This year has seen all sorts of initiatives to try and attract Millennials to a fragrance brand; most have presumed if it is done right the audience will find them. The new brand Phlur has decided to go out and find them where they live; online. Erik Korman came up with a concept where the consumer visits the website clicks around a bit exploring what is written while also looking at specific visuals. The idea is the person will be intrigued enough to order two samples and try them at home; eventually making a sale of a full bottle. I must say it is an interesting concept but the grumpy Baby Boomer who writes this blog didn’t want to be treated like a neophyte. The PR people kept insisting I play along. I kept resisting. Finally, at Sniffapalooza Fall Ball I was able to put together a full set of samples to understand the fragrances behind Mr. Kormann’s concept.
One thing I learned about the brand was Mr. Korman enlisted indie perfumer Anne Serrano-McClain while he was working with the perfumers at Symrise. All six fragrances are essentially a single perfume accord. Pared down to that it makes how one feels about them very clear-cut. Olmstead & Vaux was that very common citrus and ginger mixture. Hanami is a creamy sandalwood base accord. Greylocke is the smell of a pine tree sap and needles. Moab is spice and incense. Siano is one of two which actually had more than one distinctive phase as it segued from a floral opening into a boozy finish. The one I liked best was Hepcat because this was the only one which developed over a few hours and had three distinctive phases.
Nathalie Benareau was the perfumer behind Hepcat. Mme Benareau is still working on one level of the pyramid as she uses a lot of notes typically found in the base. What helps here is she is using ingredients which have mutable natures by themselves. When she mixes oud and vetiver as the core; saffron early on teases out exotic parts of those notes. They both shift completely when the leather accord arrives. Much later vanilla provides one more pivot to the central oud-vetiver pairing.
Hepcat has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
I am clearly not the target audience for Phlur. Throughout my experience with the brand I felt like the old man at the rave. I think this is an interesting way to market to millennials. It will be interesting to see if all the ancillary bells and whistles gets the young buyers to become fans. If it does this is probably the first installment of Millennial Marketing 101.
Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided at Sniffapalooza Fall Ball.