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Epic-Scents To Develop Mega Man Scent, Doing It Wrong

In all fairness, my knowledge on perfumery comes from this movie, while Epic-Scents has the Bedoukian Research Inc behind it, all 40 years of fragrance development. But the way I see it, they really are going about it the wrong way. If you want to know what Mega Man smells like, you don’t ask other people; you play Mega Man.

At last week’s San Diego Comic-Con, Epic-Scents announced its partnership with Capcom to develop scents based on their video game characters. So far, we’ve seen two characters get their own fragrance: Mega Man and Proto Man. They are currently in little $3 air fresheners and should be available nationwide in fall.

Jim Kavanaugh, Epic-Scents project director, explained the process to Polygon:

To create the fragrances for Mega Man and Proto Man, Epic-Scents first asked gamers familiar with the two characters to help pinpoint their defining characteristics. Once defined, a team of chemists and perfumers worked to translate those characteristics and ideals into “notes.”

The idea here seems to be to come up with a fragrance that “is an experience of who the character is”, and not what Mega Man actually smells like (metal and paint comes to mind).

So Mega Man gets the “Cool Rush” fragrance with the following notes:

  • Purity – a fresh clear note like a tropical breeze
  • Masculinity – a musky note
  • Bravery – slight citrus notes

Proto Man gets a “kind of spicy because he’s a bit of a rebel” scent called “Apple Cinnamon”.

I’m sorry, but it’s like you’re not even trying.

Note that the team working on the scents do not appear to play Mega Man themselves. It’s all based on second-hand information, probably in the form of questionnaires. Perhaps if they make the team actually play the game, they’ll be able to develop a scent that is more like the Mega Man experience.

I like the concept, but I think approaching the subject matter from a perfume-making point of view is pointless, so you’ll just end up with a generic perfume no one “gets”. Case in point: citrus notes might be “brave” in perfumes, but no one is going to go “Mmmm oranges. Reminds me of how Mega Man saved that Sky Lagoon city.” My point is, making a generic perfume with the usual traditional notes and saying it represents Mega Man is just terribly gimmicky.

You just can’t compromise when you’re making fragrances of beloved video game characters. You can’t try to make a nice-smelling perfume of a character made of metal. I don’t care if he’s pure, he doesn’t smell like coconuts. You go all out; you make him smell like metal, paint, guns and the NES.

(via Polygon)

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