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THE REPACKAGING-EQUALS-REFORMULATION MYTH


This year, Guerlain completes a major changeover of the look of its fragrances, replacing almost all individual bottle designs with uniform packaging.

There is the widespread notion that a new bottle design means that the juice has been reformulated as well, although in reality repackaging and reformulation are unrelated. While Guerlain continuously reformulates its existing fragrances as new IFRA restrictions come along, and suppliers stop producing some of their perfume bases, reformulations are not scheduled to coincide with the marketing team's decision to change bottle or box designs. Guerlain wants reformulations to go unnoticed, so to mark them with a new packaging design would be a bad idea. Also, reformulations are quite costly in terms of man-hours expended, and the job of a marketing team is in fact to reduce costs.

So it seems that our brain wants to see a pattern even where none exists. One reason that the repackaging-equals-reformulation myth lives on, is the simple fact that an announcement of a new bottle design will spur people on to go to the shop to smell new bottles of a scent they already own. They will examine the fresh juice and then compare it to a bottle they bought ten years ago. As the aged juice has gone through the normal steps of top notes diminishing and base notes rounding and deepening, critics will erroneously conclude that the scent has been reformulated.
(June 2017)


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