No matter which basketball team nabs the NCAA tournament crown, Masik Collegiate Fragrance aims to be a winner.
Created in 2008 by Katie Masik, the fragrance company now sports the licenses for 20 colleges on its roster. Next month as March Madness culminates, Masik adds a Syracuse University men’s and women’s scent designed to appeal to Orange basketball’s obsessed fans who “bleed orange.” Seven other NCAA tourney teams also have their own fragrances from Masik.
Masik said sports success can produce a spike in sales, as witnessed last fall following Florida State’s impressive football season. Her bestseller is Alabama, another football powerhouse.
Masik, a former chemical engineer, hit upon the idea of collegiate fragrances as a way to capture the link between emotions and smell. “I always loved fragrances, but so many in the market center around designers and celebrities,” said the Bucknell University graduate. “In the industry, they say fragrances are aspirational. I took a different approach in developing the collegiate line in that it was designed to celebrate a part of each and every one of us as a fan, student or alumni of a university.”
She zeroed in on Penn State as her debut because of the large fan base. “Long after the days on campus come to an end, alumni and fans can smell that special scent and be reminded of that special time — the campus, the sporting events, the traditions and, most of all, the memories.”
Each college gets its own signature scent, inspired by what comes to mind when the school is mentioned and even the architecture associated with the campus. Syracuse, for example, naturally features orange zest combined with vetiver and muguet reflecting the campus’ Gothic buildings, while also capturing the chill associated with the frigid temperatures in upstate New York. The fragrances are all created by Fragrance Resources.
Extensive testing is performed at each campus to select the right juice. A 25-person focus group helped pick the Syracuse men’s and women’s fragrances. In addition to boutiques and campus bookstores, Belk added fragrances corresponding to universities in its market last August and featured them in a fragrance look book. Sampling efforts will heat up at tailgating parties and via social media during football season.
While alumni comprise a large portion of sales for the 1.7-oz. fragrances retailing for $39.50, Masik hopes to add lighter and less expensive body spray targeted at students.