“Fragrance, to me, is a scent that you can call your own, have other people identify you with, and also express the vibes that you're feeling that day.”
— Devon Windsor
A fragrance isn’t just something you throw on thoughtlessly. It’s an extension of you, of your feelings, and experiences.
When creating your fragrance line, you can piece all of these things together to create your brand story.
A brand story is the purpose behind your fragrance line. If you don’t have a story, you’re missing something vital.
You’re missing your chance to stand out. You’re missing the opportunity to form a lasting connection with others. But most importantly, you’re losing out on cultivating how buyers will experience your fragrance before, during, and after they spray it on.
Your brand story can be more than the history behind your fragrance, and more intricate than a mission statement cooked up in a meeting — although both of these things can shape the story if you’d like.
But reach for more.
The story can encompass the feelings and facts behind your fragrance. It’s a story, after all. And stories cause readers to feel something You have the power to affect how potential buyers’ emotions, which can persuade them to try and buy your line.
It’s not just words either; the notes of your fragrance and the shape of the bottle will also affect the buyer emotionally too.
In the 1920s, Coco Chanel launched this perfume. It remains an iconic fragrance for ladies to this day. And there’s a story behind the naming of it.
Coco Chanel had an idea for a fragrance but not the expertise to create the formula herself. She asked Ernest Beaux, a fantastic perfumer, to create her first fragrance’s formula. By the end, he had five samples to show her — and it was the very last one, the fifth one, that earned a place in Coco Chanel’s heart.
Her favorite number was five. The perfume launched on the fifth day of the fifth month (May 5th). And can you guess how many major notes were in the fragrance? Yes, five!
This is a fascinating story that proves Coco Chanel didn’t slab any old name on this now iconic perfume. The name is a connection her as a person. It’s memorable. And it may resonate with others — such a wonderful, powerful businesswoman behind one of the world’s most beloved fragrances, chose the name because the stars were aligned perfectly around a certain number (and it was probably five stars, too).
The stars don’t have to fall into place for your brand story. There’s plenty of places you can find information, such as:
• The price of the fragrance (is it expensive for a reason? Affordable for a reason?)
• History (of yourself, or someone who inspired you to create the fragrance, etc)
• Marketing (how you choose to market the fragrance could affect the story)
• Appearance (of the bottle)
• Values (Yours, the people you expect to buy your line, etc)
• Location (where your fragrance was developed or will be sold)
And here’s the truth: people love a good brand story.
We’re emotional creatures who enjoy finding commonalities that bring us together. A story makes building that connection much easier. It not only gives us insight into why a product exists but also gives us the chance to be a part of that story when buying it.
A fragrance is never just a fragrance.
It’s an experience.
It makes people feel a certain way. Or conjures an old memory that sends that back in time. Although there are some who wear fragrances based on scent alone, most choose something they have a connection with — even if they’re not aware of it.
And sometimes, that feeling and connection starts long before they smell the fragrance themselves. For instance, let’s look at the product description of Ralph Lauren’s Woman Intense Eau de Parfum:
A scent that captures the power and femininity of florals mixed with black vanilla and sandalwood. This floral oriental fragrance is created for and inspired by the woman who lives and leads with intensity.
It tells a story — the type of story specific women will insert themselves into. They become a passionate and powerful woman. It changes how they dress, how they act, and even how they walk when wearing the perfume. You can easily believe this perfume was created to give strong women a scent that matches the intensity of their lifestyle.
This is exactly what you can do with your own fragrance line.
You attach a meaning (the story) to your fragrance and others will envision themselves wearing it. They’ll tell others about it (the story is shared) and invite even more people to buy your fragrance.
Isn’t that better than creating a cologne for men and saying “It’s a cologne for men”? Your brand story will differentiate your fragrance from others. If you want it to, that is.
We use our sense of smell to connect with others, to find romantic partners, and to tell stories. Smelling a fragrance will be an experience, and you have the power to shape that experience by creating a specific brand story for your fragrance line.