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5 Questions With: Gauri Pawar, Marketing Manager, Iberchem India

To conclude our special report on India, we sat down with Gauri Pawar, marketing manager at Iberchem India, to talk about local trends and her personal tastes in fragrances.

How important are fragrances in your daily life?
I think that a perfume is definitely one of the beauty products that most defines someone’s style. Therefore, choosing which one to purchase is important and should be done carefully. For me, my perfume is almost like an extension of my personality. In general, I’m a joyful and lively person, but at the same time very discrete. I guess this is why I tend to like aquatic and fruity fragrances that are light and fresh but also subtle and delicate.

What do you like the most about your job?
Working in the labs of a fragrance house is almost like being in a time machine: every scent you smell takes you back to a specific memory. Sometimes it brings you joy, sometimes it makes you feel nostalgic. Sometimes it also makes you remember things you’d completely forgotten about, or even takes you right back to places where you’d smelled those scents.

How would you describe India, olfactively speaking?
Smells are in my opinion one of the elements that most defines a country. When it comes to India, the olfactive panorama is quite large and diverse. From the smoky scent of agarbattis to the sweet and milky one of prasad, the rich smell of nargis and the earthy notes of mehendi, the variety is wide and unique. I could go on like this for hours. All these smells are one of the many reasons why I like my country.

Which note or ingredient do you think is a must for fine fragrances in India?
I would say citrus notes. Just have a quick look at local brands and you’ll see that citrus notes are in pretty much every one of them. In fact, citrus notes are used not only in fine perfumery but also in just about everything fragrant.

As a marketing expert, this interview wouldn’t be complete without asking you about the current trends in India. What do you think they are?
In general, most people are fond of iconic and classic perfumes like Cool Water, Drakkar, 1 Million and so on. However, like pretty much everywhere else in the world, consumers are starting to appreciate niche and exotic fragrances. You have to keep in mind that India is currently in a developing phase and that western influence is only starting to gain in popularity. When it comes to personal care fragrances, they mostly revolve around floral notes, but once again, due to the western influence, people are becoming more disposed to try exotic and premium fragrances. “Affordable luxury” is definitely leading the market right now in India.