Prestige fragrance is an almost $1.9 billion market which grew 1% through August 2017, according to data from The NPD Group, Port Washington, NY. Kissura Craft, fragrance analyst at NPD, noted that both men and women rank long-lasting as their number one attribute in a fine fragrance.
“Women then look for a fragrance that can be worn every day and that it will appeal to others. They also want it to match their mood,” said Kraft. “Men place more importance on it being appealing to others over being able to wear it daily. They also want a fragrance that can be used on special occasions.”
Sales were decidedly mixed in mass, as women’s fragrance sales fell 7% to $720.5 million, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) for total US multi-outlet (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 10, 2017. Perfumes and colognes/body powder slipped 2.6% to $487.9 million while women’s gift packs dropped 7.7% to $232.6 million. In the shaving/men’s fragrance category, sales decreased less at 1.5% to $802.9 million. Men’s gift pack/sets actually rose 2.5% to $250.8 million while shaving lotion/cologne/talc sales slipped 3.2% to $552.1 million.
“Customers are increasingly looking for fragrances that are high quality and well made, rather than simply a product by a brand they have an affinity for,” noted Eric Korman, CEO of fragrance company Phlur, Austin, TX. “This, of course, can mean different things for different people. Some customers want products that are cruelty free, others sustainably sourced, and still others, product that are only of botanical origins.”
A Hint of Fame
Celebrity fragrances are still trending, according to Penny Coy, vice president of merchandising, fragrance and prestige skin care, at Ulta. She told Happi, “Last year, Ulta Beauty collaborated with Sarah Jessica Parker to exclusively launch SJP Stash. We’ve also seen great success with fragrances from Ariana Grande and are excited to announce the launch of Ariana Grande’s newest fragrance Moonlight, which has an exclusive lead at Ulta Beauty.”
Estée Lauder recently named Misty Copeland, principal ballerina at American Ballet Theatre, as the new global spokesmodel for the brand’s Modern Muse fragrance.
“When Estée Lauder launched the Modern Muse fragrance in 2013, we embraced the idea of women as muses, living life on their own terms, achieving great things and inspiring everyone around them,” explained Stephane de La Faverie, global brand president, Estée Lauder. “Misty has challenged the status quo to achieve her dreams and inspired so many young women along the way. Misty will bring the fragrance concept to life through her unique story.”
“Misty is the perfect representation of today’s modern muse,” said Aerin Lauder, style and image director, Estée Lauder. “She is all about feminine strength, power, dedication and passion, and you see that in what she does every day, whether she is performing or inspiring the next generation of dancers. I think she is a wonderful role model and I am thrilled to welcome her to the Estée Lauder brand.”
Two new Elizabeth and James Nirvana fragrances—Amethyst and French Grey—further expand the collection created by Elizabeth and James founders and designers, actresses Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen. An addition to the Nirvana collection and created in partnership with Firmenich, each Elizabeth and James Nirvana eau de parfum fragrance is available in three sizes: 30ml, 50ml and rollerball 10ml. The fragrances debuted in North America this fall at Sephora stores and Sephora.com in August 2017, in addition to the Elizabeth and James Los Angeles flagship at The Grove in Los Angeles; additional retailers will roll out the fragrances beginning February 2018.
Elizabeth and James Nirvana Amethyst is a decadent blend infused with refined tobacco, sweet honeysuckle and spicy cedar wood. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and James Nirvana French Grey is a fresh floral bouquet, evoking open-air flower markets with hints of lavender, honeyed neroli and earthy musk.
“Amethyst and French Grey continue to build upon the story of Nirvana as we further explore notes that Ashley and I are drawn to—dark and rich, light and floral,” said Mary-Kate Olsen in a press statement.
Ashley Olsen added, “Less is more in everything we do and the juices of Amethyst and French Grey reflect that. With each new scent we develop, it’s important to remain true to the raw notes.”
Chic, unconventional and memorable, both scents are said to possess a certain je ne sais quoi. The Elizabeth and James Nirvana distinctive and architecturally-inspired packaging takes on a deep purple hue for Amethyst, while French Grey illuminates a soothing smoky tone.
Meanwhile, Revlon is counting on a young musician to boost its fragrance portfolio this season. Shawn Mendes shot to music stardom on social media in 2013 and was named one of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential Teens” in 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in 2016. With the launch of Shawn Mendes Signature, he extends his artistic sensibility into a new category.
According to Revlon, Shawn Mendes Signature is a scent for a new generation of women and men, designed to be worn as an individual expression of confidence, passion and determination.
“With two bestselling albums, sold out tours, and a daily expanding fan base of over 50 million on social media, 2017 is the opportune time for Shawn to expand his brand and introduce his rich artistry to his fans through fragrance,” said Ron Rolleston, executive vice president, global fragrance marketing at Revlon. “Shawn’s creative vision and dedication to his craft were evident throughout the fragrance and campaign development process and now at launch. He was involved every step of the way, ensuring that Shawn Mendes Signature is true to who he is and one that his fans will love,” he added.
