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Markets & trends

Aptar unveils the secrets of perfume routine in Brazil

The Ritual Codex” comprises a variety of words and definitions describing the different gestures used to put on perfume according to the countries, environments, cultures, and climates. The repertory was set up by Aptar Beauty + Home, based on a study conducted among several consumer panels across the world, including in Brazil, in Sao Paulo and Fortaleza. Sabine Bouillet-Lubot, Business Development Director, and Carla Amado, Market Development Manager, deciphered it for Premium Beauty News.

Highest frequency of application

In Brazil, the relationship with perfume is influenced by the climate, among others. “It is very hot in most regions, in particular in the North, and this has an impact on perfume conception. All Brazilians pay particular attention to the perception of being clean and fresh,” explains Carla Amado. She describes an almost ancestral cultural behaviour inherited from the indigenous populations that would have a bath four or five times a day, and then adopted by the Portuguese.

Today, people still have a bath or shower two to three times a day, mainly in the north-eastern part of the country. All across the country, it is cultural to be clean, fresh, and smell good despite the heat. It not only has an impact on the perfume market, but also on deodorants, soap, body milk, oils, shampoos…” she explains.

Given this climate, most Brazilians turn to fresh fragrances and light perfumes like eaux de toilette or Eaux de Cologne, which they regularly reapply throughout the day. “It is in Brazil and the Middle East that the frequency of perfume application is the highest, compared to the rest of the world. For example, in France, people put on perfume once or twice a day on average, whereas in Brazil, they do it three to four times a day, at least,” adds Sabine Bouillet-Lubot.

A gesture acquired during childhood

Perfume application is very specific: it is always done with the hands.In the North-East, in particular, Brazilians put Eau de Cologne in their hands, and then they spread it on their bodies, necks, torsos, hair, and arms. No other culture involves applying perfume mainly with the hands,” claims Carla Amado.

In the Ritual Codex, this gesture is named Hakaressing. It corresponds to a succession of manly slaps on the body, the forearms, or the torso, in a regular, ritualized rhythm. “This routine helps feel fresh, but it also stimulates self-confidence,” reveals Carla Amado.

In Brazil, perfume application starts as soon as early childhood, through manual contact. The mother usually shares her Eau de Cologne with her children and rubs their bodies with it. In the Codex, this gesture is called frescanizing: apply a fragrance by friction with vigour and freshness, with the hands, as an expression of tender loving when done onto someone else.

A few changes

Although this very cultural tradition is deeply anchored in the culture and still widespread, today, Brazilian consumers prefer sprays for their convenience and more even product distribution.

As a result, Aptar’s strategy consists in offering solutions adapted to everyone’s practices. As regards Brazilian consumers, who like putting on perfume all over their bodies in quite a sensorial manner, Aptar suggests two complementary solutions:

- The Essencia Colonia spray, a system screwed on the bottle so the user can remove it if they want to, in order to get back to the traditional gesture
- The Precious spray, a “longtime” spray which covers the whole body with a mist effect and has the advantage of providing a more generous dose every time the valve is activated for an easier perfume application on the whole body, for those interested

In the long run, the spray is likely to completely replace manual application. We can feel this need on the market, as we saw it on European markets before. We tested both solutions in Brazil, and they were both immediately successful, because they are perfectly adapted to the traditional gesture. So, we have come up with two answers, Essencia Colonia, an accessible product, and Precious, for a more premium market,” explains Sabine Bouillet-Lubot.

The second market change might come from the interest in the more concentrated perfumes developed by global brands, but also major local brands well-established on this segment. The gesture will be impacted and might evolve towards a more targeted and accurate application, like that described by Scentango in the Codex. Aptar already offers several solutions to this gesture.

Kristel Milet


© 2017 - Brazil Beauty News -

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