Levy also told Happi there is an increase in research and “pre-shopping” online for perfumes.
“Fragrances that have become well-known via influencers, editorial support with an established fan base have impacted the pre-shopping experience,” she explained. “As a result, consumers visit brick and mortar stores equipped with knowledge, questions and interest in specific brands. The educated consumer requires educated salespeople to guide them. After all, the actual fragrance scent discovery still happens in-store.”
For 2018, prestige fragrance sales totaled $4.3 billion, driven by juices, which grew 8%, according to The NPD Group/US Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, January-December 2018. Artisanal fragrance was the fastest growing aspect of the well-saturated market.
However, in the mass market, women’s fragrance sales fell 3% to $677.4 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 Jan. 27, 2019. Perfumes and colognes/body powder slipped 1.9% to $473.8 million while women’s gift packs dropped 5.5% to $203.6 million. Shaving lotion/men’s fragrance sales decreased 8.6% to $702.7 million with shaving lotion/cologne/talc dropping 7.1% to $497 million and men’s gift pack/sets sales falling 2% to $205.7 million.
“In-store and online shopping can be overwhelming because of the number of choices and overpowering scents. The fragrance category is one where most consumers want to smell before they buy, which can be a challenge for online retailers,” noted Katie Caswell, brand development, Dollar Shave Company, Marina Del Rey, CA, whose company recently rolled out a fine fragrance line for men. “Fragrance advertisements are often unrelatable or unachievable, and brand powerhouses can often lead with product names that do little to describe the complex fragrance notes inside, or what to expect when using the scent.
“We have found that our customers want to cut through the clutter and have fragrance names, descriptions and packaging that are not only easy to understand, but directly speak to the quality of fragrance and the ingredients in each fragrance. When DSC developed our fine fragrance line Blueprint, we thoughtfully developed straightforward product names and descriptions that let our premium, nature-inspired ingredients speak for themselves. This helps our customers know exactly what to expect with each fragrance.”
Caswell added that the beauty industry is noticing that a “fine fragrance mentality” is not only applicable to cologne but emerging as an important factor throughout all products in a routine... it’s a whole fragrance wardrobe!
“Thinking of how a consumer wears fragrance, whether it comes from their shampoo or their cologne, is all part of how they get ready. We need to think how these different scents layer together to create a holistic experience,” she said. “Customers are looking for top-notch fragrances and sophisticated, complementary scents throughout their entire regimen. We take this into consideration when we develop everything from shampoo to deodorant.”
So far for 2019, many evolutions are emerging from successful fragrance franchises. According to Levy, in the prestige market, brands are expanding their “power bases.” Examples include Armani Si Fiori, YSL Black Opium EDP Intense, Miss Dior 2019 EDT, Flower Bomb Midnight, Givenchy L’Interdit Edition Couture, Dolce & Gabbana Peony, Good Girl Eau De Parfum Legere, & Jason Wu Velvet Rouge.
“There is also an increased demand for natural fragrances as more indie beauty companies enter the market touting natural ingredients, sustainable and vegan profiles,” she said.
Floral juices continue to rule the fragrance aisles whether they are florientals, floral-gourmands and fruity florals, said Levy. She noted, “It’s no surprise that floral notes such as rose, jasmine and orange blossom remain popular. Peonies seem to be a new go-to note for perfumers. Jason Wu Velvet Rouge, Flower Bomb Midnight and Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Rose Extra all have peonies in the heart of its fragrances.”
Levy also said a scent to watch is something in your morning cup. “I am also paying attention to the coffee note,” she told Happi. “Dolce & Gabbana The Only One introduced a coffee note which I find interesting.”
The Only One’s signature lies in the surprising combination of violet and coffee. The violet opens the fragrance, combining with subtle touches of bergamot to create a lively, unexpected and juicy bouquet. At the heart, seductive notes of rich coffee are blended with iris. Finally, the warm base of vanilla and patchouli lends a tactile, comforting quality, enveloping the senses in an opulent embrace, said the company. The Only One comes as an addition to The One range, bringing a modern olfactory signature to the classic and iconic scent.
Aerin’s new Aegea Blossom was inspired by the cascades of neroli and orange flowers that grow along the hills of the Mediterranean region. This luminous floral scent features notes of Sicilian bergamot paired with crisp mandarin and verbena. In the final notes, musk surrenders to sandalwood, among other components.
Cartier Carat, inspired by the radiance of a diamond, is said to blend seven floral notes with the seven colors of the rainbow as viewed through a diamond. According to perfumer Mathilde Laurent for Cartier, these flowers come together to form a new flower, abstract but alive, like the light of a diamond, including Hyacinth for Indigo, Violet for Violet, Iris for Blue, Honeysuckle for Orange, Tulip for Red, Ylang-Ylang for Green and Daffodil for Yellow.
Meanwhile, at Guerlain, the new Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose EDT is composed of the original Mon Guerlain quartet of Carla lavender, Sambac jasmine, vanilla tahitensis and Australian sandalwood. Bloom of Rose introduces a combination of new raw materials cherished by the Guerlain perfumer: neroli and Bulgarian rose. The result is a “dazzling and cheerful” fragrance, a real bouquet of white flowers, elevated by lavender, topped by the rose. Showcased in one of Guerlain’s iconic bottles, Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose is housed in a quadrilobé bottle designed by Gabriel Guerlain and created by the house of Baccarat in 1908.
