The artistic perfumery has never been so influenced by forms of fast fashion as it is today. A world where the most important aspect for those who sell is to have always a new fragrance at the counter. In order to advertise, offer and sell until the natural push factor towards novelty has been depleted, a person is constantly looking for something “newer” to astonish his public.
Giorgio Armani talks about it in his open letter to the public published in April 2020 in WWD Women’s Wear Daily, facing full Coronavirus emergency:
“The decline of the fashion system started when the luxury sector adopted the fast fashion operating mode with the continuous delivery cycle, hoping to sell more, yet forgetting that luxury takes time, to be achieved and to be appreciated. Luxury cannot and must not be fast. It makes no sense that one of my jackets, or one of my suits live in the store for three weeks, become immediately obsolete, and are replaced by new merchandise, which is not too different from the one that preceded it. I do not work like that. I find it immoral to do so. I have always believed in an idea of timeless elegance, in making clothes that suggest only one way to buy them: that they last over time.”
An unjustified and almost never authentic production, just as Armani has mentioned. It is never a fruit of a pondered and complete creative process. It is an endless cycle that gives no way to see own creations establish. It does not give any way to the consumer to become attached to a product, get to know it with the time it takes. In fact, it incessantly distracts and makes him look for yet another “best seller” to have at all costs. Such product is often very far from being “new” because it has been “copied” from a previous best sold version and so on.
Many have thought how Armani’s words indisputably fit also our field of niche perfumery. And, by saying this, nothing else makes me suffer as much as to see amazing fragrances of the past and present be readily abandoned and substituted by new offers, only because there is a search for a quick and easy way to succeed in sale that can be reached only by having products always similar to each other.
Could it possibly be my vision when I started taking my first steps over thirty years ago in family perfumery? And more importantly today, being an entrepreneur as I am, I am asking myself “Was it the future that I imagined for this market?” Of course not.
These days we often read and hear how global crisis caused by Coronavirus, unimaginably up to a month ago, is giving us an opportunity to change our vision of the future. I believe that if in our future restart we truly wish to change things, we should really “go back to doing everything as we used to”. Just as Giorgio Armani has suggested.
We have an opportunity to put our path back on track of the past when quality and creativity prevailed. Track of authenticity that must not satisfy any frenetic rhythms of market logic. We have an opportunity to cooperate and build a healthier and more sustainable market where the profit is not gained quickly and at all costs but it is a result of joint work with a farsighted look.
“Going back to doing everything as we used to” does not mean to decline but it means to recover the philosophy, the core of our work in order to convey it together to our public. It does not mean to loose well-being; on the contrary, it means to restore also in our work that dimension, those human rhythms that can help us build a better society. Such test is unquestionably difficult to pass but, more importantly, we have a great opportunity. The opportunity that the Renaissance had after the Dark Ages.
I, therefore, ask the owners of a great number of wonderful artistic perfumeries in Italy and Europe to return to their origins. You have always been more than retailers, you are connoisseurs and testimonies of perfumery, authors of proposals to our public of amateurs and novices. You have always been those who advise, educate, and guide people to discover the world of perfumes. Keep doing it but have a greater scruple and renewed responsibility going back to the authentic role of Great Perfumeries. Choose carefully the brands you want to offer and always remember focusing on three key factors: quality, creativity and authenticity. Make sure you offer only those products that follow this philosophy and maintain values that made you open your boutique. Be a protagonist of your own choices! Do not bear them.
I address to our public, our beloved consumers, and ask to maintain curiosity. Indulge yourself in a marvelous journey that as all journeys, which are worth remembering, should have slowness of those who observe and seize every single moment. Dream with fragrances, travel with fragrances and most importantly seek the unknown, something you do not know because there is no such journey that I can name that would not lead to discoveries and new experiences. The fragrance has this power; take your time to discover a new scent. Live it on your skin for days, seizing multiple nuances before you understand whether you like it or not. Be curious and slow to explore. Ultimately, it will be worth doing!