Scent of homeland so very pleasantly sweet
American perfumer Sophia Grojsman names scent ‘Belaya Rus’
By Olga Khalezina
The Head of IFF was born in the village of Lyubcha, near Novogrudok, but has lived abroad for most of her life. However, Sophia’s feeling of nostalgia for her homeland has endured and, after creating such globally known perfumes as Lancome’s Tresor, her most recent perfume is devoted to Belarus. The fragrance is yet to be officially launched but, judging by her past success, is likely to be a fantastic promotion for our country.
Over the past two decades, our country has been steadily developing its own perfumery and cosmetics branch, with around twenty companies combining high quality and reasonable prices. In fact, many Belarusians prefer domestic brands to those from abroad.
“In recent years, our domestic perfume has significantly raised its profile, boasting improved quality — as confirmed by increasing consumer demand,” explains perfumer Vladislav Rekunov, the Director of the Belarusian Association of Perfumery and Cosmetics Producers. “Russia is our major buyer at present but Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are also keenly importing our fragrances. Imported products in local shops outnumber locally-made by 40 percent but, every year, sales of Belarus-made perfumes, eau de toilette and eau de cologne are rising.”
Belarus’ perfumery-cosmetic industry began in the early 1990s, with a team of perfumery specialists trained at the Belarusian State Technological University.
Personal and ‘named after’ perfumes
It’s become popular for perfumes to be created with the participation of a famous personality abroad: a showbiz star or, even, a politician. The trend is now gradually catching on in Belarus. “Many people are confused by the idea of ‘named after’ and personal perfumes, which are two different things,” explains Mr. Rekunov. “Personalised perfumes are created to order, especially for a particular person, after defining their own preferences. Our association has produced such aromas for several years, making exclusive scents for individuals, with production under laboratory conditions.”
He assures us that domestically produced fragrances on sale in the shops are of the best quality.
“The fashion for certain aromas leads to particular perfumes becoming popular,” believes the Deputy Marketing Director at Belarusian-French Dilis Cosmetic, Andrey Shaporov. “Light floral scents tend to be popular with Belarusian women while men prefer cool sport-like notes, with a citrus flavour. Interestingly, blue bottles sell more quickly among men — perhaps because this is a colour associated with freshness. However, eastern-style, evening aromas have recently become more popular.”
Reasonable pricing of domestically produced perfumes allows us to have perfume or eau de toilette for every occasion.
“We’re currently importing combinations of fragrances and bottles for future Belarusian perfume from abroad. We partially order cardboard packing in Belarus,” says Mr. Shaporov. “However, I think that, in the course of time, our produce will become completely import-substitutional.”
The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus has joined the Belarusian State Technological University in studying fragrances from Belarusian timber, since pine trees can yield a range of perfume components.
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