QUINTESSENCE BeatyWorld Middle East 2017 : Discovering Stories behind scents, brand building & niche
Quintessence space designed by Paris based duo 2G2L that brought to life a 'botanical bar' concept
WHY is Brand Building necessary for NICHE and the second part to this would be HOW do niche brands build their image?
Niche brands occupy a specific space in the retail environment. They are able to differentiate from most other brands due to their specific strengths and advantages that if harnessed fully can create monumental success for the brand.
The first point of advantage or strength that a niche brand carries over its commercial counterparts–
The retail environment is currently dominated by the mass-market brands, that all conform to marketing conventions and briefs, as they all bear a Corporate personality that’s cold or detached. In this scenario Niche Brands offer to their customers a unique brand personality and language, wherein the nose or the creative director have the chance to infuse a healthy dose of spark, emotions, passion, stories, inspirations, that hook the customer. This leads to the creation of brand evangelists and patrons. Does everyone understand the meaning of brand evangelists? A person who is converted or sold to your brand and relays his/her passion for the brand to other people. That’s the cult-like effect that niche brands can create.
2. Uncompromising standards
Niche fragrance brands set high standards in terms of using the rarest and the highest quality raw materials, and pay careful attention to detail right from packaging to brand positioning right down, to the actual formulations that are rich and nuanced, with distinct inspirations and themes behind… By setting these high standards and never compromising on it, niche brands attract like-minded aficionados and create brand loyalists. Like-minded like customers othat seek quality.
The third point of advantage
3. Sensory experience
While all perfumes in essence are created tap into the senses of its wearer, not all fragrances tap into a distinct emotion, or feeling. Niche fragrances however always delve deeper, by highlighting a perfumer’s vision and the background vividly thereby exciting and compelling the wearers into believing what the perfumer wishes for them to see or experience.
4. The new age or the nouveau customer Thomas Kosmala who is a perfumer and will be presenting at Quintessence says “When people enter a store now, they want to learn more about the fragrance, what they’re wearing, where it’s coming from, who is behind it, and what the vision and inspiration is”. I completely concur because in a sea of brands, the customer is seeking products that give him/her its valuable return for the commitment to that brand or that fragrance. Each customer now wants to commit to a brand/product that they are able to identify with and is unique so that the customer leaves feeling elevated (the feeling of being uplifted) and gratified (feeling greatly satisfied).
Last but not least, and in my opinion the most important advantage that can become a major strength for a niche brand is
5. Ingenuity - The quality of being unique, innovative and clever. When the vision of the perfumer or nose translates brilliantly into each creation, that rises from an authentic place of emotion and passion it is felt by the customer. Most commercial brands simply cater to a gap or an on-going trend in the market, and hence lack the ability to challenge creative boundaries, or do something avante garde or abstract or create new skews.
And with all these advantages niche brands can strengthen themselves to give us more enriched, more evolved experiences and sensorial adventures.
Now that we know what sets Niche brands apart and why brand building is essential to the establishment and success of a brand, lets discover stories behind some of these amazing brands and their unique points of view…
This brings us to HOW part of our discussion-
HOW do niche brands build their image and establish themselves as unique?
The answer is quite simple – they do so through story-telling
The art of story-telling and conveying the story behind brands and their scents is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into a brand. In fact, it is the very reason why a brand exists, why the perfumer created a scent and why customers continue to feel the magic through the years. It is because behind all of these are real stories.
Why are stories so captivating?
Stories are captivating for a reason. From childhood through adulthood, we are drawn to the lessons we learn, the exciting journeys we embark upon, the knowledge we gain and the opportunity to unleash our imaginations.
Lets learn some of the stories and the vision behind these 6 niche brands I discovered
They say an image is worth a thousand words, so I have pulled up a single image each so you can get a window into the souls of these brands and their creations, and once I have managed to pique your interest you can go over to each of these brands and discover the scents you would love.
The building in the image above is....
An artistic illustration of the Galata tower which is an iconic landmark in the vibrant, culturally rooted yet contemporary city Istanbul, that has served as inspiration for many civilizations of poets, writers, artists.