In partnership with Revlon, Mendes launched the fragrance where he got his start: on social media. He teamed up with photographer and filmmaker Danny Clinch to create a content-rich documentary-style launch campaign. The campaign takes an un-staged approach in capturing small details or spontaneous moments on the road during Shawn’s 2017 Illuminate World Tour and at his concert in Dublin. A compilation of short video vignettes tells the story of Shawn Mendes Signature, inspired by the artist’s passionate journey and soulful authenticity of his music.
Mendes created Signature alongside IFF perfumer Celine Barel, who said, “This fragrance is inspired by Shawn’s artistry, passion for music and his Canadian roots. We wanted ingredients that would resonate with his fans and have elements that reflect where he comes from.”
Shawn Mendes Signature is a “multi-faceted” composition that showcases simultaneous sweet and woody sensations. The floriental woody scent recognizes Shawn’s Canadian heritage with a sugar maple accord in the heart. Opening with refreshing citrus notes, the fragrance evolves with an infusion of radiant florals, ending with a lasting woody impression.
Featured on the carton is a design inspired by Shawn’s first tattoo—an abstract acoustic guitar comprised of trees, the Toronto skyline, and a sound wave, adding a personal touch for his fans.
Drew Barrymore’s Flower enterprise continued to blossom with Turquoise, the newest fragrance from Flower Beauty. According to the company, which is big at budget stores such as Walmart, the cool, woody scent is designed to provide a moment of serenity. The woody, citrus scent, encased in bright light blue packaging, features top notes of pink peppercorn, Italian citrus and salted fennel; middle notes of blue lotus, honeydew blossom and sand jasmine; and base notes of fig wood, orris and white patchouli.
Launching exclusively at Walgreens and Walgreens.com, Katy Perry’s Indi is a unique musk fragrance crafted with 11 musks that blend beautifully with top notes of oriental plum and Italian bergamot, said sources at Coty. Further celebrating the idea of individuality, the campaign features a group of influencers hand-picked by Perry.
Not everyone can afford a three or four-figure piece of jewelry or handbag. So why not accessorize with a hint of fragrance from a fashionable name?
The latest addition to Bulgari’s Goldea Collection, Goldea, The Roman Night, is billed as a powerfully intense chyprefloral musk scent created by master perfumer Alberto Morillas.
“Mesmerizing black musk,” he explained, “is set with luscious mulberry and black peony, enhanced by captivating woody notes, and illuminated by the magnetism of night-blooming jasmine and tuberose.”
Bergamot, rose and oak moss are folded into the classic chypre Alberto Morillas blends with other characteristic ingredients. Using an innovative extraction process, the master perfumer preserved the purest, most radiant aspects of patchouli, according to the company.
The famed Italian jeweler’s Serpenti collection is the flacon’s inspiration. Scaled with Bulgari glamour, the black serpent coils around the Goldea, The Roman Night bottle, as the fragrance surrounds a woman.
Perris Monte Carlo released Cacao Azteque fragrance, part of the Black Collection. It is available at select boutiques internationally and available in the US at select Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales retail locations and online. Cacao Azteque was inspired by the finest cocoa bean sourced from the native region where it was believed the Aztec’s were among the first to encounter its unique properties.
“Found in Central America, the cacao bean is a complicated material, with a sweet aroma reminiscent of a chocolate factory,” explained Gian Luca Perris, creative director and nose of Perris Monte Carlo. “I knew from that moment, I had to use the fruit in a blend that is rich, sweet and spicy.”
The fragrance line is an ode to the art of perfumery and the art of sourcing. Its creators said they were intrigued by the natural raw materials and the most untouched locations around the world. The result is a classic, yet sultry, contemporary collection with a diverse and exquisite breadth of fragrances.
Hermès recently celebrated the launch of Twilly d’Hermès, the house’s first fragrance targeting millennials, at the Madison Avenue flagship in New York. Developed by Christine Nagel, Hermès head in-house perfumer, Twilly d’Hermès still encompasses all that Hermès is, with its sophisticated and sensual elegance, but with the modern savvy style that appeals to millennials.
The fragrance is said to incorporate ginger, tuberose, and sandalwood; freshness, mystery and wood; spice, sunlight and tenderness. Paying homage to the Hermès iconic Twilly silk scarves, there is Twilly silk encircling the cap for a final flash of wit. This new scent is the true embodiment of young women in today’s world; bold, connected, mischievous and impulsive, but still dedicated to the styles and beauty looks that made history—like the Hermès scarf!
Diptyque’s latest designer rollout, Vétyverio Eau de Parfum, is an EDP that draws inspiration from the Haitian rainforest and is formulated with various raw materials including grapefruit, ethically sourced vetiver from Haiti and patchouli. According to the company, it has the most concentrated vetiver note on the market with more than 25% vetiver essence. In fact, Diptyque has paid a dual homage to vetiver: first, with an EDT in 2010 and now with an EDP—both from the same perfumer, Olivier Pescheux. The EDT contains two essences, one from Java and the other from Haiti, which are said to complement each other in a subtle balancing act. Haitian vetiver takes center stage in the EDP.
