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An Experience Consumers Want to Make Their Own

By: Abby Penning
Posted: July 13, 2011, from the July 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • As one result of the global recession, fragrances strive to help lift moods with scents that are comforting and warm, as well as fun and playful. They also contain less of a sharpness and feature a softer edge.
  • The need remains for a 360-degree marketing approach, considering the color of the formulation and the product packaging when developing a new fragrance product.
  • Customization is in, with people having the opportunity to create their own scents and seek out fragrances developed to mirror specific body compositions.
  • Brand DNA continues to be a guiding factor in the development of new fragrance products.

Fragrance trends can be hard to nail down, as fragrance can be such a subjective subject. “Above all, people want something that smells good. People respond to what they associate the fragrance with, and not necessarily the exact scent of something at all,” says Jill Costa, chief perfumer with Bell Flavors & Fragrances. However, there are trends that do stand out in both fine fragrance and fragrance for body and cosmetic products.

Major Scent Trends

“The one trend we do see a lot of right now is still the sweet, gourmand, fruity fragrances,” says Costa. “It has been going on for awhile, but there’s a lot more of it—really pretty floral-type notes, or a chypre note that isn’t at all floral but based on something more woody or another type of character. There are also some throwback notes in the scents, but by and large, things are very ‘what they are,’ whether they are very marine, very floral, very woody ... it’s still pretty, but it also makes a strong statement.”

Kellie Como, vice president of fragrance and product development, Inter Parfums Inc., explains the trends she’s seeing. “There has been a chypre trend happening in the past six years, but now I think we’re seeing more of a softening effect in fragrances, scents that are rounder and more comfort-driven,” she says.

Wendy Patel, senior evaluator with Firmenich, comments, “We see a lot of creamy vanilla and oriental type fragrances with fresh fruity top notes. The fruit notes help offer an easy point of entry to fragrances, and the vanilla is offering some warmth and comfort. Also, woody scents are growing, which is something we’d seen in Europe over the past few years that is finally coming more stateside.”