A memory, a feeling, an experience… That's what perfume is all about. The aim? Finding a deeper sense of meaning through the world of scent. Every time you take a whiff of those powerful notes you'll be connected to nostalgic memories, joyful times, and an endless recollection of good laughs…
First off: what even are the gourmands? Is it not just nice food? Is perfume connected to food? Woah, woah, hold your horses there for a second. A gourmand is a scent that's part of the sweet category of perfumes. We like to think of them as the "edible notes", as the brilliant smell of things like: caramel, chocolate, candy, coffee, and almond. The domain of these accords is a diverse and delicious place that is home to almost every smell you can think of that once began in a kitchen. And the thing is, sometimes these are used in food itself!
An Angel's Story
Twenty years ago, when a roomful of perfumers smelled the sweet scent ANGEL by Thierry Mugler for the first time most of them crinkled their noses in disgust! Imagine... Today Angel is the fifth bestselling scent in the US. It's safe to say that the first reaction couldn't have been more wrong. The sweetheart of vanilla, praline, and caramel accord that made it stand out from the floral and powdery scents of the 1980s and early 90’s arguably created the “gourmand” perfume category. And so this is where gourmand was born.
This fragrance created a family of its own inspired by the childhood love for stars and all things sweet by Thierry Mugler. Whereas, nowadays, all the perfume houses need and want to have a gourmand fragrance of their own. According to Vera Sturbi, the actual director of Thierry Mugler’s house, the amazing success of ANGEL is due to ethyl-maltol, also known as Veltol, which creates the resonance in our olfactory memories. It’s considered for some as delicious and addictive; for others, the overexposure makes it unbearable. Before ANGEL, this substance was only ever used in food flavouring!
According to scientists, this molecule creates a dependence on consumers. People just want more and more Veltol! As an example, before the launch of a perfume, big brands always test them to see how consumers react. In the current configuration and as a reflex, the consumers jump towards perfumes that remind them of food.
Still mad for Gourmand?
Nowadays, gourmand is still big. You just need to look to the shining examples of La Petite Robe Noir by Guerlain and La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme. Even if the marketing and communication campaign of both are impressive, the gourmand smell of these are the really essential key to their success. According to Lancome, “the key success of La Vie Est Belle is a strong and exceptional juice adding to the relevance of communication dominated by the smile of Julia Roberts”.
In the minds of marketers, addiction is today associated with sweetness. Jean Amic once said: "A perfume must make you salivate". Indeed, even before any of these big names in the gourmand category, sugary (vanilla) notes were found in perfumes like Shalimar or Heure Bleue by Guerlain. Today, more than twenty-five years after the launch of ANGEL, Olivier Cresp thinks that it will be difficult to get out of this trend. It seems clear that the demand is still constant for the gourmand. People want an increasingly more “powerful and diffusive” fragrance, and they find that in gourmand notes.
With the growth of fine fragrance price, customers embark on the age-old quest… finding that which smells strong and long! Some of the young Millenial consumers are still in love with gourmands, but others are losing interest in perfumes believing that now they all just smell the same! What's the real difference anyway? The scientists know what people supposedly love so is there even a choice to be made... are we in The Matrix right now?!
It's on this question of independence and choice that Maison 21G is born! It's time to get away from the common scent! You can now discover your scent, your way, with some scent style of your own. Maybe a gourmand? Maybe not? But, that's completely up to you at Maison 21G.