Dana Kline (3rd l.) with One Direction.
On a plane to London late last August, the beauty executive Dana Kline was literally charged with excitement.
She was en route to visit One Direction—as boyband du jour, arguably five of the hottest stars on the planet today—for their very first fragrance development meeting.
“After twenty-two years in this business,” she told Cosmetic World exclusively, “it felt like a pivotal moment—like an opportunity to demonstrate all of the skills I’d cultivated, and even ones I didn’t know I had.”
Even before its creation, she knew a One Direction fragrance had blockbuster potential—the launch went on, this August, to net a reported £360,000 in its first week on counter at Harrods and $900,000 in seven days at Macy’s.
What Kline didn’t expect was that the conception process would be so fulfilling and that the boys themselves would be so dedicated.
“In spite of all their success, the guys have an innocence about them,” she continued. “And their fans have that same innocence.”
(The scent’s final designation, Our Moment, was named for one of the band’s favorite songs, Moments, written by Ed Sheeran for their debut album Up All Night.)
“I channeled memories from my own childhood, and I was also inspired by English culture, literature and fairytales,” Kline recalled.
BEHIND THE SCENES
While wrangling five twentysomethings to chat perfume proved surprisingly easy, Kline aimed to connect with the band via an approach she describes as less traditionally corporate than educational —and sometimes even maternal.
Over the course of the fragrance’s half-year development process, she was back and forth to the UK every month, with conferences taking place in secret locations across London and New York.
During breakfast meetings, she would clear their plates to make way for lab samples and product comps. Between sampling different mods, the boys astutely sniffed their coffee cups—in the absence of beans—as a palate-cleanser.
As an icebreaker, Kline distributed questionnaires querying their favorite flowers, desserts and scents on a woman. And for the reveal of the final juice, she trekked across London to shop for depictions of the scent’s various notes—grapefruit, berries, redcurrants, jasmine petals, freesia, frangipani—and created sniffing stations around the conference room.
This, coincidentally, inspired Our Moment’s television campaign, helmed by London-based Cake Group, which showcases the guys’ signature jesting as they whiff and fondle different ingredients.
Ultimately, while the scent targets the band’s younger fans, supplier Firmenich developed a drydown so sophisticated that “their mothers would want to wear it, too,” Kline said.
“The end goal was a luxury fragrance—more than just a one-time purchase—with a vastly higher concentration of oils than normally used in these types of fragrances.”
A PASSION PROJECT
Kline noted that throughout the creative process, each of the boys brought his own unique and vital perspective to the table.
“Louis [Tomlinson] comes from a family of five sisters,” she said, “which I think made him particularly insightful for this project. He probably asked a lot of the same questions that his sisters would’ve asked.”
While Niall Horan and Harry Styles are “natural comedians,” they are also eloquent spokesmen, Kline said, possessing charisma and sex appeal in spades.
“Zayn [Malik] is a brilliant artist. He was always doodling and drawing during meetings—so much so that I asked if he would be willing to work with me on creative for the band’s next fragrance.”
“When, at the launch event, Liam [Payne] said, ‘A lot of love went into this project,’ he was right,” Kline said. “For me, this was a passion project in every sense of the word. It wasn’t about money, or vanity, but about the ability to connect with people in a pure way when you’re doing something you love. And also about creating a special gift for the band’s extremely devoted fans.”
“As an adult,” she concluded, “it’s easy to get lost in everyday worries. But throughout this process—and in thinking back to when I was at the age of the band’s fans—it became abundantly clear that when you take the time to dream, it can transform your life in momentous ways.”
|The boys sample fragrance mods and approve bottle artwork.|
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