At Nest, company founder Laura Slatkin created the Wild Poppy fine fragrance collection led by a new fruity-floral eau de parfum. In this range, aromas of pear, raspberry and apricot are infused with hints of Himalayan jasmine and Rose de Grasse.
Fragrance brands such as Daisy Marc Jacobs have garnered a cult following over the years. So, parent company Coty has to keep up with the demand with fresh supplies. New for Spring, the Daisy Twinkle Editions are a “sparkling reinterpretation” of the classic trio: Daisy, Daisy Eau So Fresh and Daisy Dream, according to the company, which describes the scent as “sunny and spirited, the fragrances transport Daisy girls to an endless summer sanctuary filled with endless blue skies, sparkling water and warm days.”
Meanwhile, at Gucci, creative director Alessandro Michele merged the science of alchemy with the art of fragrance making to create Gucci Alchemist’s Garden—a range with seven eau de parfums, four oils, three acqua profumata and a candle. Fragrance expert Alberto Morillas worked with Michele’s vision on a collection using pure natural plants and flowers. A hero ingredient is magnified for each scent. The singular scents become customizable.
The power of celebrity is still alive and well in fine fragrance. Interstellar Brands LLC, a subsidiary of Inter Parfums, Inc., recently revealed the development of a new fragrance line in collaboration with supermodel Lily Aldridge. This deal marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between Interstellar and IMG Models, which manages Aldridge, to develop direct-to-consumer, e-commerce fragrance and beauty businesses for IMG Models’ diverse and dynamic client base.
Aldridge, best known for her work with Bulgari, Ralph Lauren, Levi’s and Victoria’s Secret, will work closely with Interstellar to develop a unique, namesake fragrance line and e-commerce site that will be connected directly to Aldridge’s social channels. Initial products are expected to be available for sale by the end of 2019, according to the company.
“We believe this partnership is a first in our industry,” said Jean Madar, chairman and CEO of Inter Parfums, Inc, in a statement. “Drawing from our decades of experience creating products that capture and interpret the DNA of our brands, we will look to develop namesake products that capture the spirit of each celebrity. Direct-to-consumer sales backed by social media, rather than traditional advertising, make this a very attractive business opportunity.”
Interstellar’s broader partnership with IMG Models will see the two groups collaborate on exploring and developing compelling e-commerce businesses for IMG Models clients. Interstellar will be responsible for building the e-commerce platforms, all aspects of product development, packaging, production and marketing, as well as fulfillment and customer service. In addition to talent, IMG will develop creative content to support marketing and promotional efforts.
Abercrombie & Fitch, a division of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., says it has unveiled a redefined persona for its iconic and bestselling fragrance, Fierce. Launching in stores globally and online, the #FaceYourFierce campaign explores the modern notion of what it means to be fierce through a sensitive, diverse and inclusive lens. The new campaign showcases the stories of a group of Millennial men and women, and how they “Face Their Fierce” and find their strength in the face of adversity. The new Faces of Fierce include athletes, LGBTQ+ activists, mental health advocates, and a group of Malibu surfers who, as volunteer firefighters, bravely fought the recent fires.
The fragrance, with its newly-imagined bottle, remains unchanged, with notes of marine breeze, sandalwood, sensual musk and sage. As part of a yearlong campaign, three limited-edition bottles will launch in May, September and November with the portraits of athletes.
The new Badgley Mischka fragrance made its debut at the fashion house’s runway show and 30th anniversary celebration. The scent filled the room via diffusers so that attendees could smell the fresh floral in the air. The namesake fragrance, developed in collaboration with TPR Holdings LLC, opens with a soft blend of magnolias complemented by notes of amber and musk. Mark Badgley and James Mischka refer to the scent as a floral champagne.
Also known for defining modern sophistication in fashion, Elie Tahari is introducing his first fragrance to celebrate the 45th anniversary of his brand. Developed in collaboration with TPR Holdings LLC, Elie Tahari eau de parfum will launch this month on the brand’s website and in-store, along with an exclusive premiere at Macy’s.
Billed as the leading launch at InterParfums this season, Montblanc Explorer for men recently rolled out into stores. Following Montblanc’s Legend and Emblem, Montblanc Explorer pays tribute to a theme to which it is closely linked: exploration. To create the fragrance, Givaudan’s Jordi Fernandez, Antoine Maisondieu and Olivier Pescheux each brought their own knowledge of a specific ingredient and their emotional experience to this unique collaborative project. Montblanc Explorer is described as a woody-aromatic-leather fragrance.
Future Trends in Fragrance
Gender neutral fragrances, not overly feminine or masculine in the traditional sense, will continue to be marketed as gender fluid, genderless or unisex; and not advertised as such men vs. women, observed Levy of The Fragrance Foundation. Natural fragrances and marketing with transparency are also a continued focus, she noted.
“We will start to see more brands develop complementary fragrances that are meant to be worn on together or layered, for different occasions, even time of day,” said Caswell of Dollar Shave Company. “No longer is fragrance a singular part of the consumer experience, it must layer with one’s individuality, moods and emotions.”