“All-inclusive”: Perfumery confronts inequalities

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In the last issue of Nez, we published an investigation devoted to the topics of diversity, equality and inclusion in a perfume industry known as highly hierarchical, which often produces marketing campaigns using the watchwords of “exclusivity” and “privilege”. In our article, by presenting the diversity demands of several actors in the industry, we wanted to know how the new claims stemming from the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements were seen and experienced by perfumers, schools or companies.

These movements have indeed revealed to the whole world the role of a new fluid speech – dematerialised, connected, shared –, and its functions of expression, socialisation and denunciation in the contemporary space. Both movements were moments of citizen journalism and catharsis. They have highlighted, with their global reach, the processes of domination rooted not only in the objective distribution of wealth and power, but also in representations, in works of art, in the banality of daily consumption, and why not, in perfume.

The deconfined voices resonated in many networks where the speech of the subalterns was suddenly read in a new light, that of the reconfiguration of unconscious hierarchies. The perfume industry has not escaped this phenomenon: for some time now, different discourses have been heard, inciting us to question the contradictions of the industry, and more precisely its lack of diversity and the inequalities it needs to end.

In order to complete our investigation, we will publish online, in the coming days, a series of interviews allowing us to look back on a certain number of experiences, and to envisage a better and more inclusive perfumed future, in order to allow us to continue to share the beauty of fragrances and the emotions they bring.

“All-inclusive”: Perfumery confronts inequalities – Summary

Illustration: Adèle Chevara for Nez


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