Without a doubt, the beauty industry as we know it has altered dramatically over the last year. Spending extended periods of time indoors and engaging in social distancing means that in in the post pandemic era, we will be connecting with items in ways never seen before. And, contrary to popular belief, something as specific as perfume retains its potency during a period when people are staying in more and going out less. The perfume industry has only grown more relevant in 2021 as a result of the strength of social media, Gen Z and millennial mindsets, and a new generation of beauty standards.
The perfume industry is experiencing a renaissance. According to Reports and Data, the global perfume market size is expected to reach USD 46.93 billion by 2028. Following the 2020 dip, sales in the United States and the United Kingdom are up 32% and 20%, respectively in 2021. China is especially powerful: perfume sales in China will increase by 24% to USD2.4 billion next year.
Historical trends show that people desire to smell pleasing. They yearn to be a part of something. They want to feel unique. Immediately following the 2008 recession, in spite of financial strain, people queuing outside John Lewis to get a Paco Rabanne Olympea fragrance. Today the picture is similar, but new tendencies evolved during the Covid-19 pandemic, permanently altering the industry. Along with an emphasis on online sales, businesses are attempting to appeal to younger consumers by prioritizing unisex and clean aromas.
Shoppers are no longer solely focused on the perfume itself. Rather than that, modern customers are concerned in how the perfume fits within a larger context, whether that context is defined by current trends or cultural movements.
The two primary areas gaining significant traction in the perfume market right now are sustainability and diversity.
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The Future Of Perfume Is Clean
Sustainability is not just a topic of discussion in the skincare and hair care industries; it is also a driving factor in the perfume industry at the moment. And, while the term “sustainability” is subjective, the customers want to know whether a fragrance is (1) environmentally friendly and (2) manufactured with natural ingredients.
Consumers are more conscious than ever of the ingredients in perfumes, which is why brands are focusing on clean fragrance breakthroughs and new formulas that enable greater fragrance sampling and scent longevity.
Puig has collaborated with prestige perfume maker Penhaligon’s on AI.LICE, an app that enables consumers to preview a perfume’s aroma by scanning it in real life or in a photograph and learning about its contents.
Major fragrance firms also place a premium on clean smell and sustainability. Complete transparency in the form of clean and sustainable perfumes was a recurring theme throughout the year, contributing to the wellness trend that has taken over people’s lives.
Coty is the first firm to produce sustainable ethanol from carbon dioxide emitted during the perfume manufacturing process. Other businesses are experimenting with refillable and/or recyclable packaging — Jean Paul Gaultier’s current fragrance, Scandal, comes in a refillable bottle; Diptyque’s hand care collection is packaged in refillable glass containers.
Manufacturers are hoping that customers will notice a significant change in the packaging they place on the shelf and send out, particularly around Christmas 2021.
Recycling packaging is a major consideration, as is transparency about ingredient listings. Consumers are more interested than ever with how a perfume is manufactured and packaged as much as they are with how it smells and feels.
Diversity And Inclusion
The way brands tackle diversity and inclusion—particularly in terms of images and advertising is also becoming an important trend in the perfume industry in 2021. Shoppers want to know that their scents are inclusive, and they’re more inclined to avoid brands that don’t prioritise representation. And, in addition to the more visible components of scent marketing, behind-the-scenes diversity is critical. While fragrance consumers continue to gravitate toward the large mass brands, they have increasingly begun to prioritize indie and BIPOC-owned enterprises.
Preparing The Scent Shopper Of The Future
Social awareness is critical. As gender fluidity grows more prevalent among younger generations, experts suggest perfume brands should reconsider the binary of men’s and women’s perfumes. Searches for “unisex” scents are up 23% from 2020 to 2021, while companies like Tom Ford’s unisex fragrances are among the year’s top performers on Google.
Perfect by Marc Jacobs, a new perfume inspired by Marc’s personal slogan “I am perfect as I am,” premiered last year and is expected to be the most successful prestige perfume launch in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia in 2020. Gender neutrality is predicted to be adopted by an increasing number of brands. There are still find a lot of excessive masculine codes in male fragrance. But this is expected to gradually soften to represent the younger generation’s gender fluidity.
Perfume follows fashion in its acceptance of consumer trends. Among the top ten scents globally, nine are from fashion-forward labels. Six fragrance brands account for 80% of sales: Gucci, Burberry, Calvin Klien, Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs, and Chloé.
These six brands have the potential to become scent powerhouses due to their strong consumer resonance in regions such as China, which supports their multi-category potential. As a result, future investment and innovation will be concentrated on this elite scent range.