N0267398 Negotiated Project Stage 2 FASH30071
Introduction 10-11 Methodology 12-15 Alexander McQueen 16-43 Consumer Profiles 44-51 Case Studies 52-81 Concept Creative & Marketing Idea 82-107 Executions 108-123 Conclusion 124-124 List of Illustrations 126-127 List of References 128-129 Bibliography 130-133 Appendices 134-173
“People are looking to connect with themselves on a deeper level. Whether they identify with a brand and its messaging or with their own lifestyle. It’s amazing how people don’t know themselves”- Yosh Han (see appendices ‘Yosh Han Interview’ p 142-143) There were three major findings from the research stage. The first was that the consumer is looking for uniqueness in their scent as well as personalisation (refer to research Stage One p 57). There is no right or wrong choice in perfume because it is unique to oneself. The second finding was that there are a variety of ways of using scent, other than for cosmetic reasons. For example people like Sissel Tolaas, (refer to research Stage One p 39) have used perfumes in innovative ways to guide people round a museum, or to use scent for medical reasons to help cure patients. Brands are no longer using their logos as ways to attract customers, and are now using their fifth sense to create a further relationship with their consumer; an emotional one. As Simon Harrop, executive director of Brand Sense Agency (a company spearheading the concept of sensory branding) states, “vision goes to the part of the brain that controls rational thought. ‘This means we tend to override the signals,’ he says. ‘But because smell goes to the part of the brain linked to emotion, it creates a more direct and powerful response. If we can create associations with a fragrance, then it becomes a very powerful way to enhance the brand.’” (CNN, ‘Wake up and smell the Freesia’: Online 2012). The final conclusion from the research stage; shows that consumers are now demanding a lot more from their perfume, not only do they want a memorable relationship with it, they also want a fulfilling experience. The Perfume Industry needs to do more than just have nice packaging, bottle and a pretty celebrity endorsing the perfume, they need to introduce a more interactive and a real ‘moment,’ an experience for the consumer to have with the perfume, (refer to research Stage One p 58). These findings suggests that there is a gap in the perfume industry, for a perfume to have a combination of being personal and unique, as well as using perfume in different ways from the conventional, incorporating a multisensorial experience. The research stage also suggests that a product with these requirements may answer the consumers request as they appear to be lost in an already saturated perfume market. In the research stage the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ was chosen. This particular brand portrayed all the elements that were felt to bridge the gaps in the perfume market. The first objective of the research was to analyse the brand and to find its core DNA, to identify what the brand is representing in their scent. Another objective was to consider three consumers in detail, to discover who they really are and their DNA. I also want to see how the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ communicates its message through consumer touch points. The third objective was to answer the consumers desire to fill the gap in the perfume market that the research stage identified was missing. To do this it was necessary to look at case studies which help look at the successes and failures in the market and this would contribute to the moulding of the design process for the perfume and identify what direction was required. The final objective was to have a have an overriding concept. Creating the marketing and the creative idea, whilst breaking down and going through each section and how it will be executed in the most successful way, to achieve originality, uniqueness and standing out of an overflowing perfume market.
“Because it is taken subconsciously, we don’t learn anywhere that we should take our noses serious. What I try to do is I take my nose very serious. I try to communicate that kind of experience and how life has been after I have tried to take my nose serious, more than my eyes. And even the way you view, the way you look, hear things it is amazing” - Sissel Tolaas (see appendices ‘Sissel Tolaas Interview’ p 149-150)
For this report my main intention was to look at how to fill the gap in the market that the consumer wanted in the perfume industry. I would fill this space by creating and implementing a product. In order to do that I looked at the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ in more detail which meant exploring the brand and seeing what was its philosophy, what the brand looked like now and what its previous perfume products were. It was important to do this to identify the aesthetic look of the scent, both physically and in the smell that it would emulate. This is where the message of the brand is communicated and I needed to ensure it is the right brand message. I selected three different consumers, I wanted to identify who they were, their lifestyles and what scents they currently use and why. This information would help to identify the communication between the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ and the consumers. Researching case studies allowed me to explore the market. What was done well and what wasn’t, it would help me to obtain inspiration and information that I could apply to the overriding concept, a new product. The following four sections were selected: Perfumes that relate to personalisation Brands that have been dissected to explore their own DNA and have been translated into scent Different and innovative ways of using and smelling perfume and cases of the multisensorial experience Foods relationship with scent
I confirm that this work has gained ethical approval and that we have faithfully observed the terms of approval in the conduct of this project Signed...................................
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ACCESSORIES Fig 14.
Lee Alexander McQueen was the Rebel King of British Fashion, “Lee liked to shock people because he wanted them to feel something”-Sarah Burton (Bolton, 2011 p 228). On February 11th 2010 Alexander sadly passed away and left the world of fashion, leaving behind a legacy of creating the most theatrical and mesmerising catwalk shows which silenced audiences, breaking the limitations of fashion, with his cut throat and sharp edged tailoring, his ideas captivated and stunned the world. When I asked ‘Alexander McQueen’ fans how they would describe him, the most common descriptions were, Innovative, Creative, Unique, Eccentric, British, Dark, Exciting and Theatrical (see appendices ‘Alexander McQueen Survey Monkey Questionnaire Results’ p 136-137).
Creative Unique Eccentric British Dark Exciting Theatrical 18
“He’s a Wild Bird and I think he makes clothes Fly” -Isabella Blow (McQueen and I, 2011. Documentary) Lee McQueen was told by Isabella Blow, the “it” girl who had an eye for talent, to change his label to his middle name, Alexander as it had a greater impact, and she thought it reminded her of Alexander the Great. From 1996-2001 Alexander McQueen was the chief designer for Givenchy, but in 2000 the Gucci Group bought up the label ‘Alexander McQueen’ and allowed him as Creative Director with as much creative freedom as he wanted. The Gucci Group wanted to transform the brand from catwalk shows into a global brand. Alexander was soon designing, jeans, menswear, sunglasses, signature trainers and perfume. By 2009 the dream of ‘Alexander McQueen’ becoming a global brand was a reality, with shops across the World in Milan, LA, Tokyo and Beijing. He was selling clothes online, designing suitcases for a luggage line and also producing a collection for one of the biggest discount stores in America. Till his death Lee Alexander McQueen stayed true to his public image.
17th March 1969 – 11th February 2010 A new generation of McQueen was announced and Sarah Burton was named Creative Director of the ‘Alexander McQueen’ brand previously working beside him for 15 years, she was the natural heir to the McQueen throne. She completed the last 16 outfits the collection Alexander had worked on, the Fall Ready to Wear 2010 collection. The show notes just said, “Each Piece is Unique, as was he.” She also designed the wedding dress for the new Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, under the ‘Alexander McQueen’ name, “She was inscribed into the history books after creating the elaborately embroidered gown that Catherine Middleton wore when she walked down the aisle with Prince William” (Interview, ‘Sarah Burton’: Online 2012). Sarah Burton has also recently been made one of Time Magazines 100 most influential people in the world, resulting in her views of fashion and the McQueen brand, being watched and respected internationally, doing Lee McQueen’s legacy proud “She thinks about women and art and stories, weaves her tale into the future of fashion. On the runway she is inspired. And she creates the most beautiful and complex layers and simple, perfect lines. And a waist. Keeping up the tradition. And she did the undoable. A royal wedding dress that could never live up to the impossible dream. But it did. The whole world gasped in astonishment and sighed in reverie as she made one young woman’s fantasy a reality for everyone” (Time, ‘The 100 Most Influential People in the World’: Online 2012).
“Some people have an eye for beauty that other people don’t have. So they can see that something is beautiful before people are used to that certain look”-Plum Sykes (McQueen and I, 2011. Documentary) 19
The ‘Alexander McQueen’ collection book had six underlying themes that built up the Signature of the ‘Alexander McQueen’ aesthetic:
Victoriana Romantic Macabre: Death is Beauty Nature & its Birds & Animals A Woman’s Psyche: the Empowerment of Women
Future versus Tradition Surgical Tailoring This is what Lee McQueen and Sarah Burton portray throughout their collections and it is the heart of what it means to be ‘Alexander McQueen’. The reason why I chose ‘Alexander McQueen’ as a brand to be used as a platform to create a perfume is because, the brand is never conventional, they are always seeking something new and innovative, “I was mesmerised by his creations, by the way he modified the structure of a traditional dress to adapt it to personal vision of the contemporary woman, constantly changing the limits of the concept of elegance”- Silvia Gaspardo Moro (Moro, 2011 p 113). This will allow me to do something very conceptual and innovative, which will stand out of the saturated perfume market. Perfume is about recalling a memory through scent, and the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ is constantly reciting a story in their collections and portraying an emotion, “I think what’s amazing about McQueen and what was amazing about Lee was that he created this process where it was never really about fashion. It was always about a feeling and telling a story. And I think he sort of trained us all— trained me—to try to tell a story and to find a world that doesn’t necessarily relate to what everybody else is doing”-Sarah Burton (Interview, ‘Sarah Burton’: Online 2012). This illustrates the brand is familiar in storytelling when portraying a collection and therefore is easier in creating a narrative to go with their perfume.
Romantic Macabre: Fig 17.
Death is Beauty
Nature & its Birds & Animals
A Womanâ€™s Psyche:
the Empowerment of Women
Future versus Tradition Fig 20.
Previously ‘Alexander McQueen’ perfumes have been discontinued because of poor sales and not receiving very good reviews, “Kingdom failed critically and commercially. Whilst the brand and concept behind it was strong a lot of people just could not get over the smell. The huge amount of cumin was too much (especially in the Parfum) and led people to believe that it smelled of certain body parts. Poor sales meant that the scent was eventually discontinued.... Kingdom, in all versions (EDT, EDP and Parfum) has been discontinued. It may still be found at discounters and on eBay for ridiculous prices (which shot up as soon as McQueen died)” (Thecandyperfumeboy, ‘Gone, but not forgotten Series – Part 1: Pierce My Heart Again – Alexander McQueen Perfume Review’: Online 2012). Under a new director, where does the McQueen brand sit now? Sarah Burton is very conscious that she is still creating clothes that emulate the ‘Alexander McQueen’ tone and look, “There’ll always be a McQueen woman. She is a strong woman and she is a powerful woman, and when she puts a McQueen jacket on, she feels different. The way she stands is different. The way she moves is different. It’s almost like the clothes are slightly empowering. There’s this emotion that goes into the clothes. and I try to keep it as true to . . . you know, Lee was such a genius that I can never pretend to be him, but I am very aware that I’m designing for a house that he created, and I try to keep it as true to that as possible”-Sarah Burton (Interview, ‘Sarah Burton’: Online 2012). But that doesn’t mean to say Sarah hasn’t changed the structure of the brand. The website has had a makeover early this year which enhanced its images making it more striking and powerful. Along with the prominent imaging they have incorporated more videos so you can see an archive of McQueen memorabilia through moments on the catwalk. The website is more consumer friendly allowing them to have their own, “My McQueen” profile, where they can archive their favourite ‘Alexander McQueen’ moments and control their own pages. Then the consumers can share on social media sites producing a stronger consumer brand relationship and interaction, “Alexander McQueen is the latest label to revamp its website, with increased e-commerce outlets and features including a “My McQueen” area where users can access archive McQueen images and curate their own pages” (Yahoo, ‘Alexander McQueen latest label to get website revamp, expand e-commerce’: Online 2012). The online website was primarily only allowed for the United Kingdom and the United States but now they have opened their arms and borders to the international market to 28 more countries from Cyprus to Sweden. They also added the scarf boutique tab as well as a tab for the diffusion range McQ.
