When arriving at this year’s S/ALON BUDAPEST, you might be encountered by a peculiar feeling: your attention will be directed towards the familiar characters of incense and ambergris, while the soft richness of vanilla and viola will sooth your mind. You are not the only one sensing the changes in the air: as in previous years, S/ALON BUDAPEST 2021 will once again welcome visitors with an exclusive fragrance thanks to Scent Company and the brand’s exclusive Hungarian partners, Lakásparfüm. Scent Company of Italy was founded in 2005, and they were among the first businesses to utilize the noble tradition of Italian perfumery in the field of olfactory branding. But what exactly is this concept and how does Scent Company realize the Signature Scent of any brand, including S/ALON BUDAPEST? We talked to CEO of Scent Company, Paolo Persico.
Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is olfactory branding?
The general idea behind olfactory branding is identifying a specific scent associated with a brand or space. Smells are incredibly impactful and they have the ability to connect with memories, emotions, feelings and sensations. The right scent can reflect the brand image and its values, clients will associate that particular smell with your brand. Once the Signature Scent is developed, it is diffused through our professional high-tech scent diffusers and incorporated in a bespoke Scented Collection.
Scent Company was founded in 2005 in Italy, the home of modern perfumery. Were clients strangers to the concept of interior scents at that time, or was there already a demand for fragrance-based branding solutions?
The business was born over 15 years ago, almost by chance, when I was working in Fashion, but we can say that we were the first to move from olfactory marketing to olfactory branding. Fashion brands have always had a deep connection with fragrances but other brands were new to the concept, still, it did not take long to convince them. We go beyond the simple act of imposing a nice smell in a shop: we work in collaboration with the client to find and discover the right olfactory logo for a brand.
Can you walk us through the process of creating and delivering a particular fragrance for a client?
The process is a very personalized journey. We start with the briefing where we analyse the brand identity, the history and personality of the Brand as well as the characteristics of the areas to be scented. All this information will help us develop the fragrance samples that will be later presented to the client. Once the Signature Scent has been created, the next step is to select the right type of scent system and the points of diffusion. These are essential elements for every project, so that the scent can be harminously integrated into any space.
How many fragrance experts take part in the creation of one particular scent?
The study and development of a particular fragrance is a team work, where the marketing and commercial team works with our laboratory, however, the actual development of the fragrance is in the hands of the Master Perfumer. Alone or with the help of some Fragrance Specialists, the Master Perfumer has the important task of interpreting the customer’s needs and expressing them through the fragrance. The collaboration with the customer is the key element in creating the perfect fragrance that is able to represent the brand and achieve the desired marketing objectives.
We imagine that a good fragrance must be instantly recognizable but also avoid being „too strong” for visitors of a particular space. How do you find this balance between a scent’s power and subtlety?
Scent Company’s challenge is to find the sensory middle ground between subtle and overwhelming. The perfect balance is when you just barely perceive the selected scent, and when it accompanies your sensory journey but you are not overwhelmed by it. The secret is a combination between quality of ingredients and the right technology: we collaborate with one of the most famous laboratories for Home Fragrances in Grasse, France. The high concentration of essences contained in our fragrances distinguishes them from those normally used. At the time of installation, our specialists and technicians not only activate the machines but also set the parameters, activation times and intensity of the scent, all of which is different for every space.
Do you archive each and every fragrance you create for your customers? Is there some sort of a „database” or collection where these fragrances can be looked up and re-created?
The olfactory logo created for each client is exclusive. This means that each scent is unique and it is not shared with other clients. We catalogue every fragrance in our scent library which we often use for inspiration to create new fragrances.
There must’ve been thousands and thousands of unique scents created since the launch of Scent Company 16 years ago! How is it assured that the possibilities for new fragrances remain truly endless?
We make sure we are always stay up-to-date with regards to the latest trends, and we attend as many trade fairs and workshops as possible. Our clients are also a major source of knowledge since trends are really an impression of society at any given point. The pandemic had a major impact in the way we want our home and shops to be scented. There is a new desire for cleanliness and fresh scents. The combinations are endless and it is a fun process. With olfactory branding, the Signature Scent becomes an integral part of the brand, just like its visual logo. The sense of smell is incredibly powerful: People are 100 times more likely to remember something if they can associate an olfactory sensation with it.
Who are some of your biggest clients worldwide, and what were some of the more exciting projects you took part in?
Our clients belong to different sectors like retail, interior design, hotels and spas, transport companies, luxury car showrooms, residential and so on. Among these you can find brands such as Gucci, Dior, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and many more. One of the most exciting projects was the aromatization of the entire luxury department store of SKP in China. We have created one signature scent to unequivocally identify the SKP world together with a set of fragrances belongig to the different departments, the type of products displayed and the emotions that they wanted to convey. For the Giorgio Armani Group, a fragrance strictly connected to the memories of Giorgio Armani himself has been created. Incense is one of the essential components of the fragrance, as it brings him back to his childhood when he went to church with his grandmother.
Just like two years ago, visitors of S/ALON BUDAPEST 2021 will once again experience a signature fragrance created and brought to the event by Scent Company. What can you tell us about this wonderful scent?
S/ALON BUDAPEST is an incredible platform and space that represents the excellence of interior design and home furnishing. The Signature Scent created will reflect this aspect; it fits well with such a big space and meets the taste of a wide audience, but at the same time it is something new and original. It is a woody and amber fragrance with intense, deep and precious ingredients such as saffron, leather, oud, sandalwood, amber and incense.
Finally: what’s your favorite, everyday scent?
Working in the perfumery field I am constantly exposed to new stimuli and to unique and interesting combinations every day. However, any time I smell the scent of lily of the valley, I feel relaxed and at ease. It takes me back home.
In a month, Hungary’s most exciting interior design fair will open its doors to present the best of interior design from all around the globe, as well as to immerse you in the mesmerizing fragrances of Scent Company. Let’s meet at the Budapest Arena between September 24-26 at one of this year’s most peculiar events!