Dollars and Scents

The buzzword for a decade or so has been “brand.” The industry has been drunk on the idea, but there has been some reconsideration lately. Millions have been poured into branding efforts, but not one comes to mind as successful. Local brands, yes. Designer names, yes. But real brands, no. At best, we've seen some good labeling. A column in The New York Times Magazine covered recent developments in the perfume business, which has been dominated by designer-branded perfumes for decades. That business busted out of a slump some years ago with Jennifer Lopez's Glow, by Coty. Major producers had used celebrities before, but this opened a floodgate of new scents with celebrity names. The record of successes, the author says, stinks (his word). Most new scents don't make it through the first year. A cousin of mine was a chemist at a perfume producer years ago, and he often chuckled at t

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