According to Circana, prestige fragrance sales grew 13%, while mass fragrance sales grew 11%, in the first half of 2023. Spate and Luxurynsight’s data revealed that perfume-related content on TikTok has increased by +449% from 2019 to 2020, while 45% of social media-driven fragrance purchases in the U.S. are generated by TikTok. Furthermore, Gen Z are three times more likely to buy a fragrance linked to the emotional attributes as described in TikTok video content and TikTok became a preferred platform for Gen Z to discover independent fragrance brands. According to PowerReviews’ May 2023 consumer survey of 26,340 U.S. consumers, 78% are buying fragrance products and 37% of shoppers are spending $1-50 on fragrance each month. Female celebrities, pop culture-inspired scents, gender fluid fragrances, sandalwood scents, and next level packaging are the latest developments in fine fragrances.
VIVE LA FEMME
Celebrity fragrances are a mainstay in the fine fragrance landscape. Women celebrities and entertainers continue to launch new scents to their growing scent collections. As of July 2023, Britney Spears has launched 42 fragrances. In 2004, Britney Spears launched Curious, her first scent. This year, Spears released Jungle Fantasy, which is described as a Floral Fruity Gourmand and features watermelon blossom, violet leaf, and yuzu top notes followed by Gustavia flower, water lily, and gardenia with a base of tonka bean absolute and a cupcake accord. Ariana Grande is growing her fragrance empire with the launch of Cloud Pink, the artist’s 14th perfume. Cloud Pink is classified as an Amber Vanilla scent and contains a blend of pitahaya, wild berries, pineapple, coconut water, vanilla orchid, ambrette, praline, musk, amberwood, and moss notes. Sabrina Carpenter expanded her Sweet Tooth line with Caramel Dream, which “embraces the spirit of indulgent cravings with a luxurious caramel twist bursting with rich flavor.” The fragrance highlights notes of caramelized amber, patchouli, dark chocolate bean, sugared lemon, orange zest, freesia, vanilla, and fluffy musk. Beyoncé launched her first fragrance Heat 13 years ago. After more than a decade, a new Eau De Parfum will be introduced in November. The name has not been released yet, but the fragrance has clementine, golden honey, rose absolute, jasmine sambac, Namibian myrrh, and golden amber accords. Actress Millie Bobby Brown unveiled her first-ever fragrance Wildly Me. The vegan fragrance blends bergamot, sage, purple iris, wisteria, violet flowers, fresh lavender, sandalwood, and upcycled cedarwood.
POP CULTURE INSPIRES SCENTS
Pop culture inspires consumer products and fine fragrance is no exception. Movies, sports, and food and beverages have inspired the latest fine fragrance launches. Barbie has taken the world by storm. DefineMe Creative Studio and Mattel teamed up on the launch of Barbie Eau de Parfum, a floral and fruity fragrance, which “seeks to encapsulate the famed doll’s fluorescent persona” with notes of strawberry nectar, gardenia, pink magnolia, whipped cream, peony, and sandalwood. In collaboration with fragrance brand Fernanda, Animation Studio Ghibli has debuted a new line of fragrances inspired by the studio’s movies. Maria Regale is a jasmine and pear blend inspired by Kiki of Kiki’s Delivery Service, while White Bouquet is inspired by Howl’s Moving Castle and the flowers grown in Howl’s secret garden, and Classic Tea draws inspiration from Whisper of the Heart. In time for the U.S. Open, Crush Balls by DS & Durga is a new tennis-themed scent part of the brand’s limited-edition Studio Juice collection. The fragrance has “hints of rubber and glue [that] immediately recalls a new can of Wilsons” with notes of newly mown grass, rosemary, white florals, woods, and amber. Earlier in the year, Fanta soda by The Coca-Cola Company dropped Scent of Fanta, a limited-edition fragrance. The “wearable version” was self-described as having “bubbly aspects of bright and juicy orange essence infused with a glimmering splash of tart lime and a sweet sprinkle of soft sugar.” Instacart, the grocery delivery service, released a limited-edition fragrance inspired by its Instacart cardmembers. Cashé, The Smell of Cash Back is housed in a gilded emerald box with a plush velvet interior with an emerald green weighted glass bottle with a gold-cut cap shaped like the Instacart carrot logo. The scent is described as “a mix of everything from juicy lemon to rosemary Tunisia.”
