038 – Virginia Bonofiglio of FIT – An Education in Beauty

Virginia Bonofiglio

Learning a changing beauty industry with Virginia Bonofiglio …

Virginia BonofiglioVirginia Bonofiglio, Assistant Professor and Associate Chairperson of the Department, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), joins Karen Moon and Abby Wallach [Episode 25]  in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How Bonofiglio entered the beauty industry by accident like many people, working for a Swiss fragrance company because she spoke French, helping as a technician who could understand the French perfumer
  • Bonofligio reflects on that time as a very experimental time, built on small innovative companies
  • How she learned about the sense of smell, and how we can define what we smell, the memories it brings to mind, emotions, and how it is based on organic chemistry
  • How the fragrance industry is one of the most regulated industries, and how some things are no longer in use such as nitro musks, and materials from animals
  • The challenge is how you make things smell great utilizing mostly all the new potential ingredients and technology
  • How the fragrance engineering began with the Egyptians, with a fragrance smoke meant to speak with gods, gain confidence with people
  • Middle top and bottom based on evaporation rate and what hits the nose first, and how companies can now create fragrances that are more linear in nature
  • The fragrance process begins with the brief, consisting of cost structure, where the company want to sell it, what it should smell like — the perfumer reads it and works with people in the company to get a feel of what client wants, potentially taking years while perfumers no longer have luxury of time
  • Living with a scented life, and how Bonofiglio is seeing in the classroom the desire to be authentic, real and individualistic
  • What Madelaines (cookies) have to do with Proust and the fragrance industry
  • Challenging but exciting industry disruption in product development, new materials, with traditional materials being eliminated
  • How traditional marketing is over, the digital world rules
  • The consumer lives in a mobile world, and the role of influencers with enormous followings in the beauty industry
  • The consumer wants to know how and why and when products works, so beauty companies need to be more transparent
  • Students need to understand speed to market, social media, and how to be visualizing products like fragrances
  • Sustainability and social corporate responsibility is paramount in current education
  • Educating companies, and how FIT is trying to be one step ahead of them
  • Bio-hacking, and personalization of skin care and fragrance products
  • How skin is the body’s largest organ, and we need to take care of it because it takes care of the rest of the body
  • The need to look at psychographics far more than demographics
  • Everyone looks at heritage products
  • Bonofiglio’s most scentful memory, and how the most popular scent was patchouli oil with a woody musky smell, how she found a plant at the farmer’s market, grew it in the window, now has full grown bush in house that brings her back in the 60’s
  • Reverse mentorship, and one of her takeaways from students that shaped thinking was learning to text
  • The beauty industry’s understanding and addressing the needs of diversity the way it has

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