Historically, perfumes have always been one of the favorite targets of counterfeiters. In an old survey promoted by the French Institute of Industrial Statistics it turned out that already in 1995 more than 80% of French perfume companies had experienced problems with counterfeiting. (1)
More recently, according to the Italian Patent and Trademark Office, between 2008 and 2012 the Italian Trade Agency ordered over 200 seizures for counterfeited perfumes, accounting for more than 6 million items and almost 115 million euros. (2)
Nowadays the situation has not changed. In fact, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) reports that, in terms of the number of seizures, fragrances are still one of the top product categories most subject to counterfeiting and piracy. (3)
It must be kept in mind that the confiscation of illegal products could happen also for other reasons than infringement, which consists in the copy of models, design, and formulas, protected by Intellectual Property Rights. A genuine supply chain could be altered also by thefts of original perfumes and due to product diversions. In this last case the legitimate distributor sells to an illegitimate retailer. This way original fragrances end up being marketed in an unauthorized market.
All this puts in danger customers, producers, and public authorities. Often fake perfumes are not tested and might contain unapproved dangerous toxins and stabilisers causing skin rashes, asthma, sinus problems and more. Inevitably, a low-quality product will negatively influence the brand name and reputation. Finally, the sales of illicit fragrances result in lower governments’ tax collection, which instead falls into the hands of international crime gangs who use the profits to foster other forms of illicit trade including people, drugs, and weapons. (4)
To overcome this problem Authena created a revolutionary platform able to grant authenticity, end-to-end traceability, and integrity of every single perfume bottle. This technology provides each item with a unique blockchain-encrypted passport that can be verified instantly with tap of a smartphone. Some Masque Milano fragrances are already exploiting the advantages of this solution and, through the App Authena Fragrances, its customers can directly interact with their favorite perfumes, check their authenticity, and learn about their olfactory characteristics, whilst rating and saving them in personal libraries. At the same time Masque stepped up from competitors, increased brand loyalty and disposes of unprecedented market and customers analytics. In fact, brands are given access to a powerful dashboard to monitor in real time the entire product value chain, from their warehouse to their distributors and final markets. This is allowing them, as never before, to detect stolen and diverted shipments.