GENDER FLUID FRAGRANCES
The term unisex has been replaced by genderless fragrances, which have been trending since 2016. Here are a few examples of recent fine fragrance gender fluid launches. Harry Styles’ Pleasing brand launched three new sex-inspired fragrances: Bright, Hot, Closeness, and Rivulets. The fragrances have been formulated to evoke the smells of “skin-on-skin” and “brief encounters.” Yves Saint Laurent Beauty has introduced MYSLF, which is wordplay for M(ale) + YSL + F(emale). The genderless scent is “equal parts woody and floral” and contains Calabria bergamot, vert de bergamot, Tunisia orange blossom absolute, Indonesian Patchouli, and Ambrofix™. Barneys New York launched the Barneys Eau de Parfum collection in five premium fine fragrances: 1923, Duvet Blanc, Flos Floris, Multiplicity, and Quaintrelle. 1923 is the signature fragrance that pays homage to Barneys New York’s 100-year history, with woody notes and jasmine. Flos Floris highlights rose, blackcurrant, orange blossom, and jasmine, while Duvet Blanc features patchouli, Lily of the Valley, iris, and white musk. Multiplicity is a Woody Amber fragrance with musk and orris and Quaintrelle blends smoky wood and leather notes with cardamom, iris, violet, and ambrox.
Sandalwood is the current en vogue ingredient being highlighted in fine fragrances. According to Michael Edwards’ research, sandalwood is so well liked, that about 47% of all perfumes created since 1970 contain sandalwood notes. Bvlgari launched Ma’magnifica in the Allegra collection and Magnifying Sandalwood for layering. The Ma’magnifica Eau de Parfum is “a majestic floral woody fragrance” with rose and sandalwood and the Magnifying Sandalwood is an “emblematic woody fragrance that envelopes the wearer in an enveloping creamy veil.” 4711 Acqua Colonia Peony & Sandalwood offers “delicate notes of peony that meet the striking texture of precious sandalwood.” Under the Attars Collection, Amouage introduced Santal Sohar, a dry woody scent with powdery-green notes of basil, rose, clove bark, and sandalwood. Givenchy Faux Semblant in the La Collection Particuliè is a Woody Floral that features “textured orange blossom absolute from Morocco wrapped in rich Australian sandalwood essence and the deepest Malaysian oud wood.”
NEXT LEVEL PACKAGING
As concerns for climate change grow and consumers seek better-for-you and better-for-the-planet products, fine fragrance brands are developing next level packaging such as solids and refillable bottles. For example, according to The NPD Group, in France, sales of refillable perfume bottles jumped 56% year-to-date to October 2022 compared to the previous year. France leads the way in refills and rechargeable products with 8% of sales in the perfume category, compared to 6% in Europe, and 3% in North America.
Rafael Nadal debuted all three scents – Rafael Nadal No. 1, Rafael Nadal No. 2, and Maria Perello in a solid Clic-Clac form. The Clic-Clac application is a portable 5-grade titanium solid perfume and features a minimalist design with a neon yellow abstract line resembling a yellow tennis ball. Jo Malone offers refillable Solid Scent Duos that combine two fragrances into one travel-ready palette. Consumers can select pre-filled recommended pairings or create their own. Boots launched Mood solid fragrance pencils in four scents: Babe, Fresh, Vibes, and Wild. The pen-like applicator is a convenient and mess-free format for fragrance application on the go. Not new, but a notable product is Scentinvent Technologies’ clear ultra-portable and convenient solid format. The proprietary formulation is the first solid fragrance that combines fragrance with color and skin care ingredients and is 100% alcohol free.
Burberry Goddess Eau de Parfum contains three kinds of vanilla beans, cocoa, lavender, and ginger. It features the brand’s first refillable perfume bottle. Paradoxe is the first refillable fragrance by Prada. The Eau De Parfum is available in three sizes in a refillable triangular shaped bottle that “can be balanced between the ring finger and little finger while the reduced-packaging refill decants the fragrance.” Fenty added the Eau de Parfum Refillable Travel Set with three travel-size 10 ml bottles – one in a twist-and-spray container and two for refilling. Ralph Lauren Fragrances expanded its Polo Earth Collection in three new scents: Antilles Vetiver, Moroccan Neroli, and Provencial Sage. The fragrances are made with 97% natural origin and up to eight sustainably sourced farm-to-fragrance ingredients sourced from local communities around the world. The bottles are made using 20% post-consumer recycled glass and are recyclable and refillable.
Celebrities and pop culture inspire new fine fragrance launches, while gender fluid fragrances remain popular, sandalwood scents are on trend, and solid and refillable bottles drive next level packaging. Fall into fall and watch as new fragrances launch this season.