Thursday, September 19, 2013

Perfume Sampling - Part II

The great financial recession of 2009 brought some impact on beauty consumers so travel size* and samples allowed brand owners to give an opportunity for the consumers to try their fragrances before an initial investment, and also to continue to keep them loyal.
*Travel size perfumes became a must since 9/11 due to travel restrictions and the fact that today we are wireless, always on-the-go, practically modern nomads, created the need for smaller versions of everything, and small vials of perfumes became a must. Many consumers began to purchase full size bottles and sample vials of the same perfumes to wear outside their homes.  Many websites selling perfumes online began to offer samples for a smaller price. Luckyscent, one of these websites, usually charges USD4 per sample.
Brands saw this mobility and this need for smaller sized perfumes as an opportunity to market samples as products in their own lines.


With the rise of niche perfumery, also niche brands began to sell sample vials of their fragrances which allowed the consumers to get to know their fragrances before making a larger investment. The reason niche brands succeeded in selling samples and turning them into a product was the fact that their fragrances were (and still are) more expensive than prestige fragrances. After purchasing a sample niche perfume consumers impressed by the fragrance sampled would not hesitate to pass the credit card for a greater amount.  Many bought (and still buy) only the samples because they could not/can't really afford a full bottle, but still want to have the pleasure of wear them.
Sample selling developed to discovery sets and niche brands invested in beautiful and luxurious packing so these sets could not only be purchased to be given as gifts, but also to become fancy collectibles products. 

Ormonde Jayne, a British brand so reviewed and commented here in my blog, developed a beautiful discovery set with a very luxurious design, including a velvety inner housing and a booklet with explanations of each of the fragrances offered. All housed in a beautiful black and gold box. I have it and I am amazed each time I open it!

Another brand who invested into a very creative, detailed and hip design for discovery sets is American niche brand INEKE from San Francisco. Her Deluxe Sample Collection Volume 5. includes eight samples of fragrances, each wrapped in a fine paper, packed in a small box and all eight housed in a beautiful package that comes with a brochure describing each of the fragrances.

Sample vial package by INEKE (2013)

Deluxe Sample Collection 
Sent by INEKE to + Q Perfume Blog (2009)

Deluxe Sample Collection brochure and samples

Sent by INEKE to + Q Perfume Blog (2009)

Ineke brand also offers a clever approach of low risk sampling of the fragrances where the initial USD25 spent on a sample vial of 1.5ml is totally redeemable when the final purchase of a new 75ml perfume is completed by the client through website.


Luxury brands such as Chanel uses a similar approach of niche perfumery sampling in their exclusive lines,with one small different - they are free of charge. By purchasing one of the 14 fragrances of the Les Exclusifs collection the client receives samples of ALL the other fragrances. Chanel believes that once a client already bought one of the exclusive fragrances offered, he/she will be teased with the samples, he/she is more likely to come for more. 

By the way, many department stores are shifting their approach when it comes to samples using them as an opportunity to better educate the consumer and enhance interaction between consultants and customers: 

“In-store consultants are guiding consumers in trying new products. Consumers will leave the store with samples, providing them with more time to make the final decision,” says Sylvie Darensbourg, regional market development manager for Aptar Gift + Promotion in an article published by beauty Packing Magazine - Sept. issue,2012.

Fragrance Foundation voting/sampling consumer's choice nominees 

This year the voting for the Fragrance Foundation Consumer's Choice Award came with a surprise - voting consumers could enter to the Foundation's website and request samples of all the nominees fragrances before casting their votes. The idea of a more interactive voting process came from the sampling strategies used online by brands in social medias such as twitter and facebook.

Fact is that this high demand for samples sized fragrances or travel sized vials is also demanding innovative packaging, and in the competition some companies are coming out with rather curious solutions! One of them is the scented perfume packages allowing consumers to smell the fragrance without even having to take them out of the box. Although this technology is smart enough not to interfere in the graphics of the package, can you imagine if all brands decide to apply it? Or if one brand decides to apply it in all the perfumes of its collection? It will be practically impossible to enter to a perfume shop or even try one fragrance inside these shops.

Stay tuned for more!

1 comment:

Juraj said...

Hello Simone,

I have also tried it week ago at Pitti Florence!
I do like it a lot. It's interesting dark, floral perfume! But, for me, I will stick to the wood, resins, balms, and some more woods :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...