3 Perfume Trends for 2021 and beyond

Today’s topic is trends in fine fragrance, air care (candles, diffusers, room sprays,) and body care. Based on my professional experience and studies of consumer reports, I will share three key trends that define 2021/2022.

If you’re an industry professional, you’re probably aware of consumer reports provided by NPD and Mintel, but my insights are from my day-to-day work tracking new launches and observing patterns in the market. I will explain what makes each trend interesting and notable. You can watch the video or read my report below.

Green Tea

Green tea notes have been popular for years, in fragrances as well as flavors. Ever since Jean-Claude Ellena created the archetypal green tea accord with Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, tea fragrances have appeared in many different interpretations. They’re becoming even more popular, since according to market research, consumers in the US and Europe associate the scent of tea with relaxation, comfort, and care.

Martin Margiela Matcha  Meditation

A beautiful idea pairing the bitterness of Japanese matcha (powdered green tea) with the sweetness of white chocolate. Created by Maurice Roucel, the composition bears his generous, elegant style.

CK Everyone

An update of CK One with crisp citrus and green tea.

Voluspa Moroccan Mint Tea Candle

An effervescent and uplifting scent of green tea and crushed mint leaves in candle form. Voluspa products have a good throw and they keep their fragrance for several months.

Peach

Creamy peaches and juicy nectarines. Peach notes can be interpreted in a variety of ways, from creamy and rich to sheer and radiant. Fruity notes are always popular in perfumes, but I see an increasing number of peach-scented offerings for dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, and even cleaning products.

Tom Ford Bitter Peach

An irresistible combination of juicy peach and warm amber, this composition also weaves in a dry note of patchouli and a hint of bitter woods. Elegant and contrasted.

Cacharel Yes I’m Glorious

Naffly named but charming in its interpretation of peach as milky and juicy.

Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey

A fruity cologne with a sheer note of honeyed petals.

Bath & Body Works Peach Bellini Shower Gel

A juicy and fresh peach accord lights up the body care collection of Bath & Body Works. The sweetness is well tempered.

Citrus

Green tea, peach, and citrus trends demonstrate the popularity of familiar, classical themes. It’s not surprising; when searching for comfort, people want something that won’t challenge them too much. Citrus is an ubiquitous note, but the new fragrances play it up with unusual elements or highlight its different facets.

Valentino Donna Born in Roma Yellow Dream

The pairing of musk and lemon is both creamy and effervescent.

Atelier Cologne Lemon Island

Lemon, jasmine, and vanilla create an exquisite vignette in this bright cologne.

Heretic Slightly Bitter Candle

Orange smells bittersweet and deliciously dark in this candle.

The Body Shop Zesty Lemon Collection

The Body Shop’s lemon is sweet, luscious, and yet fresh. Zesty Lemon Shower Gel is a delight.

What do you think about these trends? What kind of fragrances would you like to try?

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49 Comments

  • Fazal: I share your enthusiasm for Bvlgari Eau the Vert series. I got my first Bvlgari fragrance in 2001 and remained a loyal customer of the brand’s fragrances until Bvlgari Man came about a decade later and marked the end of my love affair.

    There was no other brand with whom I associated a particular note as strongly as I did the tea note with Bvlgari. September 3, 2021 at 9:38am Reply

    • Victoria: I still marvel at the angular beauty of Bulgari Black. And I still miss it.

      Bulgari’s Thé Bleu was also good, green tea, iris, and lavender. September 3, 2021 at 10:06am Reply

      • Filomena: I loved The’ Bleu. I also loved the white one. I still have a lot left in my bottle of Bulgari Black and also have a back-up bottle. Back in the day, I used to buy back-ups of perfumes I loved. September 3, 2021 at 10:36am Reply

        • Johaboha: I saw Bulgaria black being sold in KaDeWe in Berlin this week. It may be back? September 3, 2021 at 4:35pm Reply

        • Bregje: I loved the bleu too September 4, 2021 at 12:07am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s nicely done. September 6, 2021 at 5:30am Reply

      • Fazal: I share your love for Bvlgari Black, too. I am stocked up on few bottles.

