Marketing descriptions of perfumes – can words express a scent?

According to one of the most important rules of marketing, a seller should not offer their clients a product, or rather a feeling, experience or dream which the product can accomplish. This rule is well known to perfume manufacturers who certainly do not offer water that smells like orange and ginger but “an oriental and tropical sensation that every strong man who wants to keep it natural needs.” So what is the purpose of the descriptions on perfume products and why is the art of creating fancy product descriptions developing so significantly in this sector?

Can words express a scent?

When we talk and cannot find the right words to describe some phenomenon, we have two solutions to the problem. The first complement to our statement is body language and the second one is using completely different words to define the topic a little more broadly.
The marketing content specialists have to act similarly while creating perfume descriptions.

So how are fragrances described? A good Content Marketing Manager can find hundreds of associations with a given ingredient, its scent or the value of the whole brand which offers a given perfume. Let’s take a look at the example of Alien Flora Futura by Mugler. The perfume has notes of citrus, Buddha wood, amber and sandalwood. What does the client learn from this description? Basically nothing. Most consumers associate a fragrance based on a maximum of two ingredients… And yet, by mastering the art of using words, one can present such a product in the loveliest way: “Alien by Mugler was launched at the beginning of 2018. The unique pink bottle, whose colour reminds you of the sky at dawn, hides a fragrance composed with a vision of light at the heart of a desert – strong and beautiful. Just like Alien Flora Futura, it makes everything possible: loving, dreaming, being yourself.”


The marketing role of a perfume description

Thanks to such a description, the customer immediately knows the product associations and the type of personality it suits. “Giorgio Armani Emporio Stronger With You Eau de Toilette for him is a version of an energetic fragrance for a modern man. The man who wears it seizes the day, is elegant and self-confident.” Additionally, such a description fulfils an important marketing role in the consumption process. A well phrased description is definitely more successful in encouraging the consumer to buy the product than a list of ingredients that does not say much about the fragrance’s character…


Perfumes that meet consumers’ aspirations

While designing perfumes, it is important to remember that a target group of customers with their qualities and the qualities which they would like to be associated with are two different things. So the descriptions should be constructed in a way that does not present their consumers exactly as they are but as they would like to and can be. The “boring accountant”, who is often used as an example, may feel the need to identify with qualities related to his dreams about being a traveller or with his “after hours” passion. “Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Blue Eau de Toilette is a bold and unique fragrance for men who follow their instinct and brave every adventure.” Paco Rabanne Olympea Aqua Legere, in turn, is “a manifestation of optimism and absolute happiness” which does not necessarily have to be associated with a specific personality type, rather it gives the consumer the opportunity to use the fragrance which can help make their image more positive.


Obviously the same rules apply to women’s fragrances. In consideration of the current needs of women who want to be both feminine in a traditional sense and independent as modern successful women, the brands create descriptions like the following one of Calvin Klein Women: “This fragrance is a celebration of femininity in all its aspects. It gives every woman strength and determination to fulfil her dreams and never forget about her real personality.”


Descriptions constructed in such a way have marketing power. It is hard not to believe that content marketing is becoming an increasingly desirable activity by manufacturers and sellers. The perfume sector offers many opportunities to demonstrate creativity and a knack for writing. Although the market focuses heavily on the visual design of the products, perfume descriptions seem to remain a niche that will continue to require interesting content for a long time.

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