classic scents are there for the long haul, and tend to remain in a family for generations. The best example of a scent with a multi-generational following is Old Spice.
Men of all ages and from all walks of life have worn it for many decades, and in North America, its formulation has come to symbolize the essential smell of a man and a dad.
Understanding Modern Perfume Trends
The perfume industry, as well as many others, are experiencing cultural shifts and environmental concerns that are altering their production strategies.
Survival of the fittest applies here as readily as it does to Darwin’s iconic beliefs, as perfume trends always represent the ebb and flow of societal concerns.
In modern terms, this perspective results in perfume experts relying on the utilization of healthier and safer ingredients and eco-friendly methods of production that are geared to save planet Earth for future generations.
Explore our commitment to Cradle-to-Cradle fragrances.
Some of the fragrances of earlier decades, even as far back as the 1930s, retain a timeless appeal unaffected by trending vagaries.
Two such examples are Joy by Jean Patou and Jean Marie Farina Eau de Cologne. Women’s fragrances of the 1930s and 40s were tinged with the glamour of Hollywood and the emergence of men’s fragrances.
The American dream of the 1950s was a time when perfume became more affordable and no longer reserved for specialty shops.
Europeans of all ages dreamed of an American way of life as depicted in the cinema with drive-in movies, blue suede shoes, bobby-soxers, hula hoops and poodle skirts.
The 1960s and the 1970s marked periods of social change, the invasion of hippies, women’s emancipation and innovations in synthetic chemistry, which in turn resulted in the development of new notes to the world of perfumery.
Patchouli became the symbol of a generation seeking change, and the many perfumes developed by Alpha Aromatics crossed a fragrant threshold, shifting from coveted accessory to the reflection of a way of life.
Since the year 2000, perfume trends have evolved via both a return to the great classics of yesterday, and an increase in the appearance of strange, unexpected types of scents that are far from the mainstream of what might have been considered niche and original even a decade before.
In efforts to stand out from others in the industry, perfumers of the 21st century have become bolder and more unconventional in their formulations.
Why Companies Increasingly Work With Alpha Aromatics
We have remained a bulwark in the industry, standing out against a sea of others due to our uncompromising standards and superior perfume formulations.
A family business with roots that stretch as far back a the 1940s, we artistically blend technical knowledge and creativity that brings life to never before known scents that affect human memory and emotion.
Our superior team works closely with our clients and particularly the creator of the fragrance brief, which is always the building block of perfume formulation.
Our expertise is marked by a combination of creative panache, technical knowledge and artful innovation.
Considerations When Adding A Classic Fragrance To A Product
Know Who Your Target Audience Is
Classic fragrances are often used in personal care products, and they can improve sales because perfumers correctly believe that a well known scent can and does affect a consumer’s perception of a product’s performance.
This is also why knowing to whom the scent will appeal to in terms of age and gender is so important.
Use More Natural And Organic Ingredients
Natural and organic fragrances are becoming more and more mainstream with a prevailing reliance on life-styles that favor eco-friendly products and an awareness of the legacy we all must leave for the future generations who will inhabit planet Earth.
While perfume trends may come and go, the relevance of sustainability is here to stay, and a classic scent reinforces this aspect of modern thought.
Take The Time To Understand Fragrance Allergens
Even the addition of a tried and true classic fragrance to a product can cause problems in the form of unexpected interactions and the misuse of essential oils, which can be very concentrated.
Some oils may need to be diluted before use and some can cause skin irritations.
Always be transparent about the ingredients in a product to ensure consumer trust and a stable ride on the enduring reputation of a classic scent.
Understand Exactly How Fragrances Work
Our experts at Alpha Aromatics understand that certain fragrances work better in particular products.
For example, floral, fruity, fantasy, gourmand and fresh and clean are ubiquitous within the diverse personal care categories.
For soaps, bath products and body care, floral scents are the most popular, while deodorant manufacturers recognize that fantasy fragrances work much better for them.
Contrary to the understandable belief that the ideal business strategy might concern maintaining a single fragrance that is consistent with an entire product line, this often doesn’t work for a number of reasons.
First, the fragrance must coexist with a body’s natural scent, and no company can ever predict whatever other fragrances consumers may choose to combine with them.
In addition, a shampoo or other hair product should not have a scent that clashes with a body mist made by the same company. The end result must be a pleasing scent.
