Consumer Preferences vs. Creative Freedom
The reliance on consumer testing in mainstream perfume development has, paradoxically, contributed to the rise of niche perfumes. Some scents, particularly those that are unconventional or complex, may not perform well in standard consumer tests but can still achieve blockbuster status and provide wearers with an identity-defining scent. As certain scents become mainstream, the allure of new, unique combinations grows, driving demand for these niche creations.
Niche perfumeries, often eschewing consumer testing, rely on the refined tastes and instincts of their small creative teams. Master Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, who has transitioned from working with big brands to creating niche perfumes, notes a stark difference in the creative processes. In niche perfumery, Feisthauer says, “the creator’s vision is paramount, often resulting in a more sincere, unrestricted form of creation. This approach allows for the use of exquisite raw materials, which larger companies might find economically unviable. The result is a departure from the ‘mass appeal’ strategy of mainstream fragrances, which are often designed to be universally acceptable but rarely evoke strong emotions.”
Original article: forbes.com