The McQ Autumn/Winter collection, was showcased earlier this year, has also received some attention. Previously this diffusion brand was on the sideline compared to the spotlight which shined on the main shows. Sarah Burton brought McQ into in house production and then launched it onto the catwalk out of its closet with an incredible impact. It was refreshing and upmarket and received a great response from the fashion world, “Definitely. Because I feel that it’s very clear who the McQueen woman is, and I really feel that McQ has to have its own story to tell and its own woman. There’s no need to do a second line that is a poor-man’s version of the main line. It has to be different because there’s nothing worse than seeing a one-button jacket in a cheap fabric that’s an imitation of the main line. The pieces have got to be special in their own right. There is more of an ease to McQ. There is a world that is similar to the McQueen spirit and essence, but the pieces are not necessarily for a customer who buys the main line”-Sarah Burton (Interview, ‘Sarah Burton’: Online 2012).
Here is an example of an exhilarating review of the new rejuvenation of McQ from AnOther Magazine, “Launched as a denim license in 2006, McQ has co-existed somewhat uncomfortably with the house’s mainline, save for a few exciting moments (remember that brilliant MySpace casting initiative?). Following the unwritten rules of the “diffusion”, “second” or “sister” line, the premise has always been to produce accessible clothing at a lower price point, usually shown at low-key presentations; an age-old idea that Burton is now challenging. Now, the McQ men’s and women’s line is being produced in-house, under the direction of Burton whose reinvigoration of the line relies on two key ideas: clothes should be beautiful at any price and they should incorporate the house’s aesthetic, without ‘dumbing’ it down. The result – an excellent succession of romantic, overblown ballgowns, practical felted wool outerwear, Black Watch tartan and military-inspired separates, styled by Camilla Nickerson and Robbie Spencer – was further evidence of Burton’s talents”- Laura Bradley (AnOther, ‘Collections Digest, London Fashion Week: The McQ Moment’: Online 2012). 31
As well as the seasonal collections from Sarah Burton and the ‘Alexander McQueen’ team, they are opening a new menswear store in the lucrative Savile Row. The womenswear sector of the brand is doing well and is still making a profit despite the economic climate, “Susannah Frankel- ‘It has been reported that sales have soared at the Alexander McQueen label since she took over.’ Sarah Burton- ‘For Lee though it was all about the show, that came first and I want to tighten up the gap between that and the rest of the house’ ” (Frankel, 2012 p 327) When Sarah Burton is referring to ‘tightening up’ the rest of the house she is saying she wants there to be an equal higher-end menswear sector as there is in the womenswear sector. This collaboration with Huntsman Tailor allows men to have bespoke tailor made-to-fit clothing and get the same services the womenswear sector receives. Lee started his fashion career in Savile Row (see Alexander McQueen Collections), so this store opening in September is a nice nostalgic memorial to the beginning of the foundations of the tailoring genius of Alexander McQueen, which has been a fundamental element to the brand,
“ ‘As our business has expanded, we now need more stores to introduce the different collections,’ said McQueen president and chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd. ‘Savile Row is special as it is where Lee started his career so it is a nice thing to be going back. Our womenswear has grown in the higher-end luxury sector and we wanted to take menswear back there too. We are working with tailor Huntsman to create top-quality bespoke’” (Vogue, ‘New McQueen Home’: Online 2012).
Collaborations were vital in Alexander McQueen’s collections, from Jeweller Shaun Leane, to milliner Philip Treacy, to hair stylist Guido Palau, it was a fundamental part to Alexander’s shows to incorporate talents from different areas along with his own. I would like to emulate this collaboration when creating the perfume, “Lee was amazingly loyal, with a great belief in people. He was very strong in his collaborations. His vision was so pure that he would very much be the director of whatever project he worked on, whether it was show or a photo shoot. But when he worked with the milliner Philip Treacy, he was very respectful. He’d show him boards and give him key words, and Philip would come up with something. For example, in the collection The Horn of Plenty [autumn/winter 2009-10], Lee wanted plastic bags on heads, like he’d seen in Hendrik Kersten’s photos at the National Portrait Gallery, but it was Philip who came up with the dustbin lid and the exploding wicker basket. Guido Palau’s coiffures for The Horn of Plenty brought another layer to the collection. For Lee, Philip and Guido really finished off the look. It was the same with the jeweller Shaun Leane. Lee loved his craftsmanship”-Sarah Burton (Bolton, 2011 p 226)
Studio Toogood &
Although the brand is under new legacy Sarah Burton is retaining the McQueen prophecy that Lee put down, and Sarah Burton is taking the reins and respectively expanding and developing, but still making sure it is ‘Alexander McQueen’, “I still wanted it to be about Lee and we worked together so closely that, for me now, designing the collections is almost an instinctive thing........The McQueen woman doesn’t want to feel casual. It’s not that kind of world. When you put on the clothes, they make you stand differently, feel differently. It was about how to do that but make it feel light. I’ve always been part of Lee’s romantic side, that’s what I love. Although there are elements of this collection that are quite dark, even sinister, there’s always a romance to it, a delicacy. Empowerment and protection: working here, you always have to bring back to Alexander McQueen” - Sarah Burton (Frankel, 2012 p 324)
Kingdom Perfume Molecular Structure
36 32. Fig
Limited Edition Kingdom Perfume Molecular Structure
MyQueen Perfume Molecular Structure
3834. Fig 42
‘Alexander McQueen’ released five perfumes Kingdom in 2003 (this perfume was launched on the designers birthday 17th March), a limited edition of Kingdom was released a year later in 2004, then a summer version of Kingdom was released in 2006, all these perfumes were created by Jacques Cavallier. Then a new Perfume made by perfumers Anne Flipo and Dominique Ropion, called My Queen was released in 2005 and the lighter version of My Queen was released in 2007. In my focus group I tested the latest perfume to be released My Queen: Light Mist and the responses showed different reactions to the initial smell of the perfume, “Sarah: It smells nice, it smells quite manly though, it smells more like a boy’s fragrance then a girl’s Poppy: It smells a bit fruity Kat: It’s quite strong when you go near it Louise: I think it smells quite expensive” (see appendices ‘Light Mist Perfume Test Transcript’ p 153). The original My Queen scent was supposed to be made up of four elements which emulated Lee’s vision, “Designer Alexander McQueen is introducing a new perfume this fall, entitled “My Queen”. Tongue in cheek, maybe, but also a reference to how a woman should feel like a queen. According to YSL Beaute, developers of the scent, the perfume is designed to evoke four major responses: “marvelous”, “dazzling”, “mysterious” and “intoxicating”. These categories also represent four different fragrance sets, which together make up the scent My Queen” (Fashionunited, ‘New Scent for McQueen’: Online 2012). When shown to the focus group these four concepts that make up the My Queen perfume, they did not produce any similar reaction. When creating a perfume there must be a clear similarity and distinctiveness to the concept and the reaction of the consumer. The participants did identify the prominent note of parma violets, when actually the middle note did contain violets, so it was the strongest and only ingredient in the perfume that was identified, “Kat: It smells sweet and a bit like parma violets Louise: yes, yes, it smells like parma violets” (see appendices ‘Light Mist Perfume Test Transcript’ p 153). When reviewing the bottle, there was a positive response, and in fact the participants enjoyed the scent more because they saw the physical casing. They also mentioned they would keep the bottle and display it even when the perfume itself is gone. This shows they felt the bottle could be used as a decorative piece, proud placement in a room. It is important that the scent and the packaging is made as beautiful and as coherent as each, so they complement each other well and may also have pride of place in someone’s environment, “Poppy: I think it’s really pretty Sarah: I think it’s really pretty I like the pearl effect Louise: I would have that bottle out on show Poppy: Yeah it is really pretty Sarah: It’s one of the bottles that once you’ve finished you can put it on display Poppy: You’d keep it Kat: It has the same effect Lancome did, the Paradise one, I like it now Louise: Yeah now that you’ve shown us this I really like it. It just smells a bit chemically, if you were hungover it would make you want to vomit” (see appendices ‘Light Mist Perfume Test Transcript’ p 153).
One of my objectives is to look at case studies to see how other brands have used innovative ideas in the perfume market and see if any of these ideas can be brought forward and be implemented into my perfume creation for â€˜Alexander McQueenâ€™. These case studies have been broken down into four sections, Dissections of Brands, Personalisation in perfumes, unique ways of smelling/using perfumes/ the multisensorial experience and foods relationship with scent.
