Exploring scent as
a creative way of life


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Perfumes resemble other cultural products in their short lifespans. The pressure to perform during limited periods of time or according to seasons governs the perfume’s life-period on the shelf, requiring that perfume be constructed as a fast-moving consumer good. This is often missed by consumers because they mainly recognize the most successful perfumes that remain on the shelf.

Bodo Kubartz
Perfume expert
Source ↓

Kubartz, B. (2009). Scent and the City: Perfume, Consumption, and the Urban Economy. Urban Geography, 30(4), 440–459, p. 448.

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Perhaps the most straightforward approach to making goods more experiential is to add elements that enhance the customer’s sensory interaction with them. Some goods richly engage the senses by their very nature: toys, cotton candy, home videos, CDs, cigars, wine, and so forth. While the very use of these goods creates a sensory experience, companies can sensorialize any good by accentuating the sensations created from its use. Doing so requires awareness of which senses most affect customers, focus on those senses and the sensations they experience, and the consequent redesign of the good to make it more appealing.

Joseph Pine & James Gilmore
Authors & management consultants
Source ↓

Pine, B. J., & Gilmore, J. H. (2011). The Experience Economy (Revised Edition). Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press, p. 29f.

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Perfume accomplishes through the medium of the nose the same thing as jewelry does through the medium of the eye. Jewelry adds something completely impersonal to the personality, drawn in from outside, but nevertheless suits the person so well that it seems to emanate from the person. It enhances the person’s sphere as the sparkle of gold and diamond; one situated near it basks in it and is thus, to some extent, caught in the sphere of the personality. Like clothing, it covers the personality with something that should still work at the same time as its own radiance. Insofar as it is a typical stylistic phenomenon, a blending of the personality into a generality that nevertheless brings the personality to a more impressive and more fashioned expression than its immediate reality could. Perfume covers the personal atmosphere; it replaces it with an objective one and yet makes it stand out at the same time. With the perfume that creates this fictive atmosphere, one presupposes that it will be agreeable to the other and that it would be a social value. As with jewelry, it must be pleasing independently of the person whose environment must please subjectively; and it must still at the same time be credited to the bearer as a person.

Georg Simmel
cultural sociologist
Source ↓

Simmel, G. (2009). Excursus on the Sociology of Sense Impression. In A. J. Blasi, A. K. Jacobs, & M. J. Kanjirathinkal (Hrsg.), Sociology: inquiries into the construction of social forms (S. 570–583). Leiden; Boston: Brill, p. 579

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Sometimes at parties I slip away to the bathroom just to see what colognes they’ve got. I never look at anything else— I don’t snoop—but I'm compulsive about seeing if there's some obscure perfume I haven't tried yet, or a good old favorite I haven’t smelled in a long time. If I see something interesting, I can’t stop myself from pouring it on. But then for the rest of the evening, I’m paranoid that the host or hostess will get a whiff of me and notice that I smell like somebody-they-know.

Andy Warhol
Source ↓

Warhol, A. (1975). The philosophy of Andy Warhol: from A to B and back again. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, p. 150.

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