Flexibility is the key to adopting a successful fragrance for a cosmetic or personal care product.
All selected scents must be both complementary and complimentary.
A Few Of Our Recent Classic Fragrances
The following represent a number of recent classic fragrance creations by our master perfumers, which are specifically designed with an aim to stand the proverbial test of time.
This gourmand fragrance opens with a splash of succulent orange and clean, crisp and meaty almond kernel.
These aspects soon fold into a bittersweet middle note of soft and nutty almond extract.
The scent completes with a spicy base note of warm, woody cedar.
This citrusy and fruity amalgam opens with juicy streams of crisp, green apple and fresh, slightly sweet and dense pear.
These elements quickly fade into a glorious heart note bouquet featuring sensual, sweet white floral and leafy green aspects that are typically associated with feminine perfumes.
The scent completes with a potent base note marked by earthy and woody elements.
Baby Powder is a classic fragrance that is known everywhere and always evokes a sense of lightness and comfort.
A top note of bright, uplifting citrus soon melds into a floral heart note marked by elements of dreamy musky rose, potent, haunting jasmine and delicate, sugary and powdery African violet.
The fragrance finishes with a base note characterized by elements of warm, woody and balsamic cedar, sensual, passionate musk and lush and sugary vanilla.
This Caribbean spicy mélange brims with nuances of Jamaican rum and West Indies bay leaf.
Top notes of citrus, fruit and sweet rum open this complex fragrance and soon acquiesce to an aromatic heart note comprised of herbal, slightly floral bay leaf, woody, powdery violet, fiery, clove-like and bright carnation and warm, spicy-balsamic West Indian pimento berry.
A base note of warm, distinctly spicy and woody tones of clove complete this intriguing scent.
This zesty, invigorating fragrance features top notes of cool, fresh peppermint, sugary and herbal spearmint and the slightest whisper of citrus.
These aspects soon meld into a heart note marked by cool, minty, pine and tangy eucalyptus blended with earthy herbal and green geranium.
The scent completes with a base note featuring creamy sandalwood, balsamic, somber cedar and sensual and passionate musk.
A sparkling ozonic top note marked by elements of almond-tinged heliotrope and delicate, sweet, and warm muguet opens this exotic scent.
These aspects soon fade into a middle note featuring milky, almond-like and green lilac leaves, and haunting, intense night-blooming jasmine.
A base note of warm, dry cedar wood and romantic, sensual white musk complete this alluring fragrance.
The mulberry bush has deep cultural connotations, as exemplified in the iconic children’s song: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, which relates to a tree in an English prison yard around which female prisoners did their daily exercises.
This haunting, exotic scent features delightful opening notes of uplifting grapefruit, tropical pineapple, sugary slightly pungent banana, sweet, tart cherry, fresh, sharp lemon, juicy orange and crisp apple.
A middle note soon follows comprised of intense jasmine, which morphs into a final base note marked by lush and elegant vanilla.
The endless ocean and all its wonder and majesty live in this beguiling fragrance that opens with a top note marked by splashes of spicy, floral and citrusy orange bergamot and sharp, clean lemon.
These components soon fade into a heart note of green, marine ozonic elements, which in turn succumb to a finishing base note comprised of green, earthy and musky sea moss.
This colorful, green and fruity blend popularized by the eccentric singing style of Little Richard back in the heyday of rock n roll, is a sweet fragrance marked by opening streams of sugary and tart cherry, succulent orange, slightly tropical, lush pineapple, fresh lemon, tangy and woody-nuanced raspberry, uplifting grapefruit and dewy melon.
A heart note of hot, piquant clove and mild, woody Beech tree folds into a finishing base note of milky coconut and sugary vanilla.
This fragrance is light and sweet, characterized by top notes of aquatic and ozonic elements and fresh, peppery, rich and slightly bitter watercress.
A floral heart note soon follows featuring intense and intoxicating jasmine, leafy green and bright waterlily and woody, powdery violet.
The scent completes with tones of aromatic and sensual white musk.
Classic fragrances and our master perfumers at Alpha Aromatics are here to stay.
Learn how to harness the popularity of these scents to improve your company’s bottom line and fuse them into your new brand of cosmetics, personal care or any other type of product.
Send our team a message today!
Photo Credits: Pixabay