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Drug Company Develops Sealed Fragrance Sampler For Magazines

January 6, 1993

BOSTON (AP) _ If the arrival of your favorite magazine means being assaulted by the aroma from perfume ads, take heart. A new product that evolved from medicinal skin patches is being used to market fragrances.

The product seals scents inside thin foil packs that consumers can open to get a whiff of the perfume or cologne.

Thermedics Inc., the manufacturer of the packs, got into the fragrance business as an offshoot of skin patches it makes for drug doses and dressing wounds in hospitals. Thermedics chemists found they use the packs to hold perfume without leaks.

Thin as an address label, the scent packs will debut in the March issue of Vogue in an advertisement for the Giorgio fragrance Wings.

″We think all these innovations are important,″ said Anne Fuchs, the magazine’s publisher. ″It always has been a problem if the fragrance leaks. We don’t want any readers not feeling positive about the magazine because of a scent.″

The transformation of a biomedical product into a perfume sampler took nearly five years for Woburn-based Thermedics, which markets no other such consumer products.

Matt Bootman, director of new product development at Thermedics, said the company saw an opportunity after seeing news stories in which consumers complained about the fragrant strips in magazines.

Bootman said the cost of the Thermedics product is competitive with that of other forms of fragrance samples on the market, which was pioneered 10 years ago by Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Arcade Inc.’s Scent Strips brand.

Arcade officials did not return repeated phone calls for comment

″A number of people are coming out with new technologies because of the leakage the consumers have objected to so strongly,″ said Annette Green, president of the Fragrance Foundation.

Still, she said, the encapsulated fragrance samplers have been the most successful means of marketing perfumes.

″People love to be able to try a fragrance in the privacy of their own home or office,″ Green said.

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