So its no surprise, Mert Güzel and Murat Katran, both as passionate lovers of mysterious scents and the rich heritage of the city they were born and raised in, always want to create a brand to show the world the magnificence of scents designed under the inspiration of their city of Istanbul. And so was born NISHANE.
Their scent - BOSZPORUSZ GREEN / MARINE / MOSSY
Captures the flavor of Marmara Sea both with sea notes and seaweed spiced with sage and galbanum. Flowery notes add the final touch to this fresh and sparkling fragrance. Inhale the wonderful smell of Bosphorus.
From Istanbul lets go straight to London, what I have is a picture of a bottle that is highly unique and unlike any other on the market. What makes it different is that unlike conventional spray bottles these are solid glass flacons with a dabbing stick inside. This was the point of inspiration behind London based niche fragrance house Signature Fragrances, which was founded by two friends Solomon and Yinka. Their aim was to revive an age old tradition of dabbing Perfume onto pulse points which basically involves applying high concentration perfume oil onto the skin, as they believed its cruel to waste precious molecules. I love that thought. SF London is a modern day brand with the belief ‘your perfume has the right to be smelt by others’, and have thus created Pure Parfum strength creations with little or no alcohol which is the highest form of perfume. They have created blends inspired by perfumery’s beguiling past, when fragrances were crafted to leave lasting and iconic impacts.
SF brings the true essence of perfumery back to the 21st century, through unique selection of blends -
Their collections boasts of Exquisite florals, Precious Oud, Oriental woods Invigorating fresh scents and spontaneously sweet. All their fragrances seem quite unique and precious, considering you need to apply only a drop and you’re good to go. A favorite scent of mine is called Lola which modern sweet sensual scent that has been described as crème de la crème of fragrances.
And while we are still in UK lets talk about a young perfumer TOM DAXON who has created one of the most interesting lines of British perfumery. I pulled out shots from his eclectic instagram account, where he uses images to form definitive ideas of the vision for his fragrances. For example this picture of an installation called 'Spontaneous Combustion' by Olaf Brzseki, through which he highlights the smokey note in his fragrance Vachetta. And this goes to show how much impact an image or a visual story can have to convey the core of a fragrance. And this picture of a garden is not just any garden but his mothers own garden to which he dedicates his art. This HM Saffer painting called citrus grove’ is the moodboard for his scent SICILIAN WOOD. Much like his fragrances his tales through visuals are evocative and an engaging, his contemporary modern approach to conveying perfumery as an artform, is quite relevant and intriguing.
Looking at these pictures gives you an insight into the soul of a brand, its humane nature and why it exists that most retail counters in malls do not do.
I as a blogger take it upon myself to celebrate stories that weave magic to create scent and in the process discover my own personal connections to these scents.
From Sicily lets travel to Florence in Italy, where you will find this beautiful medicean villa Villa La Tana. This villa was a gift from Frencesco I de’medici to his Venetian mistress Bianca Cappello. In the renaissance gardens of this villa a forbidden love bloomed, she was his mistress and scintillating as this was, it became the backdrop of the brand Simone Cosac founded in 2008. The creations all evoke renaissance grandeur and Simone continues to draw inspiration from the villa where she now lives.
The story behind her first creation perle di Bianca came to her in a dream where Bianca led her through the beautiful garden at the villa while she relayed to her the notes for the creation.
So this is a case where The Past Inspires The Present and dreams turn to reality!
Now that we have spoken about a past that inspires the present, lets talk about a brand that was hugely successful in the past, perished under poor management and has been reborn from the ashes like phoenix in recent times. This is the unusual but highly captivating story of LE GALION as brand created by Prince Murat in 1930s, gave us some of the world’s most iconic creations under the leadership of the legendary Paul Vacher. It garnered huge popularity all over the world during 1950s. With the likes Marylin Monroe, Judy Garland to name a few, many icons of glamour all preferred Sortilège one of the most famous scents at the time. Unfortunately after 1975, with over 30 creations and 40 years later LE GALION and its entire French heritage drowned. But LE Galion was resuscitated in 2014, A brand that is now sailing the high tides of retail like its logo of an ancient sea vessel, under the creative direction of Nicholas Chabot.
