Interview with Linda Kramer, Assistant Vice-President for Ralph Lauren Fragrances {Perfume Q & A}



When Ralph Wild by Ralph Lauren first discreetly launched in late 2007, we immediately became aware of its existence as we got an email a few days before New Year revealing a certain sense of urgency from a young reader named Terra,

"I'm looking for a new perfume by Ralph Lauren that a friend said she found
in Macy's called Ralph Wild, and I can't seem to find anything about it
anywhere. Have you heard of it? I don't see it anywhere on your blog."

We were able to provide her with a link to Dillard's, where it was already in store, and to make an announcement illustrated with an early preview of the ad found on Sephora with model Amanda Charlwood but without any further details given about the new Ralph. Later we were able to do a brief review of the perfume which we thought was better than expected, offering a nice strawberry jammy quality, like a more laid-back and younger version of Miss Dior Chérie.

This time, Ralph Lauren has decided to launch an internet-only communication campaign, including a contest to win a Vespa, and this is why The Scented Salamander got the opportunity to interview assistant vice-president for Ralph Lauren Fragrances Linda Kramer who developed the fragrance together with Olivier Gilotin and Jim Krivda.

It is not easy to break the reserve of a corporate officer working for the mainstream fragrance industry, but Linda Kramer graciously accepted to answer some of our questions. We think this Q & A gives you some insights into how a prestige, more mass-marketed fragrance comes about and how it is conceived. For example, the design and packaging inspire the scent composition. If any young people are interested in becoming fragrance developers, you know what to expect.

And by the way, Lauren, which is mentioned in the interview, used to be a great perfume. Bring it back! Pauline adds "Ralph Lauren Blue is a great office scent!"




Perfume Q & A with Linda Kramer


1 - How did the creative team decide to express the idea of “wildness” in Ralph Wild?

The first step is to identify the key elements of the brand – This fragrance was designed to represent a girl who is spontaneous, fearless and confident. We also look at the imagery and the color of the packaging. Based on all of these elements of Ralph Wild, it was clear to us that we needed to create a fragrance that would make a bold statement but would also tie in the Ralph Wild Girl’s personality and the color of the packaging.

2- Juicy candied nuances and fruity-floral perfumes seem to be very popular nowadays, why do you think that is?

Fruity floral fragrances with candy-like and edible nuances are indeed very popular right now. The reason being is the comforting, familiarity of these notes as well as the nostalgic effect they have on us. These types of notes have the amazing ability to olfactively transport us back to the happy memories of our youth......

3 - What is your first perfume memory?

My first perfume memory is the smell of Lauren. Growing up I emulated my older sister and she wore Lauren. I can still remember the smell of it in the air as I watched her get ready to go out. Wearing it made me feel sophisticated and feminine.

4 - When did you know you wanted to go into fragrances?

When I was younger, I was fascinated with fragrance. I went to private school where I wore a uniform and wasn’t allowed to wear make- up, so fragrance was the only true way I could express myself. Not only was I was obsessed with trying new fragrances, I loved reading the fashion magazines to see the fragrance ads – the beautiful, seductive women, the elegant, elaborate packaging, the exotic imagery. It amazed me how a blend of certain ingredients could not only smell great, but could completely transport you to another place.

5 – What do you love most about your job as a fragrance developer?

What I love most about my job is the actual fragrance development itself. I enjoy interacting with the Perfumers and smelling new molecules/accords and brainstorming on new and different ingredient combinations. I also love working for such an iconic designer as Ralph Lauren. I am continually inspired by Mr. Lauren’s vision; his input in the development process is invaluable.

6 – Is it particularly challenging to work with a broad audience in mind?

I wouldn’t say it is challenging, it’s more about reminding yourself that the fragrances you are working on aren’t being developed for your personal use. It’s very important to keep an open mind when developing, especially when working with notes/ingredients that you might not personally like, but you know are right for the fragrance.

7 – What are the qualities of a good perfume to you?

I think the most important quality of a good perfume is the way it makes you feel when you wear it. As in fashion, fragrance in an extension of who you are; fragrance should give you confidence and should make you feel good.

8 – What is the best compliment you received concerning a fragrance you created?

The biggest compliment is when you randomly pass someone on the street or stand next to them on the subway and can smell that they are wearing a fragrance you’ve worked on.

9 – How would you describe Ralph Wild in one sentence?

Ralph Wild is a vibrant, juicy, bold creation designed for someone who is confident, likes to have fun and is ready for anything!

- Thank you very much for taking our questions. 

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