Of Brands 42
The first category I am going to look at is the dissection of brands, and I am looking at the way perfumer Sissel Tolaas, dissected the brand Adidas to then create a scent which would be identified by the consumer as Adidas. It wouldn’t be sold to the mass market as a fragrance; the scent was a new futuristic way of identifying a brand, rather than through the logo, “At the moment, I’m working for Adidas – a worldwide corporate brand. I am developing an identity consisting of different scents for them, which demands a completely new methodology... The first step is an entirely intellectual approach, an investigation into the DNA of the corporation. I am interested in how I can go beyond this visual appearance, the rhetoric and the language. And to be able to do this, I have to know all that is there. Having all the necessary information, the second step is to divide it into chapters and stories. Then these are ‘placed’ into isolated molecules. So the molecules become a kind of alphabet, a new ABC: each new letter or molecule is charged with specific information.... So they can use their invisible logo for different purposes, and modify it accordingly. They can put it into their materials, they can put it into an ambiance... The base will always be the same – Adidas – but then the different combinations will allow them to highlight certain aspects of their brand”- Sissel Tolaas (DiCarlo, 2011. P 20-22) This is an interesting approach to creating a scent by understanding the core elements. My approach is similar with ‘Alexander McQueen’, investigating the categories of what their womenswear collections (Victoriana e.t.c) common denominator is saying about their brand. This is what I need the scent to emulate, the brand image and the DNA of ‘Alexander McQueen’. Sissel Tolaas is also working on the scent for the 2012 London Olympic games, “So it’s that kind of thing, It’s how we associate with an event with scent, and that is what she is doing (Sissel Tolaas), she is creating a scent of the Olympics, one of the elements will be of David Beckham’s trainer. It won’t all be David Beckham’s trainer but it’ll be elements of that. She did a very fascinating study (Sissel Tolaas)” (see appendices ‘Dr. Morgaine Gaye Interview’ p 138-140). Scent has been used on the tickets for the upcoming Olympic games, for example if someone bought tickets to a swimming event, to generate excitement the tickets received will smell like swimming pools, “In an Olympic first, organising committee Locog unveiled plans to allow the public to ‘smell the excitement’ of the Games by scenting the 6.6million tickets available with an aroma bespoke to each of the 26 sports. It means people who apply for cycling events will receive tickets that smell of the rubber used in bicycle tyres, spectators at the beach volleyball will have tickets fragranced with suntan lotion and football fans will receive a ticket giving off the perfume of freshly mown grass. Those who get hold of athletics tickets will breathe in the aroma of new trainers. A Locog insider told Metro: ‘The adding of perfume to tickets is a wonderful innovation that will really add to the excitement of London 2012. ‘As soon as people receive their ticket they will get a whiff of what it will be like to be sat in the stadium’” (Metro, ‘London 2012 Olympics will be smelly to ‘scent excitement’’: Online 2012). It is an added detail, which makes the ticket and event more special to the consumer, as it has that extra scented element generating more excitement for the occasion. Sometimes creating a branded smell by dissecting the brand can go wrong, if the smell doesn’t emulate the right brand image, “Harrop also founded The Aroma Co that specializes in providing aromatic solutions in marketing. Seven or eight years ago he worked with British Airways to develop a fragrance for seven the airline’s business class lounges. The idea was to bring “the outdoors in”, says Harrop, through the use of smell of running water. Unfortunately, this work coincided with British Airway’s tail re-branding exercise and the smell was literally drowned out” (CNN, ‘Wake up and smell the Freesia’: Online 2012). It proved unsuccessful the smell didn’t compliment the new image they portrayed. This shows it’s vital to make sure the brand is compatible to the scent and the message their portraying. It is vital I understand what ‘Alexander McQueen’ is about, otherwise the scent could be drowned out, similar to British Airways.
In Perfume The second category of case studies I am going to look at is personalisation in perfumes, because consumers are now seeking in their perfumes uniqueness and individuality with their scent, “With consumers striving for customisable products and tailor-made experiences, the new wave of perfumes hitting the market are tailored to rather unusual personal attributes” (Stylus, ‘Directions in Scent’: Online 2012). In the first case study a scentless scent that only reacts when applied to your skin was researched. Molecule 01, is a perfume made by This Company, and the ISOE Super, is the single only ingredient, “Molecule 01 consists of one single ingredient, ‘ISO E Super’. On its own it is less of an aroma than an effect. The wearer may notice a pleasant, subtle velvety-woody note which will vanish, then re-surface after some time, but more than this, she or he will notice the impact it has on other people” (Escentric, ‘Molecule 01’: Online 2012). It only emits a scent when applied to the skin, and it’s reaction has its own effect to each individual creating a unique scent for that individual person, “The secret of its success is ultimately this: the relationship between each of the paired fragrances creates an effect that is intangible, tantalising, sensual and – most important - as individual as anyone could want their fragrance to be in an age of big designer-branded homogeneity. As one devotee said to Schoen and Lounds: “This isn’t your fragrance, this is my fragrance”” (Escentric, ‘Molecule 01’: Online 2012).
Another scent with a similar effect is the perfume Swallowable Parfum created by Lucy McRae. It is still at a concept stage, but it’s a perfumed pill when digested will emit in the individual their own genetically modified scent completely exclusive to their body type, “Swallowable parfum by internationally celebrated body architect Lucy McRae, is a digestible scented capsule that breaks entirely new ground in the science of human instinct. Once absorbed, the capsule enables the skin to become a platform, an atomizer; A biologically enhanced second skin synthesized directly from the natural processes of the body. Fragrance molecules are excreted through the skins surface during perspiration, leaving tiny droplets on the skin that emanate a unique odour. The potency of scent is determined by each individual’s acclimatization to temperature, stress, exercise, or sexual arousal. Swallowable Parfum is a capsule that enables human skin to emit a genetically unique scent about who we are, and how we perform our identities” (see appendices ‘Swallowable Parfum by Lucy McRae Press Release’ p157-159).
Another genetic type of perfume is the Blood Concept perfumes, which are unisex perfumes, and have been created to match up your individual blood type with a scent created especially for each one, which will be the best scent for you, “Also working the genetic angle is niche Italian brand, Blood Concept. The perfumer has released a range of four unisex fragrances – O, A, B and AB – designed to work with the specific blood types. According to the website, blood type O’s fragrance is visceral, intense, carnal and primitive, whereas blood type A’s is billed as green, aromatic, reassuring and clean” (Stylus, ‘Directions in Scent’: Online 2012). The theme of personalisation in scent hasn’t just been made for the uniqueness in a person, but also the distinctiveness of spaces, such as the Type perfumes created by fashion designer, Henrik Vibskov. He created these three scents to bring out the memories of individual countries, Type B= Berlin, Type C= Copenhagen and Type D= Demascus . This is interesting because they are fragrances to individual cultures and personalised to those areas, “Type, by Copenhagen based fashion designer Henrik Vibskov, is constructed on the same nostalgic principles. His three scents – Type B, Type C and Type D – are designed to evoke the scent of distant memories in Berlin, Copenhagen and Damascus respectively. The spicy and citrus notes in Type D reflect the ancient marketplace on a hot summer’s day in Damascus, whereas Type B’s musky, dry notes encompass the cold, wintry days in former East Berlin” (Stylus, ‘Directions in Scent’: Online 2012). These case studies show there is no right or wrong perfume a person chooses, but they want something they personally like and is an individual almost bespoke to oneself.
Sme Using Perfumes 52
The third category of case studies is unique ways of smelling/using perfumes/ the multisensorial experience. Consumers can switch off visuals and music but they can’t turn off smell. Brands are trying to incorporate the multisensorial aspect to improve and create unique spectacular experiences, “In the context of today’s fast paced lifestyles and the myriad of digital technologies, experiences that synthesise the senses are on the decline. Designers are incorporating scent into their repertoires to seduce the visually saturated consumer” (Stylus, ‘Directions in Scent’: Online 2012). Moving away from the conventional ‘spritzing’ other techniques of using perfume, can be explored. This year the first scent pop-up shop was created to show the history of perfume in an interactive tactile and multisensorial way. The collaboration between the perfume company Firmenich and French cosmetics retailer Sephora to create this unique experience for consumers, “Interest in olfaction is rife – so much so that in October this year, the world’s first pop-up scent museum opened its doors in New York City. The Sensorium: Lucid Dreams from the Sensory World by Swiss fragrance company Firmenich and French cosmetics retailer Sephora, is an interactive, multimedia experience exploring the history and science of perfume. The museum is made up of two interconnected environments – First Scent and Lucid Dreams. First Scent immerses visitors in an ethereal dreamlike world with moving images of grass being mowed and a visit to the beach. The images correspond to custom blended fragrances emitted throughout the space for an evocative cocktail of sight, smell and sound. The Lucid Dreams room is home to a flower sculpture that reacts to the sound of the visitor’s sniff by transforming suspended images throughout the space” (Stylus, ‘Directions in Scent’: Online 2012).
When speaking to perfumer Yosh Han, she indicated some eccentric scent experiences such as an exhibition where artist Maki Ueda, deconstructed the iconic perfume, Chanel No 5 separating the smell so the public will go through the stages of the scent. They will then automatically reconstruct the smell, by going through the different elements of the scent, and they are doing all this while their eyes are closed. By eliminating the most prominent sense, sight, they have to trust their other senses like touch, sound and of course smell, “Maki Ueda – Olfactoscape Japanese artist, Rotterdam, Deconstruction of Chanel 05 two weekends ago at the Institute for the Unstable Media Test Lab Smell This with performing scented art works” (see appendices ‘Yosh Han Interview’ p 142-143). “Eyes closed, hands on the circularly arranged cloth hanging from the ceiling, concentrated on the olfactory clues sprayed on the textile in front of me, I slowly make my way through Maki Ueda’s ‘Olfactoscape’. ‘Chanel no. 5 deconstructed’ it said in the announcement.... By shifting my weight from one foot to another I try to find the exact border between the two. And there it is! Sharp like a knife. Apparently movement facilitates a spatial perception of odour to such a level that it becomes a floating and clearly defined shape. ‘Because we have two nostrils and because we can move, we are able to perceive smells in stereo and navigate through a space by inhaling’, Maki Ueda tells the audience before inviting them to visit ‘Olfactoscape’ during the V2 ‘Smell this’ event on the 15th of March. ‘Remember to keep your eyes closed and to move slowly’, she adds with a serious expression on her face..... Beside this more conceptual layer, there is a poetic and purely sensual aspect to the work which one can exclusively become aware of while experiencing this aromatic landscape. It forces you to combine several of your senses as if they were one: touch, smell and proprioception or kinaesthesia. A kinaesthetic experience is usually conceived by sight and even sound in combination with movement. This less well known sense tells us what our position is in a defined space. The unique circumstances provided by Olfactoscape, hand us the possibility to navigate through space with our hands, nose and body” (Olfactoryart, ‘‘Olfactoscape’ by Maki Ueda’: Online 2012).
Another recommendation by Yosh Han, was the scented Opera named ‘Green Aria’ created by perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, “Christophe Laudamiel – green aria / scented opera at The Guggenheim 2009. Each scent is a character – the scent emits through computerized bursts of air through the ‘microphone’” (see appendices ‘Yosh Han Interview’ p 142-143). He collaborated with performance art, music and scent to create this sensational experience for the audience in a new fourth dimension. The scents were placed by every seat, enhancing different characters of the play, so an evil character may have had a pungent quite melancholic smell. ‘This opera Hasn’t even opened, But we know it smells,’ this article by Alexandra Alter expands on this experience, “Mr. Laudamiel, a French fragrance designer who has created perfumes for Clinique, Estée Lauder, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, is collaborating on a “scent opera,” a new performance art that pairs music with a carefully orchestrated sequence of smells, some pleasant and some real stinkers. The opera, titled “Green Aria,” will test the boundaries of scent art when it opens at the Guggenheim Museum in New York May 31.... The scent opera may be Mr. Laudamiel’s most ambitious undertaking. In a darkened theatre, audiences will be bombarded with smells, blasted in six-second sequences by a scent “microphone” attached to each seat. The scents tell the story of an epic struggle between nature and industry” (Wsj, ‘The Opera Hasn’t Even Opened, But We Know It Smells’: Online 2012).
