Expert's Opinion

Lifestyle Trends in Home Fragrance

By Mareike Finck, Chesapeake Bay Candle | December 24, 2009

Value is the new green, says Mareike Finck of Chesapeake Bay Candle.

The story of the Chesapeake Bay Candle brand is remarkable: what started in 1994 as a candle workshop in the basement of a home in Annapolis, Maryland, became a multi-million dollar company virtually overnight. Today, Chesapeake Bay Candle is one of the most successful home fragrance companies in the United States. The success of the company is based on our vertically integrated operations and on our close partnership with America’s most renowned retailers including Target, Kohl’s, and Pier 1 Imports. We take pride in providing our customers with full, integrated services in product development, sourcing, design, and marketing expertise. Consumer lifestyle and trend analysis is the basis for all product development. So what will drive home fragrance customers’ purchase-decisions during the next six months?

With the onset of the recession last year, “value became the new green” ( Throughout 2007 environmental consciousness was clearly the strongest consumer trend within the candle and home fragrance industry. Retailers and home fragrance companies alike felt consumers’ demand for environmentally conscious products and catered to that demand. But consumer attitudes changed as quickly as the economic climate—and value became consumers’ primary concern during the last quarter of 2008. Value has been the strongest consumer trend ever since and as one of my colleagues emphasized in a recent strategy meeting—it will continue to be an ongoing focus in 2010.

Candle and home fragrance companies must seize the opportunity to address consumers’ concerns of tighter budgets by offering products that are affordable luxuries: quality products crafted from excellent materials that stand out through design and fragrance and allowing consumers to escape from their everyday worries.

Fragrance is traditionally one of the most important points of differentiation in candle products. The strongest fragrance trend this year speaks to consumers’ heightened need for security in the current economic climate – the scents of the gourmand family ( ) are known to possess relaxing, nourishing qualities. In times of uncertainty we all like to turn to the familiar. So while we have seen consumers enjoy experimenting with new and exciting scents in previous years, they may now prefer scents allowing them to connect with good memories and family tradition. The gourmand family includes popular vanillas, chocolates, or almond scents as well as newer creations such as the special deserts of the Chesapeake Bay Candle “La Patisserie” collection or the artisan foods of the Chesapeake Bay Candle “Epicurean Delights” collection launching in January 2010. Always popular during the holidays, gourmand fragrances will remain consumers’ favorites a little longer this time.

About the Author
Mareike Finck is a public relatoions and marketing professional with background in the home fragrance and home lifestyle industries. She currently works as the assistant manager PR & marketing for sister companies Chesapeake Bay Candle ( and Blissliving Home ( Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Chesapeake Bay Candle is one of the largest and most popular candle and home fragrance brands in the U.S. Owned by husband-and-wife-team Mei Xu and David Wang, the company was started in the basement of their home in Annapolis, MD in 1994. By partnering with the most renowned retailers such as Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Chesapeake Bay Candle became an instant success in the 1990s and is today a multi-million-dollar global enterprise.

Blissliving Home, Chesapeake Bay Candle’s sister company, is the destination interior lifestyle brand for the stylish consumer seeking modern design with a global influence. Established in 2005, the brand carries bedding, sheets, decorative pillows, bathroom accessories, home accent pieces and home fragrances that combine stylish design and global inspirations.