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Experiencing Scent in New Ways

Posted: February 11, 2014

This Valentine's Day, love will not be the only thing in the air, as consumers begin to express a desire for fragrances that offer more practical, unique benefits. While fragrances are part of a daily routine for some, new Mintel research suggests there is a growing demand for more distinct, non-traditional uses on the fragrance front. To that end, more than six in ten women (64%) and more than half of men (51%) who use any scented item would be interested in fragrances that can be worn at night to help you sleep or refresh your sheets.

Shannon Romanowski, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel, says, "A search of popular fragrance blogs also reveals that it's not an uncommon practice for people to spray themselves or their bed linens with fragrance prior to going to bed. There could be a variety of reasons that people spritz themselves with fragrance before bedtime, but helping to decompress before sleeping is definitely a key objective. As consumers may be seeking more natural alternatives to sleeping pills or medication, fragrances that are designed to help aid with sleep could be an opportunity for the category. There are very few fine fragrances positioned as 'night specific' but there definitely appears to be an opportunity for brands to capitalize on an existing consumer behavior.

"Air care brand Febreze recently launched a new subline called Sleep Serenity that includes a variety of formats and scents designed to help people relax and get a better night's sleep. The Febreze Sleep Serenity web page also has a tab for a bedtime plan that is endorsed by the National Sleep Foundation."

In addition to nighttime fragrances, consumers are increasingly expressing an interest in other added value fragrance benefits as well.

"New forms and benefits attract interest from consumers, primarily driven by women and younger consumers, which stands to reason as these groups tend to be more engaged in the category overall. However, since fine fragrances in particular tend to be viewed as occasional use items, added benefits could help to increase usage. Future growth will likely come from users 'trading up' to more expensive variants, ancillary items, and innovative new product formats and benefits," concludes Romanowski.