As you wander through the shelves of a perfume shop, you may come across fragrances with familiar names… But with something different. It may also be a fragrance you already know, but in more intense edition, or in “sport” or “couture” version. This type of product is called a flanker in the perfume industry. We also talk about variations that are in fact reinterpretations of already existing compositions, to which we add a touch of novelty. Discover the underside of this phenomenon to finally find your way around!
What is a flanker?
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As you can see, a flanker is a re-edition of a fragrance already launched on the market. These fragrances generally represent reinterpretations of classics, of already popular juices. They are “little brothers or sisters” of an existing perfume from which they borrow the name and the olfactory scheme, to become very distinct compositions from their elders. This phenomenon is in fact the result of mass consumption, particularly with household products and their many variations. The term flanker can be translated as “ally” (it is also used in American football jargon). It thus evokes a product that supports an existing creation. Most of the time, these derivatives are accompanied by work on the bottle, the packaging and, for the biggest houses, by a new large-scale advertising campaign.
The different types of flanker
The perfumer must therefore reformulate the original composition by adding a touch of novelty. This can be summed up by the addition of new ingredients or changes in dosage to highlight a particular raw material. It all depends on the demand and wishes of the perfumer. So, there are several variations. We can find “rejuvenated” versions of older best-sellers, but also “virilized” formulas of feminine fragrances, and vice versa. Contrary to what we might think, creating a flanker is far from being an easy exercise. It is necessary to preserve the spirit and the original universe of the perfume by giving it a different angle, while orienting the composition in a new olfactory direction.
Flankers are not to be confused with collector editions. These consist of re-launching for a limited or unlimited time a fragrance that has already proven its worth in the past. This is the case, for example, of the original musc, a sensual and wild formula developed at the end of the 80s, that we slightly modified in 2013 and became musc. It was reproduced a few years ago in a collector edition, following numerous requests from our faithful clients.
For or against flankers?
So why do perfumers reinterpret existing perfumes? There are a multitude of reasons that can explain the launch of a flanker on the market. It can make a registered name that has not been as successful as expected profitable. For others, it is simply a question of occupying as much space as possible on the shelves of perfumeries. And it is very important at a time when new products are flocking to the stores more and more quickly. Unfortunately, these flankers are often criticized for their lack of creativity and originality. The abundance of choices and variations sometimes leads to confusion and the devaluation of perfume.
On the other hand, some of the variations are really new. They recreate the magic initiated in the original version, while demonstrating a real perfumer’s work with new notes, all under an “umbrella” name. These flankers then manage to free themselves from the original to unveil new facets and conquer new noses.
Flanker at Carrément Belle
If you have known Carrément Belle for a while, you know we are not the kind of people who launch a new fragrance at the drop of a hat! After all, creating a perfume takes a lot of hard work. It is a meticulous process that takes time to find the perfect composition for us, and especially for you! Among our Collection, you will find the variation of our iconic perfume for over 30 years: ippi patchouli.
Ippi patchouli clair: the sunny and citrusy flanker
Unveiled in 2017, ippi patchouli clair is an olfactory reinterpretation of the very first fragrance we created, which has become one of your favorites over the years. While it retains the earthy and woody notes of ippi patchouli that have become cult, the eau de parfum claire is lighter and more sparkling at the top (citrus, mandarin leaf, water flower). Its heart is softened with apricot, wild berries and tiare flower, to finish with a gourmand base note with praline whose scent evokes almond and roasted sugar. This new formulation reveals a sunny, earthy and gourmand wake, designed as a tribute to its elder sister. The bottle is just as refreshing thanks to its golden drops that flow like rain after a storm.
What do you think of perfume variations? Have you ever smelled the version eau de parfum ippi patchouli clair?
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