By Marie Redding, Associate Editor | December 23, 2014 – Beautypackaging.com
Jamie Foxx, currently starring in the Annie movie, visited Sue Phillips at her new ‘Scentarium’ in NYC.
Typically, when a celebrity needs a gift, a brand might receive a call from an assistant – or even be asked to meet with several members of the A-list client’s entourage. Jamie Foxx recently visited The Scentarium in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood personally, and stayed for a lesson on fragrance development.
Sue Phillips, creator of the custom-blend perfumerie, Scenterprises, opened The Scentarium in New York City this past spring, and the investment seems to be paying off. “I have been creating custom fragrances for six years, and had turned my apartment in NY into a fragrance studio, which wasn’t ideal for clients,” she says.
Setting up a retail space was essential to growing Phillips’ business. “Now, the studio is on the lower level in this great neighborhood, so you can walk right into the relaxing oasis I was able to create – no one ever wants to leave.”
Foxx’s assistant reached out to Phillips, and did the initial legwork to create a scent – and Foxx insisted on coming in himself, to ‘tweak it’ personally.
“He was charming,” Phillips says. “He wanted to learn all about the olfactive families, and create something really unique.” (Foxx is also charming – and entertaining – in the new movie remake of Annie – he plays Will Stacks, a NYC tycoon and politician who takes in the famous orphan.)
Attracting an A-List Clientele
Phillips enjoys when a celebrity like Foxx takes an interest in her fragrances, but says she doesn’t have a PR team reaching out to attract the attention of celebrities. “Foxx’s assistant found me on Google,” she says. “We’ve had quite a few celebrity clients over the years, and they have all found me on the Internet, or through word of mouth,” she adds.
Phillips has also worked with a few sports stars and rappers, which make for an odd mix of fragrance fans. “It’s funny, many of our customers are men,” Phillips says.
The fragrance development experience at The Scentarium includes taking a ‘scent personality quiz,’ which Phillips created with a psychologist, and a profile test to determine a client’s favorite scent category. “There are lots of fragrance options out there, but no one does a workshop like we do,”Phillips says. “ I like to call it “educational scenter-taining – it’s interactive, educational and entertaining. I make sure everyone enjoys the experience of creating their own custom scent.”
The Packaging Matters
Phillips’ business is based upon the fragrance itself – but the packaging isn’t an afterthought.
A hand-blown, heavyweight refillable bottle made from deep blue Murano glass, with a bulb-shaped atomizer is one of the elegant options she offers clients, and the one Foxx chose.
Foxx ended up buying an entire liter of the scent he created, telling Phillips, “I want a year’s supply.” Phillips packaged up the Murano glass bottle with instructions on how to fill it at home, to make sure it wouldn’t leak while he was travelling.
A Rewarding Job
When Foxx’s assistant said that everyone had loved the fragrance, Phillips was glowing. She says, “I love hearing how much a fragrance can make people smile – it’s wonderful.”
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