perfume trends: 4 posts

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.

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5 Modern Perfumes with a note of surprise

A good fragrance smells familiar, a great fragrance smells surprising. The whole quest of modern perfumery can be summed by this sentence. We’re instantly attracted to the scents that remind us of something — a pleasant memory or another pleasant perfume, which is why well-liked, best-selling fragrances are often reminiscent of other perfumes on the market. A composition that rises above a merely easy-to-like, however, has an unexpected element. This surprising touch makes the scent linger in the memory and intrigue us. Finding the right combination of familiar and surprising is part of perfumer’s aim.

The five fragrances below represent different genres and styles, but the one element they have in common is surprise. I’ve selected examples that surprise rather than jolt to show subtle accents at play. These perfumes reinterpret classic themes, challenge conventions, and most importantly, smell wonderful.

Galop d’Hermès

At the top of my list is Galop d’Hermès, a fragrance that appears at first as a pastel toned, chic rose but has a dark, smoldering heart. To wear Galop is to be enveloped in soft layers of leather, woods and musk. The new Hermès in-house perfumer Christine Nagel also added an accord of incense inflected rose and juicy quince, an additional surprise.

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Top Selling Perfumes USA : Snapshot 2013

As I recently sat through a fragrance forecasting presentation, I was busy jotting down notes to share with you. Who would have guessed that American men are getting more and more into perfume? Sales of men’s fragrance have increased by 6 percent in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to last year. Of course, it might also mean that more women are buying perfume for their friends and family. But on the other hand, 40% of males between the ages of 18-65 don’t use any fragrance at all (a higher fraction than in Europe).

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Top Selling Perfumes USA : Popular Fragrances Spring 2012

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances 2011 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 France

Top Selling Masculine Fragrances 2010 USA

When it comes to women’s shopping habits, the NDP Group reports that US perfume wearers are enamored with cologne. Sales of women’s colognes, particularly from niche brands, have increased by 4% in the first three months of 2013. Sales in the florals and floral orientals families were fairly flat, while marine and oriental genres appear more popular.

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French Woman and Her Perfume : Research Study

For those who think that consumers can’t judge differences in quality or that most new launches today indeed smell alike:

“French women also express severe judgements on new launches, 41% considering the offer as excessive, with rather negative comments about the lack of originality of new fragrances. … Although they mobilize a massive share of advertising spending, only few launches succeed in reaching the top 100 sales.”

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The Fragrance Foundation France released a new study on consumer preferences in France which shows some interesting results on how women buy perfume and what criteria they follow. To read the summary and see the graphs, please click here.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, Hôtel de Ville in Paris.

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