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Brand World

La fragrance de l’héritage

15/05/2015 - par Mark Tungate

Entre notre chroniqueur anglais Mark Tungate et les parfums Dior, c'est du sérieux. Une relation basée sur un mélange de communication et mais surtout d'expériences personnelles. Où il est moins question d'égéries que de souvenirs.

The world of perfume is spectacularly absurd. So much fuss over a soup of chemicals in a bottle. And yet, scent is a powerful thing. You can spend millions on marketing, but you can’t really cheat. If the fragrance turns everyone off, the most famous égérie on the planet won’t save you.


If you were sitting with me right now, you might catch a faint whiff of Dior’s Eau Sauvage cologne, a birthday present from my wife. The story of men and fragrances is also a story of wives and girlfriends. I’m generally a fan of Dior scents – mostly Dior Homme – and I discovered them in an unusual way.


A few years ago I went to an exhibition in London of the art of René Gruau, who illustrated Dior’s advertising in the 1950s. One of the ads depicted the distinctive Eau Sauvage flacon in a witty and sophisticated way: held by a naked man who is almost hidden by the curved back of an armchair, apart from his crossed legs and one arm (photo). The man could be anybody. He could be you – he could be me. (Indeed, the picture now hangs on my wall, and my son is convinced it’s actually of me.) Not only did I buy the picture, I also bought the fragrance, and a partnership of sorts began.


A couple of years later, a friend who worked at Dior gave me a bottle of Dior Homme. I was surprised by the object’s heft and solidity; like the Eau Sauvage flacon, it felt like a classic piece of design. And when people kept telling me I smelled good, another relationship was born. Over the years I’ve worn CK One (well, we were all young once), Fahrenheit, Acqua di Palma and Eau d’Orange Verte by Hermès. But right now I’m sticking with Dior.


I suppose the lesson here for marketers is that my path to purchase involved a 60-year-old illustration, a pinch of PR, wifely approval and the art of packaging. Jude Law was not an influence – and certainly not Robert "bloody" Pattinson. I don’t think men buy stars. They buy a heritage. Which is perhaps why the current ad for Eau Sauvage cologne features a young Alain Delon. He’s not so much a star as a legend. And men will certainly buy a splash of legend.

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