Studio Toogood is a company that work with brands such as ‘Alexander McQueen’ to create exceptional interiors. They created this multi-sensorial experience for the public in the style of a “hospital for the senses” (Dezeen, ‘La Cura by Studio Toogood at Most’: Online 2012). It featured light and sound therapy while the patients were moulding sculptures of white clay, which represents their mood. While this is happening perfume brand, 12.29 had created a scent which was emitted reinforcing the smell and the feeling of the colour white. Food designers had created a ‘pick me up’ re-energising juices to keep the participants spirits uplifted, “Studio Toogood will present ‘la cura’ with NIVEA, a partnership born from a mutual belief that design is for everyone. ‘la cura’ is a visual antidote to the chaos of the Salone del Mobile, a hospital for the senses where visitors are invited to rebalance through a series of intimate performances. Whilst experiencing a therapeutic sound and light composition produced in collaboration with Kite & Laslett, visitors are presented with a ball of white clay to mould and shape into something that reflects their own individual expression and mood. These artworks – called ‘The Cures’ – are collected at the end of each performance and clustered together in the ‘Pavilion’ during the course of the week to create a collective sculpture. For ‘la cura’, the Underkitchen by food designers Arabeschi di Latte have prepared a re-energising elixir designed to restore people’s sparkle and spirit. The air is filled with a bespoke scent by perfumers 12.29, which is designed to capture the essence of the colour white in olfactory form. Guests are seated on ‘Spade’ chairs by Faye Toogood, each one bandaged and covered for protection” (Dezeen, ‘La Cura by Studio Toogood at Most’: Online 2012). Looking at these case studies, showcasing the use of multi-sensorial experiences, whether collaborations with sight, sound and scent, or whether a collaboration with all of them, they are inspirational, distinctive and explorative experiences of the senses. This will have to be incorporated into the strategy of ‘Alexander McQueen’s perfume branding somehow, to stand out from the monotonous perfume events and experiences the consumer has when buying a perfume.
Looking at ways of using all the senses in collaboration together has prompted me to consider alternative innovative events for the public to participate in, rather than the conventional bottle. When interviewing Yosh Han, she told me about an Architecture Student from Edinburgh who looked at old scent maps of Paris from the 1790’s and used this as inspiration for her dissertation on the architectural structure of Edinburgh, using scent to map out the route, “Kate McKlean’s map of Auld Reekie, Edinburgh (sensory maps) from Edible Geography” (see appendices ‘Yosh Han Interview’ p 142-143). “Auld Reekie emits a plethora of scents and smells; some particular to Edinburgh, some ubiquitous city aromas. It is the combination of smells, and how they are distributed by the prevailing south-westerly winds that make scents and smells city-specific. An architecture student at Edinburgh Uni, is writing her dissertation on Architecture and Smell. We had an interesting conversation about how smell influences city planning and hygiene-focused smell-maps of Paris made by Jean-Noel Hallé in the 1790s... The over-riding smell in Edinburgh is the brewery, or so I thought. The smell is that of malt and it appears that the malt may be used for items other than beer” (Blogspot, ‘Smell Edinburgh’: Online 2012). This idea of mapping out a city appeals to me and could be used to map out the brand, and show the direction ‘Alexander McQueen’ have been and are now heading towards. A Product called ‘Otoko Kaoru’ has recently been launched in Japan, using high technology shirts, so that when the persons neck rubs against the collar of the shirt it releases a scent, “The garments, called Otoko Kaoru, have special rose-scented micro-capsules in the collar which, when they come in contact with the skin, release a (presumably manly) fragrance. That way, the wearer smells, well, like something, all day long. The Japanese seem to really like high-tech hygienic clothes” (News.cnet, ‘Japanese Shirt has Stink Prevention Buttoned Up’: Online 2012). When looking at the consumer fingerprint board, people applied perfume to their neck the most (see appendices ‘Fingerprint perfume Focus group’ p 154). This is a technological advancement used in a practical way for the consumers instead of spraying their perfumes in a location; the clothing technology will automatically do it for you. The idea of perfume being imbedded into clothing is novel, but I also wanted to see perfume as a practical accessory that can leave a person’s bedroom table and can be carried around. Jenny Tillotson is creating the ‘Scent Badge,’ which is a transportable broach that can be worn on the consumer, and the scent inside the badge will be emitted throughout the day. She has also created a an ‘Aroma Badge’ Which will monitor the persons heart rate, excitement or any sudden changes to the persons disposition, and that will trigger the scent to be released, “Jenny Tillotson , director of Sensory Design Lab in London , is introducing smell technology to intelligent fashion. Tillotson’s research will be used by Charmed Technology to produce the ‘ScentBadge.’ A wearable fashion accessory, the badge will contain scent suspended in oil or alcohol, which will be released periodically.... Her research combines technology with fashion and medicine – in its broadest sense – by incorporating a system of micro-miniature tubing, pumps and sensors into intelligent fashion accessories. Tillotson explained: ‘Fragrances can be actively pulsed electronically through a cabling device system. Mimicking the human senses, in particular the scent glands, in our bodies, the fabric structure will literally incorporate these into it”.... Among the scents Tillotson is developing are ‘PschoScents’, which border between pharmacology and perfume. Pscychoscents will contain special aroma molecules that affect the brain to change out moods in subtle ways. Pscychoscents would be released through the Charmed ‘AromaBadge’, a badge triggered to emit scents based on the temperature, heart rate, and the state of arousal or excitement of the wearer. As changes in the wearer’s mood are detected, the system will be triggered to release aromas and perfumes” (Quinn, 2002 p 110).
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The fourth and final section under review is foods relationship with scent. After an interview with Food Futurologist, Dr. Morgaine Gaye predicted the relationship between food and scent is continuously getting closer, “Well like I said they are already with that perfume shop where they’re serving cocktails, they’re not trying to sell the cocktails, they’re trying to sell the perfume. But they’re giving you the taste, the extra experience because they are so connected. I think one of the big things about smell is that no matter what it smells like, two people will never agree and they will never have the same response, so you’ll be so sure it smells like a sweet shop, and the other person could react and say ‘it smells nothing like a sweet shop’. I mean I had a spray on the other day I put it on my skin and it smelt sort of salty and delicious and the guy next to me said he thought it smelt of clean toilets. It’s really interesting that you can’t get the same response. So I think the smell taste thing, we’ll see that a lot more” (see appendices ‘Dr. Morgaine Gaye Interview’ p 138-140). After speaking to perfumer Sissel Tolaas, she also indicated that it the relationship between taste and smell is the most important relationship within the senses, “I think the most important, if you can’t smell the food the sensation of eating is gone. You have five or six directions and some combinations of direction, but the taste on the tongue but the rest is the smell.... Yeah very very important. In fact most important I think” (see appendices ‘Sissel Tolaas Interview’ p 149-150).
The company Macallan Whiskey collaborated with renowned perfumer Roja Dove to create twelve scents to compliment the layers of the whiskey, “Wanting to create a more complete experience for their customers, the Macallan turned to famed perfumer Roja Dove to curate a collection of 12 scents that would better highlight the complexity of their whiskies. The Aroma Box—which is being introduced by the Macallan in exhibitions around the world—serves as an “educational tool” for deconstructing the whiskeys’ flavors into individual notes, helping drinkers to better piece together the sum of its parts” (Vanityfair, ‘Macallan Whisky Brings in Perfumer Roja Dove for a Sensorial Evening to Remember’: Online 2012). Although this is an example of how scent can enhance food, Another aspect for consideration was how food and drink can enhance perfume. 64
exceptional fragrances emphasize the designer’s favorite sense:
Thierry Mugler chose four of their favoured scents Womanity, Angel, Alien and A*Men and collaborated with Chef Hélène Darroze and converted these popular scents into a Thierry Mugler Meal. The scents were the starting point of the inspiration for the meal, for example Womanity, a fragrance made in 2010 contains sweet notes and have been transformed into a sugary fig chutney. The idea behind this concept was to bring closer the relationship between taste and smell and in some ways is using taste to rejuvenate and spark up a new flavour to the perfumes, “This year, Thierry Mugler’s exceptional fragrances emphasize the designer’s favorite sense: the sense of taste. With ‘Taste of Perfume’, Thierry Mugler becomes guilty of ‘fragrance diversion’ by offering to rediscover Angel, Alien, Womanity and A*Men through their imagined scents. To take the exercise in style even further and draw a real parallel between Haute-Cuisine and Haute-Parfumerie, the brand asked Hélène Darroze, one of the greatest starred chefs in France, to imagine four recipes inspired by four revisited fragrances. Hélène Darroze has thus created a completely Muglerian meal. Allow yourself to be surprised by her imagination” (Mugler, ‘The Taste of Fragrance’: Online 2012). This example of food enhancing a scent, demonstrates that the idea of the relationship between food and scent can be pushed to a new sensory level.
A more abstract way of coupling smell and taste is Sissel Tolaas museum exhibition. She had the public carry around bowls of white rice and then when smelling the abstract scents such as Fear, the rice will give a clear palette for the person to experience the full capacity of the smell, “The installation TASTE - ETSAT by Sissel Tolaas, trials your chemical senses on a journey passing six different tastes: Fear, Talk, Walk, Start, Future, and Curiosity. The visitors experience these tastes by eating plane rice while being exposed to six different odours. These odours were specially designed by Tolaas for V2_ for a presentation during the 2012 edition of the Rotterdam museumnight and Test_Lab: Smell This! The tastes comprise both artificial and natural ingredients” (V2, ‘TASTE-ETSAT’: Online 2012).
