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Home Scent Diffusion

Posted: October 2, 2007

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At the same time, diffusers provide a value benefit for cost-conscious consumers. “The appeal of the reed diffusers is the fact that they are very easy to use. Our small diffusers last four to six months. Most candles only last 40–50 hours when burning. The value of diffusers is great and the fragrance is there at all times,” said Tracy Sullivan, Hillhouse Naturals.

Diffusers and potpourri are available at various price points that appeal to both the cost-conscious and the luxury consumer. Within the U.S., mass-market imports have driven the consolidation of manufacturers, according to Cathy Cook of the Fragrance Materials Association. As a result, most home fragrance manufacturers within the U.S. have turned to developing high-end potpourri and diffusers, thus appealing to luxury consumers while setting themselves apart from mass-market imported products, according to Cook.

“There is a renewed interest in the luxury market for high-end potpourri and other passive fragrance products,” said Belasco. While imported fragrance products, including potpourri, have cut into the domestic market, according to Cook, companies such as Aromatique, for example, have taken potpourri and remade it as part of a luxury decorative fragrance package. The company offers large distinctive botanicals carefully arranged with a memorable scent, then layered into cellophane bags. The potpourri is complemented by scented candles and other decorative accessories to artfully combine visual elements with fragrance. The company builds on visual appeal and unique fragrances to create a distinctive brand that resonates luxury and relaxation with the consumer.

Within the home fragrance market, there are product highs and lows, but the overall market has shown consistent growth. “The home fragrance industry has enjoyed a long period of healthy sales increases, most particularly with moderate and luxury marketers. While the popularity of specific product types may be cyclical, the product category in total is poised for a successful five-year trend,” said Belasco. The popularity of nonburning products, such as diffusers, is currently driving the growth for the whole category. As a result, the industry is planned for a 10–15% increase during the next four to five years, according to Belasco.

Brands within this product category must keep in mind that these products appeal to the consumer because of the decorative aspects and individuality that they inspire, in addition to the fragrance. Therefore, manufacturers must continue to be innovative within the delivery system itself, be it reeds with a twist or uniquely colored stones, as these items become part of the ambiance consumers wish to inspire.