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I don't consider myself a very fashionable person. At times I make a point of studying fashion trends, always with perfume in mind. But I have long since concluded that my "way" into the world of perfume marketing will not be through fashion.

IF you are trying to develop a major marketing thrust for a new fragrance, it is probably essential to be well tuned to the world of fashion, at least as it exists in your market. Mature, married women may not share the fashion interests of newly minted professional women -- or teens -- but they certainly know what is "right," "appropriate," and fashionable in their own world.

But is there a niche, somewhere, for non-fashion fragrances? Fragrances appreciated not for their brand name, bottle or fancy packaging but for the scent itself? (A friend assures me that this is impossible!)

Perhaps I'm a bit of a dreamer but I CAN visualize a rebirth of perfumes that are desired for their scent alone. I can visualize women and (to a lesser extent) men who would wear a fragrance because THEY decided they liked it, unaided by advertising and the opinions of fashion editors.

This "niche to be" is important for the small time creators of perfume simply because they generally don't have the time, money or graphic eye to be fashionable -- yet that does nothing to prevent them from creating outstanding scents.