ABINITIO from the beginning After reviewing the case studies it leads to the marketing idea. To create two perfumes for the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ connecting to the consumer, the past and the future of the brand. It will also connect to the consumer in a multisensorial, emotional level, in a modern and innovative way, which will comply with the consumers needs. The brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ under analyses covers the era of Lee McQueen’s reign and the new generation Sarah Burton inherited. These two periods of influence on the throne of the McQueen brand from two different designers, reinforces my marketing idea in having two perfumes, one in memory of Lee’s legacy to the brand and one for the legacy from Sarah Burton. When deciding a name for the perfume, I started with the word perfume. The word is a derivative of the Latin word ‘per fumum,’ which translates as through smoke, (Eaudeyosh, ‘Philosophy’: Online 2012). On selecting names for the two perfumes, the hidden meaning concept appealed, as the perfume market is flooded with cliché names, for example Calvin Klein’s ‘Euphoria.’ It doesn’t portray any depth or meaning behind the name. The chosen names were, ‘Abinitio,’ which means from the beginning and ‘Abhinc,’ which means from here on. Abinitio will represent the perfume created for the Lee McQueen generation, as its meaning from the beginning defining the brands beginning roots. Abhinc will represent the Sarah Burton reign and because its meaning is from here on it is representing her time to carry the brand forward to the future. As they are both Latin words, it allows some consistency and creates an overarching link between the two separate scents. When launching the perfume to the market alongside the name, the definition will coincide as the slogan. This will provide greater understanding for the consumer of what the concept entails and the definition of the Latin names. Elizabeth Taylor was famous for her grand selection of fine jewellery, as well as the history of who gave them to her. Each piece, had a sentimental memory that came with the item of jewellery, “Her Jewels were doubly precious to her as each one held a memory to her astonishing life....The jewellery were sort of talismans of people and wonderful experiences in her life, and it was all the good times” (Elizabeth Taylor: Auction of a Lifetime, 2012. Documentary). The case studies showed that there are various ways of emitting perfume from the conventional packaging of a bottle. Taking inspiration from the ‘Scentbadge,’ I discovered that in the earlier collections of ‘Alexander McQueen’ the signature put on his collections were hair lockets imbedded to the clothes. This inspiration was from his obsession of Victoriana, which is a recurring theme in his later collections, “The inspiration behind the hair came from Victorian times when prostitutes would sell theirs for kits of hair locks, which were bought by people to give to their lovers. I used it as my signature label with locks of hair in Perspex. In the early collections, it was my own hair” (Bolton, 2011 p 35). From this evidence, I’ve decided to create locket-necklaces, a reference from the Victorian aesthetic of holding memory of their loved ones, but making sure I keep a modern interpretation. Elizabeth Taylor had an emotional connection to her jewellery pieces, in the same way this necklace will be an amulet of a memory. That memory may provide an emotional response and will encapsulate the connection with the brand for the consumer.
from here on 69
ABINITIO Lee McQueen was constantly collaborating with other creative’s such as Shaun Leane a jeweller who had done countless projects together, “Shaun has been a close friend and companion for many years. He captures the feeling of my work and the aesthetic of the time we are in... full of structure and finesse, crafted to perfection"-Alexander McQueen (Shaunleane, ‘Alexander McQueen’: Online 2012). I have collaborated with jeweller Sammie-Jo Coxon, who’s worked with high end designers such as Matthew Williamson in the jewellery sector. I chose her because her aesthetic is very conceptual and modern and I believe she can make an innovative abstract design which will reflect ‘Alexander McQueen’s visual identity of being conceptual and modern. Her interpretation of a Victorian locket it is also following one of the elements to the brands DNA, which is using traditionalism versus futuristic. I presented her with two concept moodboards for Abinitio and Abhinc which she could interpret. 70
ABHINC The size of the perfume bottle was important. Various weighing tests were carried out using two bottles of Carolina Herrera 212 VIP and the 80ml weighed 27.7 grams, and the 30ml bottle weighed 7.6 grams. These indicated that a necklace containing 100ml would be too heavy to carry around, so the 30ml size was selected as it is lighter and can be carried around more easily by the consumer. I also wanted the perfume to have longevity, so I decided on the idea that when purchasing the 30ml necklace, the customer would also have the choice of purchasing a 100ml refill bottle. This allows the customer to have a refill bottle available to them to refill the necklace when required. It makes the perfume last longer and there will be ‘refill bars’ at a discounted price from original sale, in the ‘Alexander McQueen’ shops, as well as other department stores, so when the consumer has run out of the 100ml bottle they can take this bottle and refill it at these retail environments, instead of buying a whole new set. Alternatively they can send the 100ml bottle to the ‘Alexander McQueen’ store and have it refilled. This gives the necklace, bottle and the connection to the brand longevity and instead of having seven versions of the same product because of repeat purchases; they have that same product which will last them a lifetime. 71
REFIL BOTT 72
L LE Fig 103:
Abinitio from the beginning 76 -NOT TO SCALE-
Abhinc from here on 77 -NOT TO SCALE-
PACKA Fig 107.
There is a luxurious, high end and personal aspect to the packaging of the jewellery, and bag from ‘Alexander McQueen’. A similar approach would be in keeping with the brands aesthetics. The product was packaged in a grey embossed box with a ribbon around it, with a grey bag containing the necklace. If the customer decides to buy the refill bottle, that will also be in the box in a protective grey branded cloth. Inside will also contain a courtesy thank you ‘Alexander McQueen’ card and an information card about the product.
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Every fashion house that creates a perfume has a licensor behind them, such as LVMH or Procter and Gamble. The licensing company chosen to produce the ‘Alexander McQueen’ fragrance is International Flavours and Fragrances Inc. (IFF). This is because when speaking to Sissel Tolaas she said IFF has the biggest data base in the world of molecule samples, “I mean we have one of the biggest suppliers of molecules in the world. So I have all the equipment I have all the resources. Not everyone has that access to those things, and if they don’t have access to some of these ingredients. I have a laboratory consisting of to two and a half thousand molecules, I have twenty different labs all over the world, which means I can work wherever for whatever purpose, via China, via India, via South Africa, South America, and it is a privilege and a lifestyle also. I try to use it as best as possible” (see appendices, ‘Sissel Tolaas Interview’), and to ensure the best possible scent is produced it needs to have a variety of resources and correct ingredients to create the perfect scent. There are material regulations set out by the International Fragrance Association, which restricts perfumers from using many natural materials as ingredients. The ‘Alexander McQueen’ perfume concept is very peculiar and the ingredients sourced will be from nature. Regulations in place confine these molecules to be used only as inspiration. Molecules gathered from these sources would have to be fabricated in the laboratories and transformed into synthetic ingredients to then be created into the scent, “When you get these particular scents away from Mother Nature herself, what one smells is known as a ‘nature identical.’ And this is where the whole Nature .vs. Synthetic debate becomes slightly obsolete. A molecule is a molecule regardless of whether it was squeezed out of a plant or made in a lab. Plus with IFRA’s (International Fragrance Association) everincreasing list of banned materials, perfumers have no choice but to turn to the labratory, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Quite the opposite. In fact, some of the most sublime scents we encounter are test-tube babies so to speak” (Wallic, 2012 p 60). These laboratory creations allows freedom in creating any scent possible, which means there is no restrictions in the imagination of what the scent can smell like, “With Headspace technology today, you’re able to pretty much capture any smell you can put your nose to. And when you see all the analytical chemistry after you’ve captured a smell, and how a perfumer is able to extract molecules from those charts and reconstitute those smells in a lab using little vials on a shelf, that’s pretty amazing... There’s no technical limit to what you can do” – Eddie Roschi (Wallic, 2012 p 63-64)
The perfumer chosen to create this scent is Geza Schoen. Geza Schoen has worked on some of the most conceptual scents on the market including Wode by Boudicca, and the innovative Escentric Molecule 01, which includes the ingredient ISOE Super. He has an inventive and abstract nose, and would suit perfectly for this unique project with ‘Alexander McQueen’, “Yet Geza is ‘known’ as creating what many consider futuristic Perfumery” (Fragrantica, ‘Exclusive Interview with Geza Schoen’: Online 2012). “Geza Schoen: at the age of 13, he could already distinguish more than 100 fragrances from each other. So it’s not surprising that he has become one of the most radical perfume designers. His Style: revolutionary, minimalist, rebellious and very sexy” (BiehlParfum, ‘Geza Schoen’: Online 2012). On speaking to Sissel Tolaas about the project, she recommended not to be abstract, but to be more specific on what I wanted to capture, “It’s really complicated, because as I said I don’t do things, you know I don’t pretend, what I do is if you have access to the source, and then I can see what is there, how can I replicate it how the molecules are like, how can I. I mean when you say ocean, ocean is a big thing, the way you can connect it to the ocean, well you can dive into it and you collect the ocean, you collect samples from things that grow in the ocean you know, you have to get familiar with what it is. Define what it is, then after you will be able to decide within yourself and then you can articulate what you want, in terms of do you want to get someone to create the smell you want” (see appendices ‘Sissel Tolaas Interview’ p 149-150). So I have specified what I want to capture and this has helped me decide what molecules to use.
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For Abinitio, which is in retrospect of Lee McQueen I needed to find what specifically represented him. In an interview with Nick Knight, he was quoted saying where he was happiest was when he was in the ocean,
“Nick Knight: So where and when are you happiest? Lee McQueen: Diving, When I Scuba Dive, you don’t see any public” (see appendices ‘SHOWstudio Transcript’ p 155-157). I took this as initial inspiration and then analysed his last completed collection, Plato’s Atlantis (see Alexander McQueen Collections book), which was inspired by philosopher Plato’s interpretation of Atlantis, and Lee presented an aquatic arrange of beautiful sea monster goddesses. With his last collection, his happiest tranquil moments, and now his resting place on the Scottish coasts, ““Lee cherished the times that he was able to spend on the Isle of Skye - he enjoyed the beauty, peace and tranquillity,” said a family statement as reported by WWD. “It was Lee’s final request that his ashes should be buried at Kilmuir.” Kilmuir is situated on the west coast of the island and is known for its dramatic rock formations and picturesque coastline” (Vogue, ‘McQueen Ashes scattered’: Online 2012). This oceanic theme; would be the best way to symbolise the essence of Lee McQueen. The ingredients for this scent are a combination of DNA elements that have come from wildlife and plants of the Atlantic Ocean that is connected to the United Kingdom, the materials scent used in Plato’s Atlantis, combined with the Molecule ISOE Super, which will allow the consumer to translate their version of the scent and make it their own personal manipulation. Geza Schoen’s strongest memory is the fossilisation of Whale vomit, so he has a strong relationship to the ocean and understands the deep sea smells,
“What olfactive memory is the most powerful for you? Has it influenced your perfumery? Geza Schoen: When I did my junior perfumers exam at H&R (now merged into Symrise) I went to Hasslauer in Paris to look at their collection of ambergris (which are chunks of fossilized whale vomit). They led me into a room where they had all the pieces stored of the real stuff… That was an incredible moment. The depth and beauty of this weird natural ingredient - all in one room - was marvellous” (Fragrantica, ‘Exclusive Interview with Geza Schoen’: Online 2012).
Abhinc, is representing the latter generation with Sarah Burton, but how to encapsulate this smell? ‘The future’ is a conceptual idea and it is impossible to capture in a scent. I thought about where the ‘Alexander McQueen’ brand and all the ideas around it were generated. This workplace sits at the heart of the creative collections the brand produces. I took inspiration from this, taking elements of the scents within the environment from books, fabrics, and the workforce’s environment as the core ingredients to the Abhinc’s molecular structure. Along with a high percentage of the ingredient ISOE Super, it again allows the consumer to manipulate the scent in their own personal way, to carry the brand and translate it to their own version of it. “Well, for me, it’s about people. I’m very lucky that I have an amazing team and this amazing place that Lee created where creativity is king”- Sarah Burton (Interview, ‘Sarah Burton’: Online 2012). Karl Lagerfeld, designer for Chanel has a similar concept, by designing a fragrance for his love of books, which is the fundamental root for all his creative designs for Chanel in his personal library, “The book-aholic has found the cure for everyone who misses the smell of paper in these digital times: a perfume that smells of books, thanks to a “fatty” olfactory mark. According to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Lagerfeld - who is known for his love of books and says he stocks more than 300,000 of them in his famous personal library - is already working on the fragrance with his publisher of choice, Steidl, which distributes most of the designer’s photography books” (Independent, ‘Karl Lagerfeld to create fragrance that smells of Books’: Online 2012). The perfumer who is helping him with that is the same perfumer going to be used for the ‘Alexander McQueen’ smell, Geza Schoen. It is integral that the brand provides a scent, but remains true to their brand ethics. A Brand that has done that successfully is 135 year old British Perfume House, Penhaligon’s,
“How does Penhaligon’s uphold it’s incredible traditional and high end brand image as well as introducing innovative and unique modern scents? Our heritage is integral to the brand. All of our scents are still produced in England and Wiliam’s legacy continues to inspire us. The traditions of Victorian design are still evident in all of our boutiques and our fragrance bottles are identical to William’s original design” (see appendices ‘Penhaligon’s Interview’ p 148).
