Only 3 years ago natural perfumers were a striving bunch of stubborn idealists who had been brought together by Anya McCoy in the natural perfumers guild.
Those who accepted her views stayed in the guild, others left and went ahead on their own, stubbornly.
Stubbornness is an obvious quality of natural perfumers. They started making perfumes that nobody wanted to buy, that critics criticized, with ingredients that are very expensive and often difficult to find. The cost of their materials are medially 20 times superior to medium price synthetics, this makes their fragrances more expensive and therefore more difficult to sell, and with a lower profit margin. Moreover, consumers have known only synthetic mass mainstream perfumes, and their first encounters with natural essences are most of the time something of a shock.
Natural perfumers just went ahead not heeding to reason or to anyone, carried by passion for the natural smells. Trygve writes:
“We (natural perfume enthusiasts), don’t care if those poor little sad synthetic liquids are cheaper, or that every batch is an exact replica of the one before, even though consistency is very important to large commercial productions. It doesn’t matter to me if those synthetics are partly natural, or entirely unnatural, even if they smell good, as some of them undeniably do……they are just not that interesting to play with”.
That was the situation only 3 years ago. In these years, the steady PR work started by Mandy Aftel (the queen of green) and furthered by Anya McCoy has become potentiated by the open support of the most influencial perfume bloggers (Michelyn, Nathan, Raphaelle, Elena, ecc..)
Natural perfumery is becoming a trend in which even the industry is interested to enter, but independent perfumers are also seeing the opportunity to conquer the new growing market of consumers who chose naturals as health, philosophical and ethical options.
Making natural perfumes is for all a very good way to “acquire image” of quality, ecology and ethicality.
The challenge for natural perfumers until now has been to build 100% natural fragrances that could compete with “mainstream/niche” fragrances on the very “mainstream/niche” market, especially the perfumistas.
This challenge has not been commercial, Natural perfumers do not constitute an economic reality worthy of even talking about.
The challenge has been mediatic and happened almost entirely on the web medias.
The dynamics of natural perfumers MKG until now has been to conquer recognition in the existing “mainstream/niche” market, and it has been incredibly successful.
Behind this success are 2 persons, Mandy Aftel and Anya McCoy. Mandy was able to produce luxury perfumes for an high end market and a “Theory of naturals” with her books. She provided both image and ideology.
Anya McCoy provided a very effective long term marketing campaign over the web, and the organization of the “associative infrastructure” that Mandy had failed to realize with the guild.
Together they convinced the bloggers and online magazine to give coverage to natural perfumery and the support of these last ones is the ultimate factor that actually brought the trend into being.
The Natural perfumery trend that is just starting is owed to the synergy of three, Mandy/Anya/bloggers.
To be continued…