Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Africa Inspires, Gwyneth's Good Scents & Nagel Talks Galop

This Week in Fragrance: Africa Inspires, Gwyneth's Good Scents & Nagel Talks Galop

11/09/16 08:46:52 (3 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Ghana-based Ghandour Cosmetics has announced the launch of Scent of Africa for Man and Scent of Africa for Woman, two new niche fragrances that are the first of their kind in the West African market. Naa Oyoo Quartey at has the scoop:

"Scent of Africa is very different from anything we have produced before at Ghandour. We wanted to introduce to the world a product that is truly reflective of the richness and splendor of Africa. Everything from the packaging to the branding and advertising of this product will disrupt notions of what it means to be an African brand," said Tanal Ghandour, the Founder and Managing Director of Ghandour Cosmetics which has been based in Ghana for over 20 years with operations also in 14 African countries.

We know that the fragrances were conceptualized in Ghana but developed in France, and beauty blogs suggest that the fragrances will be built around coconut and cocoa accords. But at the moment, there's little else to go on aside from the tagline, "Who I am is where I am from." Check out the video for the fragrances and let us know your thoughts on this exciting development.

Cari Romm at suggested this week that "Maybe Abercrombie Was Partly Right About Using So Much Scent in Its Stores":

Former mall rats of the internet, you probably know exactly what I mean when I mention the Abercrombie scent.... The cologne smell was so pungent you could catch a whiff from a couple stores away.... I say was, past tense, because Abercrombie has apparently toned down the cologne since the early ‘00s: In 2013, the company announced that it would be spraying 25 percent less of the stuff. Which is unquestionably good news, but also, a little bit, a sad story about a mishandled opportunity: done right, smell really can change for the better the way you feel about a store.

Interesting, as this topic has been making the rounds around news outlets. Essentially, scent is actually both relevant and significant to how we experience a shopping environment. What's been your best smelling shopping experience? Do you agree that scent might even encourage sales?


Yes, it's true, EVERYONE is creating fragrances these days. Enter Gwyneth Paltrow with an all-natural offering, Edition 01 from her Goop brand. Kristina Rodulfo at reports:

"Fragrance which I've used up to this point is actually really at best not transparent at all and at worst very toxic," she tells, pointing out that the ingredient label "fragrance" can be used to hide a cocktail of proprietary, "endocrine-disrupting chemicals" messing up your hormones. Unsatisfied with having to rely on just patchouli at the health food store, she used her goop powers to create her own elevated take on a "sophisticated, complex, beautiful, and also completely non-harmful fragrance."

Might this be a new stage of natural celebrity scents? Are you curious about trying it?

Gwyneth Paltrow Goop Fragrance & Candle

What's it like to be a woman trying to break intothe largely male-dominated world of perfumery? Kathleen Hou at talks to Christine Nagel:

One of the most coveted jobs in the world is to be the in-house perfumer at Hermès. The company discount is a work perk on its down, but the best part of the job is that Hermès perfumers enjoy complete creative freedom — there are no budgets to dictate raw material quality or timelines in which perfumes are required to make their public debuts. After much speculation, the brand announced two years ago that Christine Nagel (creator of Narciso Rodriguez for Her and multiple Jo Malone fragrances) would succeed the much-beloved Jean-Claude Ellena. Nagel debuted her first perfume, Galop, a blend of roses and leather, last month. The Cut caught up with her in Paris to learn more about the one smell she cannot stand, how she broke through the male-dominated perfume world, and what it’s like inside Hermès’s secret leather vault.

Are you a fan of Hermès, their fragrances or Nagel's work? What are your thoughts on Nagel's interview?

Galop by Hermes

Jessica Matlin at offers an intriguing look into the way fragrance is being marketed and sold these days with a nod to the neuroscience behind the approaches:

Both images and words travel through the brain’s memory and emotion centers — the hippocampus and amygdala, respectively. Language, however, has a longer journey. “This is why images of emotional events can be more powerful than reading about flowers and vanilla fields,” says Eichenbaum. And whether a product is sold in-store or online, it’s easy to be baffled by language. “A petitgrain essence with a cashmere accord?” “A dry down of mocha?” Even Choueiri admits such lofty descriptions of ingredients (or notes) can be confusing. Like with Replica’s images and Black Opium’s intrigue,“ Customers react to emotions — they don’t really seek out or respond to [descriptions of] the notes,” he says.

What do you think? I suppose there are only a minority of fragrance purchasers, such as readers of Fragrantica, who do indeed respond to notes, and so imagery and intrigue create a context that stirs curiosity. What most stimulates your curiosity about a new fragrance?

Laptop and Perfume Bottle


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Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen is also a regular contributor to and works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting



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I cannot lie - I love a good ad campaign. I respond to imagery and colour before I see the text. Take me on a journey! I'm sure I'd love Kenzo Amour just as much without its captivating ads, but I adore the mood and atmosphere of the campaign.

That being said, I wish companies would retire ads where giant factice bottles are being hoisted in the air like religious talismans by worshipping models. Why? What's the appeal?


What gets me interested in a bottle of perfume? Notes notes notes notes notes ... and more notes. That's how I shop for fragrances in general. As far as CHOOSING one, it's a combination of the smell and quality of the bouquet, the sillage, and the longevity.

As a consumer I'm also influenced by brand and availability. Some houses have yet to produce a scent I like, while others seem to churn out my next splurges in waves. and I am more likely to buy a mainstream fragrance than a niche scent just because it's easier to find on sale. And while price is obviously a consideration (I NEVER pay full price), I'll still drop some serious money on the right juice, so I don't really consider budget much of a factor.

But all these factors are secondary to how those notes hit me. It can be the highest quality, most prestigious brand name, most rare and coveted perfume in existence, but if I don't love the smell and where it takes me, it's just another bottle that'll collect dust.


Thanks Marlon good info as usual. I am interested in the African scent for women. I don't know what to think about Christine at Hermes. I am unimpressed with Galop. It is a pure perfume that behaves like an edt imo. Well I still have hope and I am sure she will put out something I may like. Finally, what gets me interested in a bottle of perfume? First the brand and nose, second the availability. I have mostly stopped coveting things that are only available in Dubai. Third the notes and what other reviewers say.


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