According to a report made by The Fragrance Foundation UK and ad agency M&C Saatchi, more and more people turn to fragrance as a way to boost their mood and bring normality back to life during this COVID-19 crisis. The duo discovered that around 11% of social media posts refer to using perfume and how these scents evoke memories. Some of these captions are quite funny, as they speak about people using perfume when walking the dog or going to the supermarket.

These findings overlap with the NGO’s first-ever campaign targeting a consumer audience, which was implemented as the organization’s way to make people rediscover the beauty of fragrances and how complex the relationship between them really is.

Suggestively titled “Fragrance lasts,” the campaign marks the first work to launch since The Fragrance Foundation UK has appointed the agency earlier this year. The London-based agency was chosen to drive sales and refresh the way people think about scent. The campaign feels fresh and distinctive, two features that are visible through a series of visuals that highlight the intimate relationship humans have with scents.

The NGO’s CEO, Linda Key Jackson, said: “This research clearly demonstrates the huge role that fragrance plays in people’s lives, in good times and bad, as well as the power of scent to evoke familiar memories and emotions — all things we’re aiming to communicate with our new campaign. Partnering with M&C Saatchi, we’ve developed a series of ads that tell the human stories of fragrance. It really reinforces the complex craft and alchemy that go into every bottle of fragrance, as well as the powerful memories that a scent can evoke.”

Based on the study, the agency played with the fact that every scent has its own story — from the way it is made to the way it makes one feel and the experiences they had while wearing the perfume. A series of prints were born, all carrying people’s olfactory experiences in their visual DNA. Besides featuring evocative imagery, the ads use distinctive typography. When viewed as a whole, the illustrations speak about different experiences, from losing a loved one to a memorable love story.

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Ben Golik, Chief Creative Officer, M&C Saatchi adds: “Having learned we can discern more smells than we can see colors, a campaign driven by copy felt like the best way to capture the complexity of scent. This brings poetry to a campaign that captures the romance of scent, but doesn’t shy away from the full gamut of emotions that fragrance can evoke.”

Sure, each experience has its own scent. Even the COVID-19 crisis can be smelled and seen; one of the ads features distanced typography to tell a romantic story that had to be put on pause because of the lockdown. The ads will run in key consumer press titles including Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times Style, Fabulous, and the Evening Standard. It ends by inviting people to share their own personal scent memories at


Client: The Fragrance Foundation UK

Agency: M&C Saatchi