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Mane perfumers Jim Krivda, Vincent Kuczinski, Ellen Molner, Ralf Schwieger and Cecile Hua.

French Perfume house, Mane, recently showcased their latest marketing initiative, Fragrance Avatar—a multi-sensorial exhibition of animated olfactive art inspired by visual images—at its Manhattan Creative Studio.

With the goal to put the artistry back into perfumery, Mane removed all the usual constraints facing perfumers, such as concepts, consumer demographics, branding, price point, etc., and challenged five perfumers to create fragrances from their very core, as personally inspired by visual imagery.

“The goal of Mane is to be the creative alternative challenger to the big fragrance houses,” said Dr. Syed Shamil, vice president of marketing fine fragrance at Mane. “As animators, the perfumers are truly empowered artists, and the Fragrance Avatar initiative was developed to put our perfumers on center stage and showcase their creativity and talent to our major
clients, industry partners and media.”

Mane perfumers, Ellen Molner, Vincent Kuczinski, Jim Krivda, Cecile Hua and Ralf Schwieger, each developed two fragrances, with the exception of Molner who created three. All of the eleven scents were based on the perfumer’s personal interpretations of a series of visual images.

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Lightbox “stations” displaying props and fragrances inside the Fragrance Avatar exhibition.

A light sculpture called “The Fire,” designed by sculpture artist Kilu, was placed at the entryway to the Avatar to represent another form of visual art for olfactive inspiration.

“The Fire Light Sculpture was the artist’s animated rendition of soothing and calming fire, and was consistent with the Fragrance Avatar’s theme of animation,” said Shamil. “It was a beautiful piece of dramatic art, and it had a mesmerizing ‘wow’ impact on the visitors.”

At each “station” throughout the exhibition, guests listened to audio tapes recorded by the perfumers detailing their thought process and inspiration for the scents they created. To provide a multi-sensorial experience, props including taste and tactile renditions were carefully selected by the Mane marketing team to enhance the guest’s experience surrounding each perfumer’s interpretation and story.

“The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, with great feedback,” said Shamil. “The clients particularly liked the ‘wow factor’ associated with each of the eleven fragrances on exhibit, as well as the pure artistry of the creations. The forum was very conducive for the clients to imagine and dream about the development of their own brands in a world very different from the normal boardroom.”

Art Spiro, executive vice president of fragrance innovation at Elizabeth Arden, also provided feedback on his visit to the Fragrance Avatar.

“This is great! This is exactly what our young professionals should be exposed to. This is what perfumery is all about,” said Spiro. “It would be great if today, as clients, we could brief the perfumers with one visual and have them create freely.”


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