Scentiments found that over one-third of women see fragrance as a personal treat, or a pick-me-up to enhance their mood. They tend to choose a new scent based on how well it fits with their personality. At the same time, the study found that women purchase a new fragrance as often as once a month, compared to men who purchase it an average of 1-2 times per year, and typically for the purpose of replenishment. Whereas men typically take about 30 seconds to sample and decide whether to buy a fragrance, women take anywhere from 10-20 times longer.
Given the higher frequency at which women purchase new fragrances, the appeal of smaller bottle sizes may tie into this behavior, providing consumers with the ability to experiment at a lesser cost than the full-size varieties. According to NPD’s point-of-sale data, sales of perfumes less than one ounce in size have grown by 16 percent in the last two years, over two-times faster than the overall women’s fragrance market. Rollerball and travel spray sales grew by 28 percent during this time.
Changing scents and a longer decision-making process also makes taking home samples much more important to women than men, as they prefer to live with a scent before making a choice to invest. Women are 12 percent more likely than men to say that the provision of samples is “extremely important” when deciding where to shop for fragrances.