Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Mother Land: a trip to Symrise

A hearty "Thank You!" to Karen & Karen of Sniffapalooza for putting together this most excellent adventure at Symrise. Themes around Russia, this year's focus among the rapidly growing BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations. Sorry, this is just a quick blast before I compose my thoughts as I have a major deadline looming, but Sniffapalooza and Symrise put together a most excellent treat. I will elaborate at a later date.

Did you know that Chanel #5 isn't even in the top 30 fragrances? Or that Moscow Rouge is the scent of pre-glasnost babushkas? One can only imagine this scent had some creative uses - in Venedikt Erofeev’s Moscow Ring, the narrator describes a spectrum of cocktails based on various combinations of ingredients such as red wine, vodka and "deodorant for the feet". (I couldn't find a quote online, but apparently Tania Sanchez has read the book, and uses it as evidence of the low toxicity of aroma chemicals.

"In Russia, we do not have condoms. We use onions."

The lovely ladies of symrise presented some compositions on a Russian theme including the breathtaking but unfortunatly named Baby Swan. (aka Ugly Duckling?) Two variations on the theme of nature in the guise of Red Summer were outstanding; a larger than life feminine: large red berries splattered across the windshield of a limousine, Matt Damon asking "How do you like them berries?" before straddling your face for a demonstration. That kind of berries.

The masculine was much tamer in comparison with the Red Summer masculine taking on the guise of a radiant herbacious composition with just a hint of cassis to keep it modern.

Of course, marketing to a Russian audiences poses it's own challenges as exemplified in Victor Pelevin's book Generation P (alternately translated as Babylon).
To keep things simple, I now present to you, an Israeli ad for Pelevin's book about translating American ads for a Russian audience.

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