It reveals all of its dimensions: intense and enveloping with an extraordinary delicateness. A unique silage magnifies this raw material’s complexity; as a result, the fragrance is unisex.
Men is the word at Interpafums for Fall 2017. Leading the way is Coach for Men, the brand’s first men’s fragrance. It has a New York attitude, an American authenticity and symbolizes the brand’s spirit, according to Coach. It is an everyday luxury, a signature that makes a lasting impression—and, like all things Coach, is built to last.
As the new chapter in the Collection Extraordinaire, Van Cleef & Arpels Bois Doré gives center stage to a precious fruit with accents of tobacco, that looks as dark as burnt wood: tonka bean. This composition creates a fusion of tonka with wood, like a nugget of gold turned into a jewel.
“I composed Bois Doré to be a wood that has fused with the luminosity of gold. I chose noble cedarwood and the hypnotic intensity of tonka bean, to which I added a touch of musk and vanilla to reinforce the character of this irresistibly delicious fragrance. I wanted you to be drawn to it as if it were a nugget of gold,” said perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin.
Also new from Van Cleef & Arpels is a limited-edition launch of Rêve de Cashmere presented in a luxurious and rare bottle. This leathery woody oriental is echoed by the more intense ingredients with leather, black vanilla and Indonesian patchouli. The tension between citrus and balmy notes is interspersed by smooth, cashmere-like white musks, addictive heliotrope and Sri Lankan sandalwood essence with creamy, milky accents, according to the company. A black tie around the bottle’s neck reveals a drop bead, a metal diamond engraved with the Maison’s monogram.
At Estée Lauder, Ermenegildo Zegna Elements of Men: The Life Collection—at $220 per bottle at department stores this month—is about quality, craftsmanship and exacting detail. The Zegna Elements Of Man: The Life Collection includes fives fragrances said to embody a man’s strengths: Integrity, Wisdom, Passion, Strength and Talent, according to the company.
Cartier’s new L’Envol de Cartier eau de toilette is promoted as a “new chapter” for the brand’s pinnacle men’s fragrance, L’Envol de Cartier. This fresh oriental features bold citrus notes and gaiac wood.
In contrast to these mucho macho fragrances, it’s all about the ladies right now at Ralph Lauren. Specifically, Woman by Ralph Lauren. This feminine fragrance was inspired by Ralph Lauren’s vision of a heroine. Fearless yet feminine, strong yet expressive, she strikes an alluring harmony between audacious power and feminine grace. To embody this messaging, actress and philanthropist, Jessica Chastain is the face of the scent. Artfully blended with blooming tuberose and rich, vibrant sandalwood, the combination created is a magnetic contrast that is both timeless and modern, according to RL.
A More Fragrant Forecast?
According to Kraft of NPD, personalization/customization in makeup and skin care is impacting fragrances.
“Little things are growing. Brands are launching in alternative formats and so we see the re-emergence of perfume oils and solids,” she explained. “We are even seeing men’s brands come out with scented products for beards.”
According to Ulta’s Coy, traditionally classic notes like rose and jasmine are resurging, especially with the millennial demographic.
“We’ve also seen that guests are more and more drawn to personalization,” she explained. “Within our category, this can be achieved by layering fragrances or creating custom scents.”
Coy expects customization to grow as individuality becomes more and more important to Ulta customers.
“We also expect to see different fragrance formulations and textures, ranging from solids to gels,” she said. “Fragrance brands have begun to push the envelope and we expect to see innovation when it comes to the category.”
At Ulta Beauty this holiday season, fragrance is at the forefront of giftable selections. Here’s a look at some launches in store now:
• Ariana Grande Moonlight is Ariana Grande’s next beautiful fragrance that debuted exclusively at Ulta Beauty this fall.
• Carolina Herrera Good Girl is an evocative fragrance both freshly light and moodily dark. It is billed as the ultimate femme fatale fragrance with sensual jasmine and seductive tonka.
• Dior Sauvage, a classic for men, is composed of natural ingredients, with radiant top notes of reggio di calabria bergamot. Ambroxan, derived from precious ambergris, unleashes a powerfully woody trail.
• Gucci Bloom captures the spirit of the contemporary, diverse and authentic women of Gucci with its notes of rangoon creeper, natural tuberose and jasmine. It leaves a rich, white floral scent on the skin.
• Kate Space Truly Collection features four unique new fragrances that inspire us to be Truly dazzling.
• Philosophy Ballet Rose was inspired by the delicate scent of pink rose petals opening at first bloom and the femininity of Philosophy’s best-selling Amazing Grace fragrance. Its scent captures the quiet strength of a ballerina in a heart of delicate rose and peony, layered with sparkling lychee, and finished with woods and sheer ballet pink musk.
• Tory Burch Love Relentlessly is a sparkling mix of fiery pink pepper and patchouli fused with dewy rose and addictive amber.
• Versace Bright Crystal features top notes of yuzu, iced accord and pomegranate and mid notes of rose, peony, magnolia, acajou and lotus flower rest atop base notes of vegetal amber and musk.