Have you ever walked through a crowded street and smelled someone's perfume and looked back? When you smell a good scent, you might want to ask what kind of perfume it is, but you may have already passed them by. People are interested in perfumes because the sense of smell is one of the most important factors that form a person's image. People look for the best perfume that shows their personality and expresses their individuality. This SMT reporter also tried to find her best perfume through a one-day class.
Perfumes for the MZ generation
Fragrance products such as luxury perfumes and hand wash are very popular among MZ generation consumers. Especially, niche perfumes, which are premium perfumes that satisfy the tastes of a few, are favored by young consumers. They are created by professional perfumers with the brand's philosophy and identity in a professional perfume house, in contrast to the mass-produced products of mass brands. The most popular brands are Byredo, Diptyque, and Jo Malone. They are aimed at consumers who can afford a huge price and want a unique fragrance that is different from others. The price of 50 to 100ml bottles of perfumes can reach 200,000 to 300,000 won, but even so, sales are still growing rapidly. According to the Hyundai Department Store on December 21 last year, sales of niche perfumes in 2021 increased by 89.1% compared to 2020. Niche perfume sales have been growing rapidly since 2019 (32.5%) and 2020 (61.7%), outpacing the growth rate of premium makeup products (23.9%) or skincare products (17.6%). The popularity of these expensive fragrance products is the consumption trend of the MZ generation, who open their wallets to consumption that gives emotional satisfaction. The MZ generation pursues value consumption that puts meaning on satisfaction with certain items.
Therefore, the fashion and beauty industry has become immersed in the perfume business as people begin to recognize perfume as a fashion. Department stores are increasing niche perfume brands, and even lesser-known brands are booming. Due to their popularity, the increase in perfume prices is spreading this year. From February of this year, Byredo raised prices by 4% on average, and Diptyque has decided to raise their prices by 7%. As the price of perfume keeps rising, it has become as important to choose and purchase perfume as it is for clothes and bags. Moreover, as offline stores stopped perfume testing due to COVID-19, it became more difficult to find a personal fragrance. The SMT reporter wanted to buy a perfume just right for herself and took a one-day perfume test class to try a variety of niche perfumes and find the best perfume.
Scent and sense
Near Sookmyung Women's University, the SMT reporter found a place called Parfum Samgak, located at Samgakji Station, that runs a one-day perfume test class, named Olfactive Journey. The class drew attention as it is not only possible to try about 50 perfumes but also participants are able to learn about the notes of perfumes, stories related to perfumers and perfumes, and the brands. Before making a reservation, the reporter also found out from the community of SMWU students (Everytime) that the lecturer of the class is a professor of SMWU. Full of anticipation for the class, the reporter made a reservation through Naver. The class is limited to 4 people and the price is 25,000 won for two hours. Luckily when the reporter visited, only the reporter and the reporter's friend were taking the class. Before starting, the instructor told us to choose 7 to 10 perfumes we would like to try out of 167 perfumes from various brands. The reporter, who was not familiar with perfumes, chose perfumes that she was curious about like By the Fireplace Maison Margiela and those which have pretty names such as Velvet Haze Byredo, and Tiffany & Love For Her. Before we got to test various perfumes, the instructor gave a short lecture on the four types of odors: floral, oriental, woody, and fresh. With the Michael Edwards Fragrance Wheel, the instructor told us that in the four groups, there are different subgroups such as fruity or dry woods, and there are perfumes that have two scents like floral and oriental.
The first test of the class was H24, a men's perfume, from the luxury brand Hermes. Flowers such as clay sage and narcissus were used, so the floral and aromatic scents were the strongest. After testing five Hermes perfumes, we tested Diptyque's Do Son, which is said to be the most popular recently. Its top notes consisted of iris and rose, the middle notes consisted of tuberose and pink pepper, and the base notes consisted of benzoin and musk. This reporter learned that the scent starts with most of the top notes which last for 10~30 minutes, and after some time, the middle and base notes come out more. In the case of Do Son, the iris scent was the strongest, but after a week, when the reporter smelled the scented paper again, it was bitter like pepper, but it had a musk, so it had a cool scent. Afterward, we tested more luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, and Chanel. Next, we were able to test niche perfume brands that represent American perfumes, Le Labo, D.S & DURGA, and Tom Ford. This reporter likes woody scents, so the scent of Le Labo and D.S & DURGA which use a lot of woody notes were just right. More than 50 perfumes were tested overall, but for this reporter, the Cowboy Grass D.S. & DURGA perfume with a wild grass scent and flower scents such as clary sage and thyme were the best. At the end of the class, we were able to put on our favorite perfumes, and after contemplating among four perfumes, this reporter chose Cowboy Grass and Tiffany & Love For Her.
Find your signature scent
Due to COVID-19, it has been difficult to test perfumes at perfume stores and the prices of perfumes keep getting higher. Amidst these difficulties, it is not easy to find your perfect perfume. SMT recommends a one-day perfume test class to everyone who wants to find their personal fragrance. You can become a perfume expert by gaining detailed information about perfumes in a short class.