The sweet smell of buckeye candy was among the ideas students came up with to bottle the essence of Ohio State.
Masik Collegiate Fragrances, a New York-based company that specializes in creating college fragrances, might be looking to do just that.
In June, a user on the Masik Collegiate Fragrances Facebook page asked why there wasn’t a fragrance for OSU. Masik Collegiate Fragrances commented back saying, “We are in talks with THE Ohio State University, no worries. Had a call with them last week! Stay tuned.”
Katie Masik, the CEO of Masik Collegiate Fragrances, said an OSU fragrance is still being discussed.
“We certainly hope we can work with Ohio State,” said Masik, a graduate of Bucknell University with a degree in chemical engineering.
She first came up with the idea of creating a college fragrance product when she was reflecting on her experience of her alma mater and recognized scent is linked to memory.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could create a fragrance that was inspired by a university? Embrace that smell that would remind them of their experience,” Masik said.
According to its website, the scents are “inspired by unique elements such as school colors, campus style, flowers and trees, traditions and location.”
“I know for Ohio State, we would obviously look to school colors, just like we do for every school,” Masik said. “We would research what types of trees are prevalent, what flowers grow in the spring and summer and research landmarks and traditions. All about the Buckeyes and Ohio.”
OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said there is no contract with the company but gave information to The Lantern on OSU’s licensing procedure in an email.
“New licensing applications are reviewed once a month by Trademark and Licensing along with a review committee consisting of internal and external retail buyers to evaluate the value proposition to the Ohio State brand,” Lewis said.
Factors that go into the evaluation of the product include production and distribution capabilities, marketability and quality of the product, demonstrated success with previous licensors and product development, Lewis said.
If the application is accepted, the official trademark files, such as the official logo, are offered in a license agreement.
“Licensees are required to submit their proposed Ohio State artwork concepts for review and approval,” Lewis said. “Once the artwork is approved, the final pre-production item is sent to our office for final review before being released to the marketplace. Sales of licensed items are reported quarterly with the contract eligible to be renewed each one-year contract term.”
If Masik obtained an approved license, a “fragrance brief” would be sent to OSU, at which stage “the universities conduct smell sessions to determine which fragrances they like best,” according to the website. Masik said often these consist of focus groups or groups of students, alumni and faculty.
The brief would contain any research the company had done on OSU.
“We show (the perfumers) pictures of students and alumni and fans,” Masik said. “We want our perfumers to get a feel of the essence of the university. They put together unique combinations for men and women. We have the schools give input.”
Masik has produced scents for schools including Penn State University, University of Alabama, University of Florida, University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee.
It is about a six-month process to complete a fragrance, Masik said.
Some students felt an OSU fragrance shouldn’t be too strongly scented.
“For the girls, I think it should be natural and not overpowering, not obvious that they are wearing perfume,” said Catherine Schultz, a third-year in human resources.
Others agreed with Schultz.
“It should be fresh and not fruity. Some guy’s colognes are too fruity and they overdo it,” said Scott Vanko, a fourth-year in political science.
The fragrances can be purchased for about $40 in 1.7-ounce bottles and are sold on the Masik website, along with campus bookstores and retailers and various gift shops and boutiques, Masik said.
In addition to the signature fragrances, Masik has been looking toward other products that capture scent, such as body spray, air freshener and cosmetic products like lip balm.
Michael Brockman, a second-year in biology, initially thought of tying buckeyes into the scent, but then thought of an issue.
“Buckeyes don’t have a scent to them,” Brockman said. “Unless you use peanut butter and chocolate.”