This is a brand with a story that dates back to 85 years and is as modern and relevant and new age today with some of the best names in perfumes like whip and snob, very avante garde for its time.
While discovering and researching all these stories what I was missing was a warm cup of tea....
Doesn’t the very idea of serving and sipping on tea bring to mind sense of stillness, calm and a wonderfully soothing feeling?
This is the very idea that led Cecilia Garofano to create a brand that didn’t exist by bringing the extraordinary properties of tea to the next level.
She created a totally unique technology was designed: Tea Infusion Skincare® infused with extracts from different teas. The art of tea drinking is very inspiring, the many textures, flavors, colors, moods, aromas, tea offers so much to please all the senses and the body. Tea drinking is thought of having been originated in China, according to a legend an ancient herbalist was taking refuge under a tree, when some leaves from a tree fell into water that his servant was boiling for him. And just like that, the very first tea infusion was created, of course since then tea itself has evolved and spread to cultures and regions across the world.
All the products in the range from skincare to fragrance harness all that tea has to offer while creating a unique experience in beauty. Ll products are infused with different types of teas from rose tea, to black and white tea, to green tea to jasmine, and many more…Sounds absolutely divine.
*it is hard to trace back to the exact origins unless substantial evidence exists, but mosty the chinese are thought to have created the first form of tea, of course now it as spread across the world and cultures. Tea infusions have also gone from leaves, and herbs to floral and spicy, so it’s basically a constantly evolving art.
Tender Loving Nose is always keen to collaborate on events that aren't run off the mill, that beat the ordinary and that create unusual experiences and encounters, while capturing every whim and fancy...So when the lovely peeps at DSSC asked us to be a part of a completely exclusive charity supper, we jumped at the chance to bring our signature sensory experience to this special dinner.
The Secret Charity Supper was organised by DSSSC along with Arjun Sharma (President, Select Hotels Group) who hosted a fine-dine sit down secret supper on the hidden & never-seen-before terrace of Select CITYWALK, New Delhi.
The food was elevated with the stunning Australian wine (Yalumba) courtesy La Cave.
A stellar table spread by Select Group and the customary and charming name tags by DSSC!!
TLN brought together for the first time a "SCENT PAIRED DINING EXPERIENCE" wherein, each course was paired by a unique perfume which infused the notes of the very dish the diners were about to experience.
Each course was preceded by a fun scent activity, where the diners were asked to sniff the scent cards sprayed with aromatic ingredients from the dish while a quirky "prop" was scented by a complementary perfume.
My job was to introduce the course with a scent activity and poetic intro for each course!!
" Before we start our starters, I give you a quirky conversation starter – the paper ‘moochh’!
Place it on your face, look at the person to your left and giggle, inhale that gnarly garlic aroma and give your nostrils a wriggle.
Lemon from sicily gives your pasta a fresh kick, while the tarty tomato will ensure a finger lick.
Holy basil from the gardens will make this moment in time cease, before you begin do not forget to smell that blue cheese!”
“Now its time for Sorbet before the mains you shall devour, enjoy this pomegranate sweetness while you sharpen your smelling power.
Lime makes this granita zesty and sour…before you gulp it down don’t forget to smell that flower!”
“Before the mains make their way, there’s a little story I should say
…picture an old private library, where a man sits on a couch of leather, as he pens down his thoughts on dry parchment using a quill of feather,
smoke from is wooden pipe fills the air…this story remains to be continued for now enjoy this spectacular gastronomical affaire.”
“After this hearty meal, there can be only one great way to seal this deal. However since this is a special supper there is not ONE, not TWO but THREE sweet treats!
Creamy yoghurt works its magic in the cannelloni. The kiwi and the strawberry make up an organic fruit cream that is also Dairy free.
These grapes are not sour and to say that this banana is banal would be a lie, and it would be a slightly less sweet ending without the pistachio nuttiness in the pie.”
All proceeds from this event were donated to the children of Project Armaan from Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group.
