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Fragrancing with Intent

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: December 4, 2006, from the December 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

Fragrance is an intimate communicator. Whether it’s the heady aroma of tropical flowers or a subtle abstraction, fragrances are evocative and powerful triggers. Perfumers have plumbed the depths of aromatic expression throughout the ages, and contemporary perfumers continue to experiment with both personal fragrances and home fragrances.

According to Euromonitor International, the air care category that includes candles, aerosol air fresheners, slow-release liquid wicks, electric air fresheners, gels and assorted instant release products, was valued at more than $6 billion in 2005, and is forecast to reach $7 billion in 2010. Refillable room deodorizers, innovative battery-operated products and evocative, aromatic candles have touched a nerve in the marketplace.

Whether it’s an electric air freshener, such as plug-in products from Glade and Air Wick, or traditional sprays, instantly fragrancing a room or environment is very popular. Some products such as concentrated sprays and instant-release products are designed to remove odors, while others provide slow-release fragrance to enhance environments. Whatever the purpose, the possibilities in home fragrances seem to be boundless.

Trends and Well-being

Manheimer Fragrances uses in-depth trend-tracking methods when predicting what future trends will drive fragrance direction. “Working 18–24 months out, our predictions of how lifestyle trends will translate into winning fragrances is consistently demonstrated with the foresight and accuracy our customers have come to rely on,” said Karen Solari, vice president of marketing, Manheimer Fragrances. Solari says the most influential lifestyle driver today is wellness. “The mindset toward maximizing our personal well-being is making its way into every aspect of daily living, and consumers are giving ever more consideration to the quality of their environment both inside and outside the home.”

In keeping with a current emphasis on the notion of well-being, Solari cites an important connection to nature, which is supported by the popularity of natural and organic fragrances. “We see the breadth of natural and organic home fragrances as supporting several distinct lifestyle directions,” she said. “A holistic/ayurvedic approach of life in harmony with nature would focus on such ingredients as ginger, cardamom or rosemary. A luxury/spa mood can be created by using essences associated with indulgence and pampering, such as jasmine, passionflower or sandalwood.” To appeal to the growing consumer base motivated by the value of emerging super foods, Solari sees ingredients such as goji berry, mangosteen and cacao as an exciting evolution of the natural and organic evolution.