Monday, August 27, 2007 Insights, Idiosyncrasy, Intuition If you’ve dropped in, you’ll know how much fun it is to browse around the thousands of nominations, group them, compare them, list them. Here you can come up close to consumer reality. These are the things people love, and here’s what they’ve got to say about them. Get past the fun and you’ll also uncover insights into how a huge number of incredibly different brands have surged over the love barrier and attracted intense devotion. What is this but proof that Lovemarks are not rationally created by companies, but built up by the personal, idiosyncratic and intuitive responses of thousands of individuals?

We’ve been using the site to explore what distinguishes a brand from a Lovemark to consumers and found some strange and wonderful insights on the journey. Join us and dive into the passion pool of nominations and stories that give its personality and power. Bring insights on fragrances to the surface, for instance. tells us that the top three things people love in a fragrance are that:

  • It’s fit for everyday use. Fragrances may be luxuries, but people want them to be everyday luxuries.
  • It draws comments from others. Fragrances are a way we communicate and express ourselves. No wonder choosing one can be such an important decision – and changing one more important still.
  • It recalls memories of loved ones. Fragrances are usually associated with stunning models and actresses, but what do we do? We think about the people we love ourselves, truly connecting dreams with reality.

Here’s a challenge. How about using these three responses to fragrances with other scents like food, or soap powder or, (why not?) engine oil. When you can make that inspired leap you can start moving from insights to transformational ideas.

Nearly 40 percent of the stories sampled specifically referred to an earlier memory associated with a Lovemarks fragrance. I’ve always believed that one of the great sensory memories of my childhood is the scent of freshly ironed sheets. Come on someone. Bottle it.

The most loved fragrance on is Chanel No 5. My favorites? I wear Le Male by Gaultier and love Hermes 24 Faubourg.


mimi said...

Ah, the wonderful and evil olfactory. I still turn my head and look for an ex when I smell "his" cologne. It's disorienting. Especially since I never liked it.

One of the first projects in industrial design involved creating a perfume bottle. This was fantastic as we had to consider the emotions we wanted to evoke with different visual touchpoints, the shape of the bottle, the packaging, the POS signage.

I designed and poured another mold for a "joke" fragrance. It was called L'eau de BBQ, shaped like a bottle of sauce and targeted towards attracting men with appetites. It was fun, if not “marketable”.

The scents which are gut wrenching to me are as follows:
- fried black sesame balls
- sweet black sesame paste
- fresh sugar cane
- clinque aromatics elixir
- Krispy Kreme donuts (simple glazed)
- a certain brand of incense

Possibly not a good representation of the world at large. My youth was spent in a kitchen (literally) so that tends to skew things...

mimi ( at ) canalmercer -dot- c o m

Susan Plunkett said...

I have a refined sense of smell. My son refers to me as a bloodhound - although I think I'm more like a labrador :)

Ok, so I don't know Le Male or Hermes 24 and in fact I don't own a single bottle of perfume. Not one.

I often, when standing in a lift or waiting for a tradesman to finish something say, "Gosh you smell nice."

It's refreshing to see men taking the compliment so well these days whereas ten years ago men, in general, would have squirmed. There is also something good about being the age I am and offering such a compliment as men presume I mean it for what it is and am not making an overture. (hah)

When I was a girl I loved Tweed perfume. The formula appeared to sadly change but the original really reminded me of heather and brogues and glorious countryside. Then Maja which was a Spanish fandango and way way too strong for many now perhaps. I too enjoyed Chanel 5 when given a gift bottle once. However few are wispy and subtle enough for me.. still..I agree with mimi, and harking back to a comment I think paper bicycle reminded us of at one point, muscle memory, sensory memory, can play a major prompt in our lives.

I'd like to see some soft soft perfumes make from Australian native flowers. Native rose and boronia would be starters. My mother, bless her, recognised the wonders of native rose we had growing on a edge of Sydney property when I was a girl and invited various botanists and nurseries to take samples in order to ensure the species longevity. If you've never smelled native rose, please try to locate a nursery with them in flower when you come here. Glorious.

I love..adore..the deep, rich scents of traditional roses (David Austen etc).

What I have enjoyed about Lovemarks is being inspired by a number of comments to go and look the product up and see what else is said about it. Guinness was a classic example and I found some mind pleasant ad vids on it. Guinness scent? :)

Susan Plunkett said...

mimi mentioned the design of perfume bottles (although I query that perfume bottles were the first outcome of industrial design).

I have no affiliation with this site and just looked it up however I love old bottles like this and the atomiser sort - you know - with the bulb spray element that would be attached to a bottle like this. The days when perfume was decanted like wine or port.

Susan Plunkett said...

(I believe my last post got lost in the ether here..sorry if there is a basic replication).

mimi..You mentioned design. I would query your claim of perfume bottles being one of the first outcomes of industrial design - although perhaps it's how we define or 'know' industrial design. The design of bottles is interesting however as is the lettering - particularly when lettering becomes integral to said design.

