Scent Of A Woman? Scent Of A Man?

By | June 12, 2008

The BBC’s Apprentice ended for another year last night and Lee was chosen to join Sir Alan Sugar as a member of his team. I can’t say I’m sad that Clare lost. In Sir Alan’s words in a previous episode “she’ll come in here load up her machine gun with fifty rounds of bullshit and fire it at us”. No, I’m not fond of Clare. So congratulations to Lee and good luck to anyone who has to work with Clare.

The final task this series was to create and successfully market a fragrance for men. It got me thinking … So tell me, when buying a “male” fragrance for yourself or your man, what makes you choose the one you finally spend your money on?

Is it the box? The Packaging? The scent?

Perhaps it’s a clever ad campaign, or the fact that you like the model featured in it.

How about a previous lover? Did they wear a fragrance that you just can’t get out of your head?

I keep coming back to this point on this blog, but scent is so evocative and powerful for me. One of the scents was apparently almost identical to the perfume worn by the (female) contestant who formulated it. A little unconscious emasculation of the intended customers by her?

The campaigns designed by the contestants were very different. One featured an innovative bottle design (which lost their team the chance to get through to the final two because it was horribly expensive to produce and therefore not a commercially viable product), and a perfume named Roulette, which was unremarkable, had the obviously negative gambling connotations, but was saved by the success of the pitch.

Smell is so inextricably linked with attraction and sexuality that it’s no wonder that billions are made every year on its formulation, sales and retail.