Can You Sell Scents Without The Sex?

by MR Magazine Staff

Floating on a little raft in an idyllic cove off Capri, a muscular man in a skimpy swimsuit stands over a woman sunbathing in a white bikini. The camera zooms in and pans across his crotch. He jumps into the water. She eagerly follows. They climb back on the raft, water dripping from their sinewy bodies in slow motion. She wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him. He pulls the string on the bikini top. Sex sells fragrances. Dolce & Gabbana ran that commercial in 2010 (and a similar ad three years later) for Light Blue, one of its cologne labels. But it could have been an ad for nearly any high-end fragrance over the past two decades. The message is simple: Spray this, get lucky.  Now some labels are bucking the trend, betting that a younger set of customers doesn’t crave hyper-sexualized, gender-defined fragrances. Phlur, a new fragrance startup in Austin, sells unisex scents that shun lustful industry norms. Each fragrance is portrayed more like a luxe candle than a magical spray that will turn you into a sex magnet. That isn’t what the modern consumer wants, said Eric Korman, Phlur’s founder and chief executive. Read more at Bloomberg.