All pictures courtesy -
All proceeds benefit -
Wine selection by -
Event organised by -
“To discover the world of Annick Goutal is a unique experience, it is like delving into a world filled with stories, imagination, memories of love and happiness.”
“It is like viewing a piece of her soul..."
"With her great artistic sense and years of training through wrapping chocolates at her father's shop, and her travel to Grasse, commonly known as the perfumery capital of the world, she started to discover her gift and its likeness to music. Compositons, harmonies, notes all are common to music and perfume making.
After selling directly from her home, Annick opened her very first Annick Goutal shop in December 1980. “Annick realized her genuine gift for creating perfumes”
A luminous feminine number, Rose Pompon is the latest offering by the House of Annick Goutal.
The sparkling and sweet accords of raspberry and black currant make up the top notes, while the luminous middle notes of lush roses and peonies create a dreamy landscape, patchouli adds a hint of greenness in the base along with soft wood accords of cedar. Musk creates an uplifting feel like the one experienced while running through the flower fields…”
Discovering various fragrance families through iconic Annick Goutal creations....
Some flirty fun with the fun rose pompon props!!
Talented illustrator Samar Sadik creates live art inspired by the Rose Pompon girl...fun, feminine and full of life!
“Choosing your perfect scent, is not as daunting or complicated as you may feel...Your scent is your invisible signature. It is a reflection of your personality, a small piece of you that you leave behind even when you have left the room. So it is important to find scent or scents that work well one several levels and become a part of your overall being.”
“A tip I tell everyone is that if you wear a scent that you love often, people start to relate you with it. They would not be able to remember you without remembering what you smell like. It becomes a very part of the impression you have left on the minds of people. Hence wear a particular scent you love often!”
Pictures and video courtesy Luxehouse Middle East, Dubai, UAE
When the lovely Doaa Tahboub of Luxehouse Middle East presented me with this opportunity, to host a meet-greet session while discussing a few tips and tricks on how to choose your perfect perfume, I felt truly humbled and honoured at this prospect and began my exploration of this magical world of Annick Goutal.
The stage is set! and the occasion is perfect! and so is the beautiful brightly lit space at Paris Gallery, who played the most courteous hosts for this special evening!
Our star of the evening takes centre stage, the luminous new fragrance by House of Annick Goutal, that exemplifies the spirit of a young girl of today - high spirited, full of life and a charmer!
It was an honour to be part of this wonderful eve alongside two beautiful and talented women. Left Samar Sadik an illustrator extraordinaire, and middle Doaa Tahboub, force behind Luxehouse Middle East, a niche fragrance distributor company.
Engaging and interacting with a lively group of beautiful women, as we discuss fragrances they love.
The Disappearing Edition, Second Weekend, Supper at Bhane Cafe, DSSC X TLN X KitchenAidIndia X SulaVineyards
Our sense of smell is linked with our ability to taste and this fact is not unknown to anyone only we have somewhere over the years forgotten to smell our food! Blame it on the pressure to maintain table manners, or social etiquettes but aromas in a meal undeniably add a lot to the experience of dining, or simply the act of consumption of that dish...
After a super successful first weekend, The Disappearing Edition was back with round two the following weekend.
As before there was unlimited wine courtesy Sula Vineyards, a delectable six course supper courtesy The Supper Club, state of the art kitchen equipment courtesy Kitchen Aid India and a slick pop-up restaurant courtesy Bhane.
And there were clouds of intoxicating aromas courtesy Tender Loving Nose!
This unique experience of pairing scents with the courses was a real crowd pleaser!
Just like in perfumery certain notes dominate and are more apparent to our nostrils, certain aromatic ingredients in food act as excitement builders, they create an olfactive impression of the dish in our minds, make us salivate and thereby increase our hunger.
What we plan to do is an exercise to improve your sensory ability where you not only experience the taste and visual aspect of a meal but the smells that make the food oh so tasty!
LETS GET TOGETHER!
Tender Loving Nose IS always looking to partner up, engage, collaborate, party it up with like minded individuals who wish to create newer and richer experience for an audience!
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