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The Future Of Beauty: The Future of Fragrance

By: Shiri Sarfati, Lisa Negrelli, Jessica Wolfe, Monika Ziobro
Posted: November 11, 2010
MPS degree program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management at FIT

Future of Fragrance: (from left) Shiri Safati (Repechage), Monika Ziobro (Coty Prestige), Rochelle Bloom (The Fragrance Foundation), Jessica Wolfe (Symrise Inc.), Lisa Negrelli (International Flavors and Fragrances).

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Luxury fragrance brands and specialty retailers’ brands are outperforming the overall prestige market. These two segments are hitting the emotional notes that resonate so deeply with consumers. From Jo Malone and Frederic Malle to Bath & Body Works, specialty and niche brands are engaging the consumer with interesting ingredient stories. To appeal to consumers, fragrance needs to be made more tangible, and the ingredient story offers just that.

Quality: The top selling classic brands, with quality fragrance ingredients, remain on the top 20 list year after year. Today, many new launches spend their money on packaging, bottle design, merchandising, advertising and talent, leaving very little for the product itself. In the past, investment in the fragrance oil was two to three times greater than it is today.

Classic brands dedicated 12–18+ months for the creation of a fragrance. The development process is critical and cannot be rushed. Ingredient materials need aging, and proper evaluations on blotter and skin are paramount. Much of today’s development process has been condensed to just a few months, leaving less time for the creative process to flourish and, in turn, adversely impacting quality.

Quality is important today, and even more important to the next generation. The Millennials are 76 million strong, rivaling the 80 million baby boomers. Born in the technology age, they are risk takers, smart, educated and socially enlightened. They care about ingredients and product quality and integrity. They rate an appealing scent to be most important in their purchase decision, followed by quality and then price.

Millennials rate scent highly and own more fragrances than the general consumer, 8 versus 6. They like to purchase fragrance for themselves, and 91% of them said they like to receive fragrance as gifts.