        I agree with you that Bvlgari Bleu is a good one. Among all the flankers in the tea series, Bleu is most faithful to the original vert. I did not like rouge much though it has its fans. I am neutral on blanc but I won’t mind wearing it. I did not like Noir much. So I do think that Bleu is the best flanker to the original Vert though Vert remains the best one in the line! September 4, 2021 at 12:24am Reply

        • Victoria: I also think that on the whole Bleu was the best flanker. The rest were too bland. September 6, 2021 at 5:38am Reply

      • rickyrebarco: I’m a Bvlgari Black lover also. I have a good backup bottle. It’s edgy and angular, as you say, but there is something comforting about it as well. It’s an all time favorite for me. September 4, 2021 at 4:53pm Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, you’ve described it perfectly. September 6, 2021 at 5:39am Reply

  • Carolyn: I may have told this story here before, so please forgive me if I’m repeating myself! When Bulgari launched their The Vert it was only available in their boutiques, so on a visit to London I popped into their Sloane Street store & asked if I could have a sniff. An initial chat about my interest in fragrance later, which they obviously took seriously, I was asked to take a seat, had my wrist spritzed, handed a glass of fizz, & then presented with with a beautiful booklet-type set-up tied with green ribbon. On opening, there were a few pages with an account of how the fragrance came about, a list & gorgeous illustrations of the ingredients, & in a hollowed out section at the back of the booklet an absolutely beautiful miniature bottle (exact replica of the full size – ooh!) containing the juice. Needless to say I was thrilled, & still have the booklet/bottle somewhere in the attic! I did go on to make a couple of purchases in subsequent years when it was more widely available in department stores, but then with the launch of the other versions the The Vert appeared to be more difficult to find. Given where I live (Aberdeen) & we no longer have Debenhams or John Lewis, I will definitely seek it out again when I’m in Glasgow, Edinburgh or wherever at some point when travel becomes less of a faff! September 3, 2021 at 10:26am Reply

    • Victoria: What a nice memento! It’s not common these days to do these kind of launches. September 6, 2021 at 5:30am Reply

      • Carolyn: I don’t even remember there being a ‘launch’ as such for this, I think I read about their first fragrance in Harpers & Queen or some such publication. I suppose way back then they just didn’t expect someone dressed so casually to have such an interest in, & knowledge of, fragrance, or indeed to have made such a point of visiting them (I still remember the look I got from the security chap when he buzzed me in) – hence my treatment! September 6, 2021 at 6:22am Reply

  • Tara C: None of these are my favorite notes, but I’m curious to smell Matcha Meditation and Lemon Island. I have already smelled Bitter Peach but contrary to expectations it didn’t wow me. I want to try again. September 3, 2021 at 10:32am Reply

    • Victoria: I like the new bitter takes on green tea. September 6, 2021 at 5:30am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Thank you for this information! When there is peach in a perfume, I am interested. I love that smell; Mitsouko, Femme, J’Adore, to name a few.
    I certainly will try the Bitter Peach and the Zesty Lemon. September 3, 2021 at 10:48am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Or Tian-di by Frassaï. September 3, 2021 at 3:11pm Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: … that‘s another peach fragrance! September 3, 2021 at 3:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: Me too, I like peach in fragrance very much. Apricot is another note that catches my attention. September 6, 2021 at 5:31am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: I saw a thick Penguin Classic on the video….could that be Middlemarch? September 3, 2021 at 1:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s exactly it! I started re-reading it after our recent thread on books. September 6, 2021 at 5:31am Reply

      • rickyrebarco: Speaking of books, after reading your post on Ismail Kadare I read 2 of his books at my local library, The Three Arched bridge and The Accident. He’s a brilliant writer and that comes across even in a translation. I could see why you learned Albanian to read the Three Arched Bridge since there are many parts of the book that speak at length about the uniqueness of the Albanian language and how it affects the plot of the book.
        I bought 2 of Kadare’s other books from a used online book store and I’m looking forward to reading them, especially The General and the Dead Army. Thanks again for introducing me to this wonderful writer. September 6, 2021 at 2:24pm Reply

        • Victoria: Reading your comment made me so happy. I’m so pleased when others follow my book recommendations and like them.
          I even went to Kadare’s old family home in Gjirokaster. If you read the Chronicle in Stone, you will see how he makes the house seem like a human being. September 7, 2021 at 5:58am Reply

          • rickyrebarco: I’ll add that book to my list to search for. Thank you! September 7, 2021 at 1:25pm Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: Oh dear, green tea, peach & citrus? That is very, very safe! And squeaky clean. I wish the flight of birds had given a different set of fragrances, perhaps myrrh, gardenia and aldehydes! Is it the Corona crisis that consumers want such a „safe“ and „healthy“ and ultimately low-key fragrance? September 3, 2021 at 3:09pm Reply

    • Silvermoon: Ditto! Exactly my thoughts. September 3, 2021 at 5:53pm Reply

      • Bregje: Me too

        Although i do like green tea and a good citrus scent but it sounds very generic indeed.
        I might try the valentino, margiela and lemon island.

