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Scents and Sensibility: an interview with Clarins Group President Joel Palix

Scents and Sensibility: an interview with Clarins Group President Joel Palix

The president of Clarins Fragrance Group, Joel Palix, talks to Atique Naqvi about the business of perfumes and the challenges the industry faces globally and in the region.

September 3, 2011 4:17 by

the fashion brand, we have to invest in it. But if it is a licensed product then we do not have to invest in branding, but you have to pay royalties and that helps us earn global recognition.

What kind of royalties have been paid?
Some 20 years ago it was a small percent three percent. In the 1990s and 2000s people got crazy for brands and then it was closer to 10 percent. It was wrong because then people were so much under pressure to pay the royalty, either they were running after sales or saving on products. And when you save on the fragrance juice, it really cuts down the life span of a product and consumers are smart enough to understand that. In my opinion, four to five percent is the more practical royalty, because brands also understand that if you start mass production, the brand loses its exclusivity and prestige associated with a particular name.

Coming back to re-launching Thierry Mugler fashion, we have hired a new designer, Nicolas Formichetti. We did a fashion show in March this year in Paris, which was attended by Lady Gaga, among others, people showed a lot of interest. We will utilise the existing talent to rediscover Mugler fashion brand. Fashion will help fragrance and fragrance will help fashion, that’s what I believe.

Do you see a shift in brands using media – from print to digital?
I think social media is important, it is the best way to remain in touch with your fans. I am a big believer in magazines. There is nothing better than a woman looking at a beautiful double-page spread image and being inspired by it. On classic fragrances, short videos are good. We have contracted Hollywood actress Eva Mendes for our Angel fragrance. Mendes, with all her sensuality and angel-like face, will surely inspire people.

Depending on where the product is in terms of life cycle, we use different media. Also, it is important for magazines to contribute to the education of readers on fragrances. In our study of some French magazines, we found the number of articles on fragrances has gone down.

Tell us more about your latest fragrance, Aura by Swarovski?
We started talks with Swarovski some 10 years ago and we have very close relations with them. We took three to four years to develop Aura fragrances, but we delayed the launch because of the patchy economic climate. A lot of people go to Swarovski outlets to buy gifts and what could be a better gift than perfume? We will add the product to our boutique stores as well. The results are very positive after the launch in early April.

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