Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Would a blind person select your perfume?

Perfume marketers go to great lengths with their packaging, to make their fragrances enticing. Sophisticated buyers admit that sometimes they buy a perfume for its packaging rather than its scent. I've done this myself -- more than once. But suppose you were selling to a blind person who couldn't see your packaging? Suppose this person had only their nose to go on. Now all that would matter would be the perfume itself. Would your perfume measure up?

Generally the idea for a new perfume comes well before the scent. It would be rare today for someone to wake up in the morning with a very specific scent in mind, rush to their desk, write down the formula, produce and bottle it and then give it to the advertising people saying "go sell this." More commonly a marketing platform would be developed, then graphics commissioned for that platform and only then would the project be handed out to several perfumers to see who could come up with what. The marketer knows that a great scent will greatly enhance sales but it will be the packaging, advertising, and promotion that will get the sales rolling. Never will it be about the scent itself though that will be the pretense. In reality the scent is an afterthought.

But what happens when a blind person smells this new perfume? It is said that blind people have no greater sense of smell than the average person with sight. But, lacking sight and being free of distractions from packaging and promotion, the blind person is likely to be more aware of the scent itself. How might your fragrance be rated?

Amateur perfume makers typically start by making a fragrance and then asking the question, "how can I sell it?" If you're out to make money this isn't the smartest approach. But, if you are more interested in the aroma than the packaging, this approach can help you hone your skills and your ability to produce fragrances that could, some day, gain serious recognition -- and approval -- from both blind people and many others. After all, isn't it scent that, thousands of years ago, created the perfume industry?