Roberta Cerizza is from the newer cult of perfumer designers who come into the business with an existing family legacy. Having youth and a love for travel as her assets, what exactly does she bring with her to make her fragrances unique? Well let’s find out from Robert herself
ParfumPlus (PP) : Roberta, welcome to Dubai. Tell us how do you find Dubai and what made you want to launch your fragrance line
“Esse Strikes The Notes” here?
Roberta Cerizza (RC) : Well, I love Dubai. I have been here before. It is one of my favourite destinations. For every perfumer this place is a challenge, because of its fragrance culture. It is a very demanding market. If your fragrance is accepted here, it means you have done a good job. Middle East, like France and Italy is considered to be the fragrance hub.
PP : I am sure you are aware of the love of Oud that people in this region have. Would you as someone who is not from the region be able to excite the fragrance lovers in this region?
RC : Well, so far the feedback has been pretty good. Everybody has liked the concept and the fragrance. Prior to this, we have launched the same line in 16 other countries, and it has received good feedback. It has even won the FIFA awards in Russia.
All over we got re-orders, which is encouraging. The fact is, we come to know if the product is really good or not on the basis of the re-orders.
I personally like the idea of launching products exclusive in a region according to the peoples’ taste of that region, because every region has a different requirement. Not everybody likes the same fragrance. But though our fragrance line has been the same, the people have given very good feedback, especially for the Priscilla and Miranda fragrances, which they feel will be the bestsellers here because it goes with the local preference and taste.
PP : Next, can you tell our readers about your journey.
RC : Well, I am not a perfumer myself. The juice is created by my family, my father, my cousins, my uncles, who are all perfumers. My interest in perfumes started when I was very young. I watched my father creating perfumes, and I used to wait for him to call me to smell and choose the best. Since I have grown among perfumers, I wanted to tell the world about my family and their love for perfumes.
In Italy, it is not usual to find a family like this which is following the tradition of perfumery for 3 generations. And I want the world to know about it. Since I have studied Marketing, I decided to market the product. So my role here is to launch the brand and to choose the 4 best fragrance from 300 plus fragrances that my family has created, and then handle the export division. That is how Priscilla, Miranda, Anita, and Donatella were born.
The products are inspired by fashion and Italian design.
PP : You have an unusual name in “Esse Strikes The Notes” and also the product names that you just mentioned. Is there a story to it?
RC : We are based in Milano. S is the first letter of the name of the women who inspired the project. This woman has the same experience like me. She depicts women of my generation. She is narrating the story of my life, my experience, my childhood, my relationship that I shared with my grandfather as a child, who wants to tell the family tradition to the world – a family with three generations passionately involved in the art of perfume making.
However, the fragrances is not named after me because S is different. She is characterized by a very strange personality. She is bold, but she is mysterious. She is predictable and unpredictable. She is both – black and white. The 4 fragrances represent her 4 different characters.
Priscilla : It is the S’s bold and ambitious side.
Anita : The frail and shy side.
Donatella : She hates the person that loves her and she loves the person who hates.
Miranda : Is the elegant side, the elegance of the look, the elegance to move, to write but above all the elegance of S‘s mind.
Well, we all know there are too many fragrances around. So chances are that they can get lost. Also there are a few perfumes which customers buy after sniffing the smell. And then there are these niche perfumes, that people buy because of the story behind the fragrance. I wanted the person who buys “Esse Strikes The Notes” to buy it because she relates to the character. That is why it has these distinct names with distinct characters. In the niche segment, the customers don’t just buy the product, but they buy concept too, they buy the story behind the product. I like it when the customer tries to identify herself with the product. That is what I have tried to do by giving each fragrance a name and a character.
My next challenge was the packaging. I used the marketing theory that I had studied, which was to attract the customer from far. Without smelling the perfume, just by its look, the person should come towards it. To make that possible I knew I could not play with the bottle, because a bottle shape is predictable. It can be either a square, rectangle or oval. But if I had to do something different with the cap, I could hit the bulls eye. How can I make the cap unusual and call the customer to the shelf? After much thought and effort, I came up with this black cap look which I thought will catch the attention. You will see, that is not common to have a cap like this. And people have liked the look of the bottle and the packaging.
PP : From here, what next?
RC : Currently we have a presence in 16 countries. By the end of the year, we want to be present in 26 countries. After 2 years we will launch a new collection with different colours, other than red, blue, yellow and green, but the concept and the name will remain the same. But before the new collection, we are going to launch the fifth fragrance in few months, may be by Oct 2019.
PP : Will you too want to become a perfumer soon?
RC : It is difficult. You need to have at least 10 to 15 years in the lab to be a good perfumer. There are 3000 and more raw materials. You need to understand each of them very well and that takes a lot of time. So I am happy to be taking care of the brand and marketing it.