Beauty industry veteran Caroline Fabrigas’ path in the beauty industry could be a primer for building a career from the ground up. She started her career in beauty as a counter manager for Estée Lauder, rising through ranks of some of the top beauty brands in the world.
With each position she gained experience in a facet of building global beauty business; from sales and training to marketing, operations, and finance. It is this corporate foundation perspective that positioned her to make the transition to a successful, well-rounded entrepreneur.
Today Caroline is the CEO of Scent Marketing Inc. & Co-founder Scent Invent Technology, and a leading authority in the art and science of scent marketing and branding.
We sat down with Caroline to chat about her career, the beauty industry and her plans for disrupting the fragrance category.
How did you get started in the beauty industry?
My passion for beauty was in part inspired by my mother, who was an avid skincare user and user of fine fragrance. Also, one of my favorite subjects at school was chemistry. I was naturally attracted to the beauty industry as it combined equal parts of art and science. My first job in beauty was as a counter manager for Estée Lauder. This was a wonderful way to learn all about the business of beauty with one of the top brands in the world and set the stage for future leadership roles in the beauty industry.
As a corporate executive what were some highlights of your 20-year career?
I’ve had the great fortune of working with many of the world’s best beauty brands and most esteemed leaders. With my strong foundation forged with Lauder I then had the opportunity to go on and work with CHANEL, LANCÔME, and CLARINS, PRADA, and co-creating FARMACY Beauty to name a few of the amazing companies I was honored to be a part of. With each of these experiences I was able to gain experience in every area of the global beauty business; from sales and training to marketing, operations, and finance. Every role that I undertook strengthened my skill set and perspective, and has allowed me to become a successful well-rounded entrepreneur.
Also, due to the many opportunities and also challenges I have faced as I’ve grown in my career, I now have a body of knowledge that I share every day with my clients as my firm supports clients with a wide array of services to help then build and launch their brands.
How has the industry changed since your early days?
There has never been a better time to be in the beauty industry than right now. Technology has given way to an entirely new crop of beauty pioneers. Anyone, anywhere with a beauty idea can communicate their vision and launch a brand. Consumers have endless access to information and products and have a vast appetite for newness and change.
Keeping pace with today’s shifting landscape with product innovation, speed to market, and education are more important now than ever before. Truly being a global citizen with a deep-rooted social conscience is also more critical now than in the past.
And, the importance of brick-and-mortar has changed and, as such, the emphasis on the consumer experience through multisensorial touch points is a powerful way to capture share of mind and wallet. I’ve learned how the power of sensory marketing can reinforce a brand’s point of difference and reason for being beyond measure.
How did your career evolve from corporate to being an entrepreneur?
While I was evolving in my chosen career as a beauty executive, my late husband Harald Vogt, a global advertising expert, founded Scent Marketing Inc. As a seasoned communications expert he believed early on that scent communication was as important as traditional forms of media. In 2007, he started one of the world’s first scent marketing firms with his first client Hyatt Place Hotels. When Harald sadly and unexpectedly died in 2010, the family business passed onto me.
In your words, what is scent marketing?
Scent marketing recognizes the power of scent to influence business and life. Scent specifically designed to align with a brand’s values has been proven to enhance brand identity, increase a product’s value proposition, extend a stay, prolong a visit, and augment client loyalty. Scent marketing not only enhances a consumer or guest experience but can also provide a lasting revenue stream for brands as the signature scent expands into scent extensions and a multitude of scent extensions. It’s wonderful to see the power that a signature scent, artfully crafted and perfectly delivered, can impact on a client’s brands, and to be a part of that growth is very fulfilling.
Who are some of your clients?
Over time I have diligently learned the art and science of scent marketing and am so excited by the progress we’ve made to now proudly include many other world-class brands as clients, such as 1 Hotel, Baccarat, Arlo, Auberge Resorts, H&M, North Face, Ride Cycle, and more to come along with the important expansion of Hyatt Place.
How has scent become part of the fabric of our day-to-day lives?
Becoming involved in Scent Marketing has allowed me to gain a total appreciation for the art of fragrance and the talented perfumers who translate our brand briefs into magical scented compositions that embody a brand. And, through my experience with scent marketing, I’ve come to see how scent impacts our lives at every level. It touches our emotions, provokes our memories and even enhances every experience making it richer and more multifaceted.
The rise in home fragrance, aromatherapy and even odor management are all avenues of growth for scent marketing.
You also have another business Scentinvent Technologies that is being positioned as the disruptor of the fragrance industry with new ways for consumers to use, wear and buy fragrance. Give us some insight into what that looks like?
While innovating with scent through scent marketing, I started to look at the fragrance market with my friend and industry colleague Abby Wallach. We both shared a mutual passion for beauty and fragrance and as we played and experimented with products we loved we realized that there was an opportunity to evolve the on the skin fragrance experience through new forms for a new fantasy.
It was then that we started formulating new scent substrates… utilizing my skin care background and understanding of formula development and Abby’s keen eye for trend spotting we created our first series of fragrance innovations. After a great deal of testing we decided we were ready to launch our first product Linger Fragrance Primer. Rated a top 13 innovation at Cosmoprof North America, and currently nominated as a finalist for the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award for 2019.
We are also finalizing several new substrates for launch later this spring under ScentInvent Technologies our new B2B platform.
How will your Scentinvent’s B2B business help to power up innovation for the beauty industry?
ScentInvent Technologies aims to bring on the skin scent innovation to companies around the world. We are currently working work with large and Independant beauty firms as well as retailers and companies from various disciplines. Our goal is to help everyone benefit from the power of scent to reap the rewards that it can bring as a continued and new revenue stream with existing as well as new fragrances. It’s basically a fresh look at the category to inspire the consumer to make fragrance a part of their lifestyle.
Our formulations are creative, colorful and highly Instagrammable. We intend to help take the fragrance industry to a new level of excitement and fantasy… beyond the bottle and out of the box.
What are your personal goals for 2019?
Spend time traveling with family and enjoying these last few pre-college years while everyone is still at home – being an entrepreneur allows me the flexibility to manage my own schedule and make this goal a reality.
Continue to enjoy my volunteer work with industry organizations such as fashion group international and continue to mentor our youth through speaking at college campuses and also continue as a mentor to those coming up through the ranks for the beauty industry and lend a helping hand and friendly ear to help then reach their goals and dreams.
Wellness has always been an interest for me so continuing to experiment with new tools to enhance my routines will be a fun pastime this year.
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