I wanted the consumer to not only smell a reaction, but to actually feel a reaction on the skin, when it is applied. I’ve spoken to Scientist Tom Beckitt, who indicated that a heating sensation is plausible through a chemical formula when applied to the skin, “Ok so for heat pads there are two types, disposable and re-usable. On a chemical level, the disposable ones have two compartments (usually containing calcium chloride in one and water in the other), and when the heat pad is ‘broken’, these mix, releasing heat in an exothermic reaction. The re-usable ones have a super-saturated solution of sodium acetate (so as much sodium acetate powder that it’d be possible to dissolve in the water without it being visible, like if you add too much salt to water) and within that there is a ferrous (iron-containing) metal disc. When the disc is cracked, it causes the sodium acetate to crystallise and this releases heat. It’s reusable because if you put it in boiling water, the sodium acetate dissolves again and bang, hey presto, it all starts again” (see appendices ‘Tom Beckitt Interview’ p 144). It needs to be in a separate compartment to the scent, but then when applied to the skin the person will feel a heated application.
When exploring the case studies, especially the relationship between food and scent, both Sissel Tolaas and Dr. Morgaine Gaye indicated the importance of flavour and scent combination. I looked at one of the molecules of the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’, and Victoriana was one of the elements. I wanted to use something that could go in the packaging with the scent, something that didn’t have a sell-by date, and something that can be consumed by anyone. I considered the Victorians obsession with tea and as it is an element to the molecular structure of the McQueen brand, Victoriana. Furthermore it is easily transportable and edible by anyone, so I decided to create a tea to coincide with the scent,
“The Victorians loved afternoon tea, and in fact they were totally obsessed by it. They were so obsessed, they not only used tea leaves to make tea, they would use all kinds of meat and fish, including shellfish and add milk to it” -Heston Blumethal (Youtube, ‘Sea cucumber tea Heston Blumenthal’: Online 2012). From speaking to Andrew Beales, he explained the love of tea people have as well as the variety of flavours you can produce to infuse the taste buds, “Tea is the most versatile drink in the world. One can blend it with flowers, fruit, herbs, spices, dairy – perhaps even all at the same time – or indeed anything else the mind devises. But what is even more remarkable is the variety of flavours yielded from the mighty tea leaf alone. Tea is a very versatile drink. Its unique balance of chemicals means it can be a pick-meup or relaxing break according to preference. There are too many reasons to list for why we like tea, as everyone will have their own reason. We can drown it in milk and sugar for a mini-meal, or have a bracing, astringent green tea for a different boost. And the fact that hot tea is not instantly available in bottles means a whole culture of tea making arises around it, and can involve simple or elaborate rituals that become a reassuring part of our lifestyle” (see appendices ‘Andrew Beales Interview’ p 151). Like the layers in perfume, I wanted there to be layers in flavours in the tea and Andrew Beales confirmed that this is conceivable, “you could certainly physically separate them and introduce each set of leaves by hand. If they are together in the same water at the same time the flavours will blend together, although some will come to the fore more than others” (see appendices ‘Andrew Beales Interview’ p 151). Complimentary tea will be served in the instore environments, giving an atmospheric taster to combine with the scent. The relationship between taste and smell will enhance the consumer’s experience. When purchasing the product tea will be provided in the packaging so they can bring their flavour experience home.
On both the necklaces it has a device, almost like a pocket watch, where you can twist it and it will play music. The music chosen to be played in this component is the composer Philip Glass, who Lee McQueen always referred to as who the person he would most like to collaborate with,
“Nick Knight: Who would you still like to work with, who you haven’t? Lee McQueen: Dead or Alive? Nick Knight: Let’s first do alive Lee McQueen: Philip Glass , mainly composers and I had a great opportunity to work with Sylvie Guillem, and I never thought I would be interested in dance or any other artistic genre and I think Philip Glass and Michael Nyman, Sylvie Guillem and the Ballet, the MET New York” (see appendices ‘SHOWstudio Interview transcript’ p 155-157). Philip Glass was also played in the studio, Sarah Burton recalls, if the McQueen Office had a soundtrack it would be Philip Glass playing, “Lee listened to a lot of classical music over the last three years, especially during fittings- Philip Glass’s music from The Hours or Michael Nyman’s music from The Piano. Music seemed more important once we moved to the current studio” –Sarah Burton (Bolton, 2011 p 227).
The physical sight element to the scent is the bottle itself, but I want the consumer to be able to see something more. Geza Schoen worked on the scent Wode by Boudicca,
“Please try to describe what your vision for Wode Scent and Paint? Geza Schoen: The idea for Wode grew over a few years to what it became. It was clear that a lot of Boudicca needed to go into that spray can they used. Finally we portrayed an intense situation of war which contained certain odours like blood, metal, leather, horses, nature, etc. without smelling technical. At the end of the day anyone wearing a perfume wants to smell seductive enough to be pleasantly noted by someone you encounter, therefore we found a good balance in the scent of story and content versus wear ability!” (Fragrantica, ‘Exclusive Interview with Geza Schoen’: Online 2012). The special element to this perfume is that when applied to the skin it leaves a blue mark that fades away. When doing the Fingerprint Perfume Focus group, people marked where they applied their perfume showing the neck area as the most popular, (see appendices ‘Fingerprint perfume Focus Group’ p 154). The idea of marking your own scent with your own fingerprint is an interesting concept, and Wode by Boudicca has done that, “This art is expressed through an Eau de Toilette called Wode, accompanied by a bottle of Wode scented blue paint with fading properties. The bottle of scented blue paint is a reference to the cobalt-blue paint she wore in battle, Legend has it she and her tribe wore a cobalt blue war “paint” on their skin that gave them a ferocious and mythical look when advancing into battle. When finally defeated by the Romans, Queen Boadicea killed herself by swallowing hemlock, an extract of which is included in Wode” (Mimifroufrou, ‘Boudicca Wode: Art Fragrance, Not Just Perfume’: Online 2012). When either Abinitio or Abhinc is applied to the skin I want a colour to show up. In the Interview with Scientist Tom Beckitt, he says that perfume is absorbed into the air, and so by doing this the colour will disappear from the person’s skin, so it won’t stain , “So this doesn’t have a particular chemical reaction (apart from the evaporation of the fragrance from the skin). Basically, I’ve read around this a bit (including the link above) and found that although it’s always due to evaporation (which happens quicker or slower depending on fragrance and conditions), it’s affected by lots of things, such as hormone secretion on the skin” (see appendices ‘Tom Beckitt Interview’ p 144).
BUDGET Product Abinitio Necklace Abinitio Refill Bottle
Quantity 30ml 100ml
Abinitio Refilling Online & Offline/Online Service Abhinc Necklace Abhinc Refill Bottle
Abhinc Refilling Online & Offline/Online Service
Price £60 £70 Total: £130 £50 £60 £70 Total: £130 £50
Previously in the report it showed the cost of the individual 30ml bottle, how much it is in a set with the 100ml refill, and how much it is to refill. When speaking to Lila Das Gupta, she indicated the mass market has high mark ups on their products, and the actual juice doesn’t cost very much, “You’re looking at minimal amounts of money that’s actually spent on the juice, you’re looking at 1 hundred, 2 hundred quid would be a lot of money, it’s negligible its pennies and it’s really really hard to make anything good on that sort of money, that’s the problem” (see appendices ‘Lila Das Gupta Interview’ p 145-146). The price point of the fragrance is high at £130 for 130ml, this is because the product is encased in a necklace, which is a lot higher in cost price to produce than if it were in a bottle. With the added value in luxurious packaging, a three layered tea bag, devices such as the music, and added elements like the sprayed on colour and a warming technology the whole concept will cost a lot to produce. Lila Das Gupta indicated that it costs niche perfume companies three pounds per kilo in materials, “Yeah exactly with the marketing and mark ups yeah yeah, that’s where all the money goes. That’s why in a way niche perfumery is a rejection of that. Niche perfumery if you’re looking at 100 ml bottle, if you’re lucky, because they cut out the distributers and the middle man, it’s 3 quid. So you can imagine what the mass market must be 50p on there for a hundred quid bottle” (see appendices ‘Lila Das Gupta Interview’ p 145-146). This product is not meant to be exclusive, but it does come at a high price point compared to other perfume products on the market. This allows more flexibility in the price of the juice and the cost of the materials in the final production. Mass market perfumes goes through a ‘testing process’; the packaging, concept and perfume undergoes many focus groups to change and improve to the needs of the mass. This perfume for ‘Alexander McQueen’ is unconventional and unique. It will smell different on every person because the ingredients used (ISOE Super); will be to the individuals taste as their skins interpretation of the scent will be unique. Therefore there needn’t be an assessment process of the scent as it is not directed to the mass market. “This is an industry like any other and it’s evolving. Budgets and profit margins aren’t what they used to be..... Consumers aren’t the marketing wet-dream they once might have been. Customers are more sophisticated than ever. They want lasting, genuine quality, not flash-in-the-pan-thank-you-ma’am. And whether it is driven by boredom with the main stream, an over saturated fragrance market or other intense creative passions, ‘niche’ perfumery is on the up” (Wallic, 2012 p 61).