I have no knowledge of this company however I love these old bottles and also the atomiser type with the bulbs. How lovely to decant perfume as one would wine or port:

Piotr Jakubowski said...

My favorite scent right now is Kenneth Cole black. You are right, Kevin, in identifying that changing a scent is such an important decision. Every single time I want to change my scent (not very often, mind you), I have to go and try each one to make sure that I am getting the right one.

It's interesting to see the importance of scents as portrayed by the Lovemarks site. Many people have agreed that the sense of smell is often overlooked in the branding process.

I recently bought a shampoo to try out (it was my case study during my internship), and discovered that I don't like it at all. The reason? It's smell reminds me of the same shampoo I use to bathe my dog. As much as I love my dog, I really don't like the idea of my head smelling like her.

I think Febreze has been doing a great job of capitalizing on the sense of smell and its power. Who knows, maybe they'll bottle the freshly ironed sheet smell soon.

miss mimi said...

Susan - apologies, I should clarify...the perfume bottle was MY first industrial design outcome. darn the pronouns and the late nights...sigh.

mimi / canalmercer / ---

Susan Plunkett said...

Piotr.. What, you didn't want the sheets ironed also?? :)

On a craft/knitting site I belong to Febreeze is often mentioned but to eliminate odours. I wonder how many ultra functional Lovemarks there are. Hmmm

I also think our olfactory sense alters across our lifetime and can definitely alter at different life stages. There were several smells I could not stand when I was pregnant with my son for example.

I would find it hard to locate a scent as sometimes, say in a chemist, I will squirt a little on of something I think ok there and 30min later long to wash it off. Maybe, with rare exception, scent for me is anathema.

Susan Plunkett said...

mimi..ahh..Thank you for the clarification. I must admit, I really like the fact that perfume or ungent was found in a sealed bottle at King Tutankamon's burial site. The base was coconut oil with frankincense and another oil or spice I didn't know so I can't recall it now. When I read your piece my mind went back to tools and there were sets of industries well before the 15 century BC and in some places industries pitched against each other. Clay firing goes back even further and I think some of the earliest fire sites (cross between hearth and kiln) are hundreds of thousands of years old. There was also transportable housing developed well before the 15thcentury BC which to my mind was an industrial design innovation also.

dt said...

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your insights in, its the basis of alot of my activities in Design for Brand.

The ability to communicate this through a product is vital for product differentiation in the future of consumer products.

If it not too much trouble, I like to get your feedback on this post I wrote, as it was partly inspired by your work.

Thanks in advance.

Piotr Jakubowski said...

Susan - I am in college right now and do not own an iron. Hence, I cannot have access to that smell. A shame. (I don't really know how to iron properly either)

Febreze is an odor eliminator/freshener that positions itself based on its smell. Some people have liked it so much that they have included the Febreze smell into some Tide laundry detergents.

Take a look:

Susan Plunkett said...

Piotr.. You could buy a mini iron (they have them on the market) and literally press it against linen. The scent and no ironing capability required. I can see you slowly developing a pitch for a themed Martha Stewart type book - first the cooking issue (crumble) and now ironing. :)

Or..a personal add:

"Creative and democratic male student seeking young lady with iron." a send up to that song..("I like Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain...")

"I seek a woman with iron, if she has Febreze scent, come to me and hey baby, press me soon it was meant."

Yeah yeah, I only had a moment to work on it :)

Amusing YT piece - tho a squished nose is not always a good look :) I am reminded of Frank in Everybody Loves Raymond being so enthralled by 'new baby smell'.

Josephine said...

Hi KR,

I have no idea if you'll post this but I wanted to say it so please go with the flow and I hope that what I would like to say makes any sense.

Lovemarks and fragrances. Don't faint but...reading through lovemarks the book, I have to admit that Jim Stengel of Proctor and Gamble has now officially become one of my lovemarks. He says that all communication, all brand building, all relationships, all decisions are emotional. I love that, a man whose not afraid to talk about what it all comes down to, our emotions, I know that most of my choices to buy or not to buy come from my heart, even if I am on a budget more often than not I’ll still buy what makes me feel good inside, be if fair trade, or be it a company’s own brand washing powder.
The fragrance that I would like to stimulate my senses…=my new lovemark...Jim Stengel straight out of the shower..

Other scents I like, fresh cookies, vanilla buttercream, lemons, vanilla pods, oranges, love actually perfume.


Kevin Roberts said...

Josephine - thanks, I couldn't resist sending to the man himself!

Susan Plunkett said...

Beautifully written Josephine. My wicked sense of humour couldn't resist hoping he hadn't washed in tar soap!, however, love can overcome a lot can't it :) I hope the man is duly blushed from naked toe to naked top of head and the drops of water veritably steaming off him.