During the second half of the 19th Century the emphasis in perfume started to shift from the contents of the bottle onto the bottle itself. Better glass making techniques, mass production and disposable income all helped to fuel the ‘belle époque’. The art nouveau and deco periods gave rise to many bottles, which were artforms in their own right. Rene Lalique and Baccarat were employed by the big fragrance houses to design bottles into which went increasing numbers of the new aroma chemicals as part of the blend.
Perfume, which had largely been the reserve of the aristocracy and wealthy industrialists, now came in for mass marketing treatment. As marketing costs soared production costs dropped then slowly and imperceptibly to many the emphasis shifted again away from the bottle and onto the dream painted by the advertisements. By the late 1950’s it had become part of the fabric of the Western world.
Did you know that 3% of the money you hand over for a mass-produced fragrance buys the smell content? The rest is the bill for selling you the dream. Most perfumers work to a budget in the region of 15 Euros per litre.
The reason that it works is because we are dumb enough to fall for it. We believe that if we wear such and such we will become the sort of person or associated with the lifestyle in the advertisement. Most of these adverts don’t even mention the scent. Instead we are persuaded that if we wear ‘this’ we don’t need to cycle round the world ourselves or if we wear ‘that’ we will stay young and beautiful and never sleep alone again.
The point is that Essentially Me are not paying for celebrities, television advertisements, centre folds or even distributors margins. This makes it possible for us to sell top quality natural fragrances in certified organic grain alcohol for prices similar to those at the higher end of the mainstream aldehydic market.