PERFUMES BY JEAN-PAUL GUERLAIN




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THE REPACKAGING-EQUALS-REFORMULATION MYTH


Guerlain is changing the look of its masculine line, rendering it uniform with the classic "Habit Rouge" bottle design and adding coloured faux wood caps that match the exclusive Parisien collection.

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. It seems that our brain wants to see a pattern even where none exists. 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. Reformulations are quite costly in terms of man-hours expended, and the job of a marketing team is in fact to reduce costs.

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. Expect a steady stream of online fragrance forum discussions titled “Guerlain reformulates XX” to appear in the near future.
(June 2016)


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