Cosmetics Design spoke to Carina Cavazza, the company’s creative director to find out more about the brand’s ‘gourmet’ approach to developing its extensive line of products.
In this question and answer interview we find out about the philosophy of the brand, what makes it stand out, the challenges in building and expanding the brand and what the company is looking to achieve in the future.
What is the basic philosophy of the brand?
La Pasionaria was born out of the passion we feel for perfumes and cosmetics. We made a powerful decision 17 years ago, when there were not many products we now call "gourmet." We decided to work with cuisine scents and bring them, and all their benefits and impressions, to the world of cosmetics. For this reason, our first line was called Aromas de la Despensa (Cupboard Aromas). In Spanish, the term "cupboard" takes us back in time, to a place where ingredients were simpler, nobler, and also natural.
Our first products were made of coconut, almonds, honey, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, green tea, grape, cinnamon, and apple. That was our first step and, as the saying goes, "when a door opens, a thousand windows open," so we were overtaken by the scents that have to do with our geographic location, like Patagonia rosehip, yerba mate, dulce de leche, jacaranda, our national flowers, and working with them provided an identity to our brand and defined it abroad as a souvenir from Argentina.
We are always working with our customer service teams and with the texts on our packaging so as to bring the three pillars of the perfume industry together: aroma, word, and emotion. To us, this is the only way of working with aromas and anchoring them in our olfactory memory. We believe in the benefits of aromas and we enjoy promoting the use of different fragrances for different moments. We are convinced that they have a strong effect on emotions. Our stores display a very broad spectrum of aromas, and we love letting our customers experience the different scents.
What are the real strengths of the brand?
The strengths of our brand are quality, formulas, care, product presentation, and, above all, customer service. Such joint works stems from an idea and, if at each stage, each manufacturing, production, and sales team works with respect, care, and responsibility, our products will reach customers with their scent unchanged, and this goes beyond aromas. Our motto is Nothing without Joy. But this is not only about appearances or store windows, it is present in every process. And we believe this is perceived in our products.
What is unique about your formulations and why?
Everyone in the perfume industry should work with the aromas of our places of origin. And of our childhood. And of our culture. This makes our proposal special. Unlike any other proposal. In addition to a fine aroma, we have discovered many benefits in Malbec grapes, antioxidant properties in yerba mate, our national drink, and nutrients in dulce de leche. These aromas open up emotions attached to tango, our dance. And then, we work with paraben-free ingredients, vegetable bases, natural exfoliating agents, and use non-animal test methods and internationally-approved ingredients.
What is the stand out for your packaging and why?
Our name, colors, and design accompany and reflect the same history, passion, simplicity, strength, black and white hues, classic and vintage style, words. Our stores also display an exclusive design. They include two or three noble and classic materials, white hues, wood, chalky ceramics, iron. Everything tells the same story. Like our products. When we started designing them, our slogan was 1942. Hand-made paste soap mold, glass jars, gift boxes.
In addition to meaning passion for something, Pasionaria is also a plant native to South America that has exotic flowers and grows wild in our fields, and this is also reflected in the flowers of our packaging.
What has been the most challenging aspect of getting the brand to market and building recognition?
Our greatest challenge was to reach airports, first-class hotels, and places reserved for international brands. Also, undoubtedly, our first exports. Another challenge was to enter the Japanese market, which is so demanding that it has forced us to change some of our ingredients and reformulate products, which we did gladly because we knew it meant improving them.
What will the future hold for the brand? What are your ambitions?
Growing abroad and growing, always growing. This year, we have worked very hard at a local level and, in addition to cosmetics, perfumes, and home fragrances, we have developed a line of homewear, clothes, and accessories. We believe that the Pasionaria concept may extend to many products and spaces. And we have been warmly welcomed and captured by foreign markets. Broadening such markets is our next step.