Perfumers and marketers continually look for inspiration and new ingredients. Following the trend to spicy and woody scents, saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, is making a comeback, particularly in fine fragrance. There have been quite a few new launches that highlight the luxury ingredient such as Byredo Black Saffron, which I mentioned in my Black is Still Black post, and Byredo Bullion.
Rose an already popular flower in fragrance, seems to be the trendy combination of choice. The Fragrance Kitchen introduced fifteen exclusive fragrances, two of which feature saffron – War of the Roses and Scent In A Bottle. Grossmith London recently launched the Black Label Collection and Saffron Rose is one of four scents, which is described as a “wonderfully rich and opulent scent.”
In flavors, saffron has long been used in cooking and gives food the golden yellow-orange hue. Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boite Biscuits & Spices uses saffron in six of his forty-one different blends – N.19 Salvador, N.20 Dali, N.21 Moruno, N.25 Escabeche, N.30 Mousa and N.33 Mishmish. Cat Cora’s Kitchen by Gaea is a new line of five Greek, saffron-based herbal teas. The flavors are Greek Herbal Tea with thyme, rosemary and saffron; Greek Green Tea with ginger, licorice and saffron; Greek Herbal Tea with honey, orange and saffron; Greek Herbal Tea with mint, lemongrass and saffron; and Greek Herbal Tea with cinnamon, cloves and saffron. Saffron has even trickled into vodka. Saffron Vodka by Sub Rosa Spirits is distilled with eight spices – “toasted cumin, lemony coriander, a hint of ginger, and just a touch of heat and the aromatics of saffron.”
Keep your eyes peeled as saffron emerges in new flavor and fragrance products. Have you noticed any new products with saffron? Tried any new dishes from chefs using saffron in unexpected places?
When you ask my kids, “What’s mommy’s favorite color?” without hesitation they will answer “black.” Perhaps growing up in NYC is where I learned to love black. My entire wardrobe is black. However, when I was growing up as a child, they didn’t make black clothes for babies or children. It was considered taboo. Today my daugther’s wardrobe consists of a variety of fashionable black clothes from head to toe. Sadly but fittingly, when my father passed away a year and a half ago, my daughter wore a silky black blouse, black skirt, black tights and black patent leather shoes to the funeral. When asked by a guest, did I buy this outfit specifically for the occasion, I replied “no, fortunately we had it.”
While on the subject of fashion…the LBD never goes out of style and is constantly being reinvented through new materials and designs. Tonight I had dinner with my family in Ridge Hill (new shopping center in Yonkers) and I happened to pass a White House / Black Market shop. I hate shopping, but was familiar with the store (my close friend raves about it), so I went in. I have to admit the “black” attracted me to the store. To my surprise, they had some very nice clothes. The materials, textures, and designs were classic yet contemporary and well tailored. The concept was simple, the clothes were merchandised well and the staff was friendly. The store offers black and white clothes and each season they focus on an accent color such as red, wine, and now metallic gold / silver for the holidays. I walked away with a new black and white patterned dress and the store gained a new customer. I think I’ll be back.
Moving to packaging…when I was in art school at Washington University in St. Louis (many years ago) we had an advertising project to design a new dog food package for Purina. Purina invited us to present our concepts. At the time, I designed a sleek black package. This was unheard of – food wasn’t ever packaged in black, not even dog food. Flash forward. Here are just a few examples of current black dog food packages …Walmart Pure Balance, Merrick Grain Free and ProBiotic Live.
Black is now a standard packaging color in beauty care products. About seven years ago I remember when black was the “it” package color and naming convention in men’s fine fragrance with the likes of Polo Black and Double Black, Kenneth Cole Black and Vintage Black, and Kiton Black.
The English word black isn’t good enough and the newest buzzword is “Noir” (black in French). A few new honorable mentions are Chanel Coco Noir, which the company describes as “nocturnal Baroque – a celebration of Gabrielle Chanel’s use of black and Venice’s influence on her designs and her life,” Tom Ford Noir and Agent Provocateur Pétale Noir.
I’ve had Trendincite LLC for 7 years and I’ve just now decided to move into the 21st century by having a blog. Who knows what’s next? I could have a twitter account, an IPhone, IPad, or an e-mail address that isn’t aol. My underlying belief is “if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it.”
As some of you know I pay attention to details and I’m a perfectionist or at least I try to be, particularly when I write. There were a few reasons I didn’t want a blog… 1) it adds more things to do to my never ending list, 2) it requires me to write in 1st person with no editors to review my work, 3) it’s not scripted or researched compared to my business writing and last but not least, 4) it might be boring. Anyhow, here it is.
For a person who professionally follows trends and enjoys new products and experiences, I’m afraid of technology. No matter what industry you’re in, technology is what propels products and services to move forward. I do appreciate this. However, I have no interest in having the latest or the greatest new gadget. I still have my Blackberry Bold 9930 and I’m not embarrassed to use it.
Two years ago my husband gave me an IPhone for my birthday. Knowing me so well, he paid in full so that he didn’t have to change my plan just in case I didn’t want to make the change. I’m in trends, so naturally I should have excitedly opened the phone right away and never looked back. What did I do? I stared at the apple logo on the wrapped package for quite some time and then apologetically said thank you, but no thank you. You know why? I was afraid to make the change when I didn’t need to. I have too many distractions in life already and I can’t keep up with what I do have. I didn’t want all of the great bells and whistles. I want simplicity and efficiency. I like typing on my Blackberry instead of a touch screen and it meets all of my basic professional and personal needs for now – calendar, address book, e-mail, text, camera etc. Technology requires embracing change. It’s constantly being updated and unless my needs aren’t being met, I don’t see a reason to embrace change.
My final thought…although brand loyalty is hard to come by these days (because there are way too many choices), I can understand why consumers stay with a product or service because it meets their needs at the time.