“The word “experience” keeps coming up in my mind, because whether you go to a show or whether you go shop for clothes or a bag, whether you wear a coat or a dress, it’s an experience. I’m not interested solely in the object, I’m interested in the journey of that object. So whether you find yourself on a curb after a partying in a dress, sitting on the curb smoking a cigarette at the end of a night or whether you get whisked away by your prince charming. You know whatever it is…. it’s the life of these things that’s interesting to me. Rather than the things themselves.” - Marc Jacobs (Jessicamichault, ‘A Q & A with Marc Jacobs about his Louis Vuitton Exhibition in Paris’: Online 2012)
For Spring Summer 2008, La Dame Bleue (see Alexander McQueen Collections), Lee in dedication to his friend, Isabella Blow, had the catwalk sprayed with Fracas and the front row received a sample of this scent “On arrival at Alexander McQueen’s show, the venue is thick with the smell of Fracas. That’s not me being poetic: it’s the fragrance Isabella Blow used to wear. And the first hint that tonight’s collection will be a homage to the departed fashion editor” (SHOWstudio, ‘Alexander McQueen’: Online 2012). I took inspiration of this commemorative gesture and to launch Abinitio and Abhinc, the scent will be presented at the next fashion week for Spring/Summer 2013. A press release will be embargoed, till the date of the show, so the press will be aware of the launch but won’t be able to release the news until the day of the show. The reason for this is because it adds the element of surprise for the public, and on that day the public will already be paying attention to ‘Alexander McQueen’ brand because of the anticipated season collection. It gives them an extra shock factor. The Press Release will be privately sent digitally to respected fashion individuals such as journalist Tim Blanks, Editor in Chief of Vogue Anna Wintour, Photographer and SHOWstudio owner Nick Knight so that on the day of the show through their preferred mediums, twitter, Style.com, SHOWstudio.com the news of a new product launch will be released. The public will be able to access the press release digitally when the show begins on the ‘Alexander McQueen’ website. It is an emotional journey that the brand will be taking the consumers on and so needs to be, like his shows, have a shock factor. “There is no way back for me now. I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible”― Alexander McQueen (Goodread, ‘Alexander McQueen’: Online date unknown). The audience will enter the catwalk show, and on arrival will receive Abinitio and on departure will be given Abhinc. The front row guests will receive the samples in their goody-bags. This product launch will reach one type of consumers, Gulcin Cengel as she is constantly keeping ahead of what is happening on the catwalk and especially on the latest collection to be shown from ‘Alexander McQueen’. She will be the biggest critic of the product. The cost to produce the show has always been high, “(Voss Spring/Summer 2000) this elaborate show cost £70,000 and took seven days to construct” (Blogspot, ‘The Alexander McQueen Archive’: Online 2012), but ‘Alexander McQueen’ shows are renowned, thrilling, have a high standard and are known for costing a lot in production.
PRESS RELEASE EMBARGOED for September 28th 2012
How does it Smell like? You Decide.
Alexander McQueen is launching two multisensorial perfumes, Abinitio and Abhinc. It will transport you to either the beginning of the brand or to the future. But you decide how it will smell
On the day of the Spring/Summer 2013 Collection of Alexander McQueen, we will also be presenting two unique perfumes from the brand. They will take you on an experience through TASTE, SIGHT, SOUND, TOUCH and most important SMELL. There is nothing else like this. Alexander McQueen through a special ingredient and pioneering perfumer Geza Schoen allows you to smell as you chose. You will never smell generic again. Not only will you be able to be divulged in the senses, but the perfumes will be encased in Jewellery pieces. You won’t have to worry about running out of perfume as you can have the option of purchasing the refill bottle. Through the Alexander McQueen refill banks you will be able to refill it yourself at the Alexander McQueen stores, in an conceptual and mind blowing experience. Or we, Alexander McQueen will send you a free delivery packaging for you to send us your empty refill bottles which we will refill for you and send it back, hassle free. Forget about the ‘spritzer’ ladies, in Alexander McQueen stores, Liberty’s, Selfridges across the UK, come and discover the scents through the Alexander McQueen Chamber, which is ground-breaking. You will experience the 5th dimension in sense, and will be able to purchase and share your thoughts of the perfume like you’ve never done before. Abinitio, is encompassing what Lee McQueen has done for the Brand and is a representation of him. His favourite location the Ocean, we have manipulated the British Atlantics ocean’s ecosystem and transformed it to a scent. This is passed onto you and you can decide how it will smell on you. Lee loved the Ocean, you can see from Plato’s Atlantis, and therefore we also want to make you aware to try and preserve the deteriorating British Ocean’s Eco-System through the organisation Marine Conservation Society, which is the leading charity to preserve our wildlife and Oceans in the United Kingdom. Abhinc, is encompassing what the brand’s future will be, but again you will decide how our future will smell.
Abinitio. From the Beginning
Abhinc. From Here On
“I want to present to you a scent which encompasses our company. The past and the Future. But with the added twist of you being able to decide. Alexander McQueen is here to stay and we want to take you on our journey from past to future in a long term emotional relationship.” - Sarah Burton -ENDSPhotos and For more information please contact: email@example.com
For Plato’s Atlantis Lee had a video, which played before the models came out. The show was attempting to be live streamed to the world to the website SHOWstudio, but unfortunately crashed because of the overloaded hits on the website, (see Alexander McQueen Collections). ‘Alexander McQueen’ is about capturing a moment, which isn’t exclusive to anyone, it is about sharing the moment at the same time as the designer with the consumer,
“Nick Knight: Where do you see the future of fashion shows? Or particularly your shows, not trying to be broad on this. Particularly for yourself what do you see? Lee McQueen: I think when you step onto a platform like the internet, I mean it’s been around for quite some time now but I don’t think anyone grasped how big it was going to be especially to commerce. And with the current climate you have to look at a different ways to produce visibilities especially if you don’t advertise and as McQueen has always been about the moment, it’s never been about an image in a magazine it’s always been about a moment in time. That moment in time has to stretch its audience wider and for me live streaming the show is bringing the audience right in the start of the collection not being edited down by outsiders once it’s been taken away from my show, it’s to see it as I see it, myself. Not an interpretation of a theme by outside forces. I think once you step onto this arena there’s kind of no way back, it’s like learning how to ride a bicycle you can never know when to stop.” (see appendices ‘SHOWstudio Interview Transcript’ p 155-157). From this evidence I didn’t want to create a print advertisement or billboards as it isn’t capturing the moment of the scent in its full potential as the designer sees it. When launching the scent at the 2013 Spring Summer collection, some consumers worldwide won’t be able to have access to the smell of the scent. I wanted to accompany the scents Abinitio and Abhinc with a fashion film, so they can visually see the product launch.
“One of Lee McQueen’s most distinguishing traits was his passion for nature and wildlife. Over the past decade we’ve watched armadillos, birds of prey, and deer roam his runways. Acknowledging this, Burton ventured into the life aquatic to come up with a Bolshoi-Ballet-meetsSplash spectacle of watercolor prints, gill-like ruffles, and fathoms of pleated organza simulating coral reef” (Hintmag, ‘Alexander McQueen’: Online 2012). 100
Lee and Sarah both reference nature continuously in their collections and I wanted to take this concept further. The molecules for the scent Abinitio takes inspiration from the British Atlantic Ocean’s ecosystem. This inspired me to spread awareness of the declining wildlife of the British Oceans and because it is the basis for their perfume, I wanted to communicate this through a conceptual fashion film, “Our oceans support an estimated ten million species, only three percent of which have been identified. But our rich ocean wildlife is being depleted, disappearing before we have even had the chance to learn about it. We are losing biodiversity at a rate never witnessed before, at huge cost to ourselves, and leaving a degraded environment that leaves wildlife vulnerable in the face of change” (Mcsuk, ‘Protecting Wildlife’: Online 2012). Nature is close to the heart of the ‘Alexander McQueen’ brand and therefore is inevitable to promote and spread awareness of the preservation of nature through a conceptual way. Abinitio and Abhinc will have an underlying notion of the diminishing ecosystem of the British waters, and to do this I created an Ariel-like character, which will be the leading role in the fashion film. In this story board, she will subtly promote the concept of the perfumes ingredients as well as showing the audience the depleting wildlife.
Plato’s Atlantis- “McQueen, according to an internal logic detailed in a press release, was casting an apocalyptic forecast of the future ecological meltdown of the world: Humankind is made up of creatures that evolved from the sea, and we may be heading back to an underwater future as the ice cap dissolves” (Style, ‘Alexander McQueen Spring 2010’: Online 2012).
PART OF THAT
In Plato’s Atlantis the clothes were a story of the transitioning under water creatures morphing into other godly mortals (see Alexander McQueen Collections). This Little Mermaid-character will morph like the Plato’s Atlantis characters into a human. This transition of the character will also be a transition from the conceptual fashion film into a shorter advert-like film where the Ariel character is focussing on the promotion of the product. Here is my interpretation of how McQueen would have done that. The lighting chosen was dark, soft and sombre to add an eerie romantic atmosphere, to keep the ‘Alexander McQueen’ Romantic Macabre aesthetic. The camera angle was a mixture of high and low, gaining different perspectives of the imagery. Close-ups and shots of the wider outlook showed emotional and poignant meaning. The projections used were elements of the molecular structure of the scent. The sound overlay was from the composer Philip Glass, portraying a dramatic aura. The reason he was chosen was because in the jewellery piece, Philip Glass is the music that will be played when the button is turned. Special effects used were a contrasting juxtaposition of out of focus and clear shots. This effect creates a blank canvas for the consumer to interpret the video however they like. The same aspect as when they use the perfume it’ll be their version of the scent. Ozwald Boateng, a fashion designer who uses many short fashion films indicates in this quote how natural it is for a designer to create a fashion film,
“I think there is a very strong relationship actually, I think designers are natural directors because when you design something the components and there are certain things that you need to build and do, you have to sew and correct and market create a brand and it’s very similar with directors, they have to produce imagery. I think designers they have to build all these components and I think we are all natural to be part of film. That is why I will have been doing a lot of film in my work since I started. I think there is a strong relationship and that relationship between fashion and film will develop into the future. I think a designer turning into making movies is not going to be an uncommon sight. That’s one thing Georgia Armani said to me, is that he wished he directed. I appreciate it will definitely be more of an occurrence of designers creating film”-Ozwald Boateng (see appendices ‘Ozwald Boateng Skype Interview’ p 141). As Katherine Lewis and Gulcin Cengel keep themselves updated during the fashion weeks, they will be up to date with the launch of the new product. It will also be m-commerce friendly, so will be involved in the launch of the product’s moment through their mobile phones, or I-pads.
After the catwalk show, the necklace will have subtle product placement in magazine editorials to target consumers such as Sara Warren and Katherine Lewis in a non-advertising-forceful way, instead being in an artistic manner.
