Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lightning Strikes: New Fragrance for a Cyber-Celebrity

I’ve always liked the idea of creating a fragrance based on a character in an electronic game. I wrote a Lara Croft brief based on Tomb Raider when I was working with DigiScents, Inc. back in the dot com days. The project—like DigiScents itself—ended up going nowhere, but it brought me the good fortune of meeting natural perfumer Mandy Aftel. 

Japanese software company Square Enix is about to roll out a new iteration of its fabulously successful role-playing game called Final Fantasy. FFXIII goes on sale next month in Japan and arrives in the United States in March. Square Enix has regularly cross-marketed its game into movies and merchandise; take a look at these videos for the new FFXIII Elixer softdrink.

Now comes word that the company is also launching a character fragrance, an EDT called Lightning, named after ”the most powerful woman in the entire [Final Fantasy] series.” The line is priced like real juice; 50 ml lists for $82 and retails for $66. This is no $4 Burger King promotional stunt.
So what does Lightning smell like? Well, here’s the fragrance description:


(Don’t worry: it’s written in Ingredient Voice, the universal language of perfume marketing.)

Here’s what it looks like:

Once again, Japan is leading the way in olfactory innovation.


Nathan Branch said...

I love the idea of a fragrance based on a virtual celebrity -- the character will always stay true to any marketing plans, with no pesky child custody battles, head shaving incidents or paparazzi screaming matches to sully the consumer fantasy.

And those bottles -- I love! I love!

Avery Gilbert said...

Nathan Branch:

I had a vague sense of deja vu after uploading the Lightning post last night. This morning I remembered Rei Toei, the Japanese virtual celebrity in William Gibson's sci-fi novel Idoru. The story revolves around an aging rocker who intends to marry this super-popular AI construct.

I'm a big Gibson fan: the consensual hallucination of cyberspace and all that. And of course where the virtual and the fleshly meet there is great opportunity for perfume.

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Is the fragrance meant to virtual people?
For those we met on line but never seen in real person?
It would be a great christmas gift for a friend of mine. She owns a perfume blog but somehow she vanished.
No entries, no e-mails...
I have never met her personally but we had a huge exchange of e-mails...

Avery Gilbert said...

+ Q Perfume:

For me, one of the unexpected pleasures of blogging is that it leads to meeting new people in, uh . . . real reality. It's happened several times now. Definitely keeps things interesting. Not that I'm suggesting anything. Okay, maybe I am. At any rate, too bad your virtual friend vanished. Maybe she wasn't real to begin with--just a computer program written by an undergraduate at MIT who won a bet with his dorm buddies when you fell for it. There, doesn't that make you feel better?

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