        I’m not a peach perfume fan but i love to eat apricots. September 4, 2021 at 12:15am Reply

    • Tara C: I’m with you on myrrh, gardenia and aldehydes! Just ordered bell jars of SL La Myrrhe and Une Voix Noire. September 4, 2021 at 12:03am Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: Yes!! Those are my two unicorn fragrances from SL! Hear about them all the time, yet to see or smell one!
        I have not ordered those from SL directly as I am slightly worried about wan reformulations. September 4, 2021 at 2:36am Reply

        • Sebastian: I have smelled the current version of La Myrrhe this spring, and I can assure you it’s not wan. It’s on my wishlist, for the time I finally win in the lottery. September 9, 2021 at 2:44pm Reply

          • OnWingsofSaffron: Danke, gut zu wissen! Vlt. greife ich mal tief in die Tasche?! September 9, 2021 at 3:18pm Reply

      • rickyrebarco: I adore Une Voix Noire. It’s probably my favorite Lutens of all time, complex and just glorious. September 4, 2021 at 4:42pm Reply

        • OnWingsofSaffron: Also in its reformulated state? September 5, 2021 at 4:27am Reply

          • rickyrebarco: I have the pre-formulation one, so I don’t know. Good question! September 5, 2021 at 11:34am Reply

    • Victoria: It depends on how these notes are used. After all, Mitsouko has a strong peach note, but nobody would describe it as a clean and safe fragrance. Myrrh and gardenia while interesting are used as accents in most fragrances, so they can’t drive whole trends. On the whole, however, you’re right. As I mentioned in the article, people are searching for comfort, and comfort is usually something familiar. September 6, 2021 at 5:36am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: Wonderful presentation on some of my favorite notes in perfumery. Bvlgari Au The Vert will always be in my collection and my second favorite tea scent is Nishane’s Wu Long Cha, a bright, uplifting fragrance.

    My favorite peach scents are Jo Malone’s Nectarine Blossom & Honey and Kilian’s Flower of Immortality. The Kilian FoI has a gorgeous fresh white peach note that I love. I definitely recommend it for lovers of a fresh peach scent. For those who like a deeper ambery spicy peach Widian Black V delivers as well. I have not yet tried TF’s Bitter Peach, but I will try it now, after hearing your comments. September 4, 2021 at 4:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: Some people complained that Bitter Peach was too sweet, but I didn’t find it this way. It must be tested on skin then. September 6, 2021 at 5:38am Reply

  • Jovana: Oh I love all of the notes listed !
    I do need to try Bitter Peach.
    Killian has some lovely offerings that are built around a peach note. September 4, 2021 at 5:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: Calice Becker, who created many fragrance for Kilian, does peach notes extremely well. September 6, 2021 at 5:40am Reply

  • Vivienne: I wonder if more green perfumes are a future trend? September 4, 2021 at 7:08pm Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: I was a bit snotty about peach scents in my comment above. Truth be told, I was rather smitten with Peau de Pêche by Keiko Micheri. I found it to be quite true to the real thing. At some point the fragrance went off, and that was that. September 5, 2021 at 4:26am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Snotty? Then I suppose Frassai is something very expensive and hard to find….by way of contrast, let me mention Black Opium. In the opening there is a pear, they say, but to my nose it is a peach. I like it. September 6, 2021 at 4:15am Reply

      • Victoria: I also smell peach in it. September 6, 2021 at 5:41am Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: No, I was referring to my other comment: „Oh dear, green tea, peach & citrus? That is very, very safe! And squeaky clean“, not to the Frassaï reference. The Argentian perfumes aren‘t very expensive and at least in Germany they are readily available. September 6, 2021 at 8:53am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Sorry! September 6, 2021 at 9:01am Reply

    • Victoria: I remember that perfume. It’s a well done peach note. September 6, 2021 at 5:40am Reply

  • Sandra: I am not a fan of lemon/citrus scents but I am interested in the Valentino one you mentioned. September 5, 2021 at 3:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: I wouldn’t expect a masterpiece, but it’s nicely done. September 6, 2021 at 5:41am Reply

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