As well as the launch of the scent on the catwalk, there will also be an in store experience where the consumer can purchase the product, as it was indicated that Gulcin Cengel’s and Katherine Lewis’s personalities were highly open to new experiences. By looking at multisensorial experiences in my case studies and analysing this quote from Stylus, it indicates that consumers need to see the perfume being brought to life, because essentially it is an invisible product, in a multisensorial way “So what makes a good perfume store? According to Kate Shepherd, beauty store specialist and director of insight and strategy at design agency Checkland Kindleysides: ‘The best perfume stores offer a completely multisensory experience, enabling consumers to fully immerse themselves in the product offer. Perfumes displayed with clarity are brought to life. Much of the emphasis [from new stores] is placed on discovery and experimentation’” (Stylus, ‘Alluring Perfumeries’: Online 2012). I want to create an in store multisensorial environment, without having the huge cost of creating a whole new department or opening a new store, just for two perfumes. Fredrick Malle a perfumer helped launch in Liberty’s of London his ‘smelling columns’ which is a clear tube that allows the customer to enter and smell the scent of the perfume without any other distracting smells, “a boutique opened this weekend in Liberty of London, the first one outside Paris to feature Malle’s signature “smelling columns”... Malle demonstrates to me how these scent chambers work, spraying one of his fragrances into the column through a hatch-door , leaving it to circulate for a few minutes, then opening the door for the sillage, or trail of perfume that you leave when you exit a room, to be smelt. It’s a far more modern, three-dimensional way to experience a fragrance than the usual technique of just spritzing it on to a paper blotter” (Independent, ‘Heaven Scent: The best independent perfumers’: Online 2012). I wanted to use this concept but take it a step further. Ozwald Boateng stated that 3D technology and fashion will be seen a lot more in the future with luxury brands, “I am interested in all technology, absolutely. I would like to use 3D effect, and I would like to incorporate 3D technology. So yeah I am very keen in technology in terms of to use it as a tool to develop awareness for my brand. Without a shadow of a doubt, In fact I see a lot happening with technology and fashion” (see appendices ‘Ozwald Boateng Skype Interview’ p 141). I wanted to incorporate a 3D multisensorial aspect into a ‘smelling columns’ similar to what Fredrick Malle has. When the consumer enters the chamber they have the option of choosing Abinitio, or Abhinc. When they have chosen which experience to choose, the chamber they are within will become a 3D video experience, with sound, the chosen scent being pumped into the chamber as well as the temperature fluctuating. While the consumer experiences this multisensorial occasion, their reaction will be filmed. Once it’s ended the person can replay their reaction and then send it on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and even Youtube. This will lead to a recommended word of mouth effect, which is an effective and brand loyal way to spread the message about the product and is one of the consumer touch points for all three consumers, “but you have social media, which has been great for independence, because you have websites such as basenotes, which I work for, loads of bloggers and reviewers and it’s all going by word of mouth” (see appendices ‘Lila Das Gupta Interview’ p 145-146). This ‘Alexander McQueen’ Chamber will be a new experience for the consumers to participate in, so consumers such as Katherine Lewis and Gulcin Cengel will be targeted and attracted to this, as they have a ‘high openness level’. These chambers will be located in all the ‘Alexander McQueen’ shops around the world as well as store environments and luxury stores in different countries such as Selfridges, Liberty’s and Harrods in the United Kingdom, Barney’s in New York, and Isetan in Japan e.t.c. This is an opportune touch point for Sara Warren, and her type of consumer through receiving loyalty emails from her favourite shopping outlets, such as Selfridges, where she will be made aware of the new product launch.
As mentioned before, when the consumer buys the necklace they can pay higher for the set and receive a refillable bottle to refill their necklace to take with them on a day to day basis, without having to carry a heavy 100 ml bottle. When the 100ml bottle runs out there will be refillable banks at the ‘Alexander McQueen’ stores, and at a discounted price will be able to refill the bottle, without having to buy a whole new set. There will also be an online service, where the consumer can send the bottle to the nearest allocated ‘Alexander McQueen’ store and they will refill and send it back to the customer in beautiful packaging. This provides longevity to the relationship between the consumer and the brand, and is a unique service, which is adding value to the product.
The Refill experience has to be unique and enjoyable to entice consumers to come to these refill banks. Inspiration was taken when going to the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the Tate Modern, when I entered the ‘Infinity Mirrored Room,’ it reflected your image across an atmosphere making you feel like you were standing in the middle of the universe. I want to create an experience for the consumer to be interactive with the brand in a multisensorial journey and be transported to a new world. Similar to the ‘Alexander McQueen’ Chamber, the consumer will have a Cinderella transformation and will be brought into a chamber, where there will be enthralled in a magical 3-D experience entering to the depths of the British Atlantic Ocean. Scent, sound and temperature will enhance the environment giving them the 4-D experience. A tap will be placed to allow the consumer to refill their bottle. It will be unique environment where the consumers can interact with the 3-D Alexander McQueen creatures and of the British Wildlife, to become the Ariel-like character from the fashion films. This unique event will target consumers Katherine Lewis and Gulcin Cengel as they are both attracted to new experiences and are more inclined to go and test it out.
The ‘Alexander McQueen’ Chamber will allow anyone to spread their views of their experience and of the scent using social media sites. The live streaming of the runway show will also be uploaded to the SHOWstudio website, as well as the ‘Alexander McQueen’ website which will drive traffic to the brand. On the McQueen website there is a ‘My McQueen’ section, which allows the consumer to archive their favourite ‘Alexander McQueen’ moments. This will also be another platform to show their own McQueen moment when in the chamber. The website is a platform to purchase the product and will also have an online service if the consumer has ran out of the 100ml refill bottle, then they will be able to request a free delivery packaging which they will receive, to then be able to send the product to the closest ‘Alexander McQueen’ store to be refilled at a discounted price and sent back to them. To Measure the success of the launch, it will be shown through profit and sales of the product. The social media instore ‘Alexander McQueen’ chamber video interaction will monitor the consumer’s views of the product and the reaction on social media sites will also have an indication of whether the product is successful. On the ‘Alexander McQueen’ website and their youtube page it’s also a platform that can observe the amount of people watching the fashion film and advert, as well as see the comments. Blogs, Articles and Features are also an indication of whether the product has been successful. The Fashion World is constantly changing seasons and trends in clothes, makeup and hairstyles are constantly adjusting. I want the physical scent to have longevity and so that will not be modified. The jewellery pieces, however, with the evolution of trends, may have to change yearly and keep up dated with what is in fashion. Many perfumes, after the main scent has been released, special editions of the scent are then released after. For example Jean Paul Gaultier’s ‘Classique’ was first released. A younger sweeter version of the scent, ‘Ma Dame’ was then later released. I don’t want to imitate this trend, because Abinitio and Abhinc represents longevity and releasing a special edition range undermines that. The ingredients used allow the consumer to let their scent evolve with the person’s skin and their molecular structure and the scent will continue to coincide with the person’s journey in life.
The consumer today is seeking uniqueness in their scent that transports them on an innovative experience, “Consumers want customised products, but for brands to stand out from the crowd they need to develop products that connect with the consumer on an emotional level” (Stylus, ‘Directions in Scent’: Online 2012). I’ve filled this gap in the market by starting with a brand to execute these needs from the consumer. Through this report I have torn apart the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ and delved into the core body and uncovered the brand’s DNA to what builds the brand. ‘Alexander McQueen is conceptual and at the forefront of the fashion world, “Alexander McQueen was the rebel king of British Fashion. A designer who reinvented clothes for the catwalk and silenced his audience. Brilliant, Offensive, Outrageous” (McQueen and I, 2011. Documentary). I used this groundbreaking brand as a platform to create an inventive perfume. I have been looking at case studies which feature multisensorial experiences. It was important to enthral the consumer with not only one sense but with a combination of them all. This will provide them with a fourth dimension, increasing their enjoyment as well as providing a longevity connection with the brand, “…sensory marketing can increase the quality of customer treatment, which can lead to stronger brand recognition and brand image in the long term” (Hulten et al, 2009 p 13). The Jewellery piece of Abinitio and Abhinc contained a variety of sense combinations within the jewellery pieces. I wanted to also add this element to the shopping experience for the consumer as this is also important, implementing this by creating a multisensorial ‘Alexander McQueen’ chamber to enhance the perfume concept. It is unique to the other perfume shopping environments customers are used to giving them a completely unique experience, “Adding scent to immersive experiences adds another dimension of intrigue. Consider sensorial spaces as a different way to introduce clients to new concepts or technologies for more dynamic storytelling” (Stylus, ‘Directions in Scent’: Online 2012). The scent created is portraying the heritage of the brand through Abinitio as well as the future of the brand through the scent Abhinc, using molecules designed to encompass these aspects. The encompassing of the brand ‘Alexander McQueen’ is vital, as well as allowing the consumer to have their own interpretation of the scent. This is done by using the super molecule ISO E which allows their body to enrapture and translate the scent to their own unique fragrance. Individuality in scent is in demand in the perfume market from the consumers and I have cemented this need in the product, “From being non-essential and frivolous, fragrances have emerged as essentials, owing to the increasing trend of appearance and personal care becoming part of pride, self reliance, and confidence. No longer considered as an extravagant grooming accessory, Fragrances, and perfumes have metamorphosed into a “feel good” factor, which complements the consumer’s need for expressing individuality, and personal style” (Prweb, ‘Global Fragrances and Perfumes Market to Cross US$33 Billion by 2015, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.’: Online 2012). As well as targeting consumers demand in the perfume market, I addressed how the brand will communicate its product to three specific consumers. Sara Warren, Gulcin Cengel and Katherine Lewis have all been targeted through different touch points to provide a long term relationship with the brand. With the refill scheme it allows the consumer to update their perfume hassle free. They will also be able to keep the necklace containing the scent to be a prised possession, which not only acts as piece of jewellery, but as a personal talisman containing a moment that can ship them to a special memory. To conclude the objective was to ensure the consumer was provided with a relationship with a brand and its scent to be transported to a location of their choice. Having the choice to manipulate the scent to their own taste. They will have the luxury of not only smelling, but tasting, feeling, seeing and listening to the message of Abinitio or Abhinc, in a multisensorial and conceptual way. So that every time the perfume is applied to the skin, it will be an explosive sensation of the senses. The consumer will have the delight to be transported to either the brands starting roots or to be lead to the future journey. They will have the extravagance of having a mixture of innovative ingredients provided by the largest molecule bank IFF, with the magician conceptual perfumer Geza Schoen, to emulate these ‘scentsory’ experiences of Abinitio and Abhinc. In conjunction with the scent the consumer will be taken to another dimension of sensory branding to be placed in a magical exceptional environment through the ‘Alexander McQueen’ Chamber to give them a more enjoyable shopping experience to remember. Alexander will provide visual aids such as the fashion films, to promote a wider cause in the protection and attempt to stabilise the ecosystem of the British Ocean. The consumers will gain not only a scent, but an opportunity to be transported innovatively through the use of all the senses. They will gain a unique relationship and a new emotional attachment to the scent, that for the first time ever, they control how they want to perceive themselves. ‘Alexander McQueen’ presents to the consumer Abinitio and Abhinc to be grasped and manipulated into what they desire.
“Well I just think that which celebrities are wearing it, what reviews say – none of it matters if it’s all there for people to make their own minds up. I’m 40 now, but I want this to be a company that lives way beyond me, and I believe that customers are more important to making this happen than the press. When I’m dead, hopefully this house will still be going. On a spaceship. Hopping up and down above Earth.” – Lee McQueen (Lock, 2010 p 25). 111
Published on Jul 4, 2012
This is my Final Year Dissertation It s a project creating a Hypotheyical perfume for the brand Alexander McQueen in a unique way. No more c...