Rook Perfumes Turns Fragrance Discovery on its Head
Luxury British brand Rook Perfumes has launched a Scent Experiment series to shake up how scents can be experienced and perceived, tapping into novel storytelling and engagement strategies that lead to discovery and sales. When sensorial excitement is more in demand than ever before, the strategy offers inspiration to cross-category brands.
The first launched in May 2020, with founder Nadeem Crowe developing a secret scent called The Greengrocer. Samples (3ml) were sent out to consumers and brand fans who signed up to the experiment. They were encouraged to create their own stories inspired by the blend, having not received any prior introductory notes or explanatory introduction. “As each sample arrived, people created images, videos and stories which they shared on Instagram. They told me about any places or memories the scent evoked and made a list of notes they perceived,” said Crowe.
The scent was inspired by Middle Eastern greengrocer stalls, where crates of fruits, vegetables and spices release their fragrance under the heat of the hot sun. “Everyone picked up at least a few of the notes but they applied them to their own stories and memories,” said Crowe, who pointed to the sense of disappointment consumers can feel when unable to find the brand’s story in the scent. The Greengrocer was so successful, a small batch of 20 is now on sale thanks to demand.
The second edition Flaming Dandelion is underway, with Crowe creating a unique scent inspired by British photographer Rankin’s image of a dandelion on fire. Samples were sent to members of the fragrance community, who have already contributed notes of teak, soft smoke, toasted marshmallow and musk.
In our Experimental Scent: Refiguring Fragrance report, we explore how in our increasingly digital world, physical, sensorial and meaningful experiences are more coveted than ever before. Brands looking to excite in a category where typical discovery channels have been shaken up by the coronavirus should tap into the experience economy and explore how scent can be used as a vehicle for meaningful brand experiences across sectors.