Personal fragrances rebounded strongly following the COVID-19 pandemic. While that momentum has slowed, the category continues to perform well, driven by consumers' investment in the emotional power of fragrances. Premium fragrances, in particular, are driving overall category growth, and several trends are influencing consumer purchase decisions.
Perceptions of beauty have changed to include personal wellness and emotional well-being. This benefits fragrances, which previously focused on social occasions and extrinsic motivations. Fragrances have now become a part of self-care routines rather than worn for the pleasure of others. Consumers indulge in fragrances to relax, escape, and relieve stress, with energy-boosting and therapeutic claims trending in the category. Among global online fragrance SKUs, there was a 31% growth in "aromatherapy" claims and a 26% growth in "mood enhancing claims" from 2020-2021 (Euromonitor).
Overarching trends of self-expression, personalization, and co-creation have led to the growth of the fragrance "wardrobe." While signature scents have historically been popular, the idea of multiple scents for different occasions is creating a new consumer relationship with fragrance brands. Younger consumers, including Gen Z-ers, are interested in building a "wardrobe" of different scents, from which they can pick and choose depending on their mood. Berlin Packaging | Premi Industries developed award-winning custom packaging for Ninu Perfume, the world's first AI-enhanced sustainable smart perfume. The bottle allows the user to create 100 bespoke fragrances based on their mood, activity, and olfactory preferences by replacing and recycling the three interior scent cartridges while reusing the premium outer container.
There is increased consumer demand for minority empowerment and representation, with 62% of global consumers saying it's important to them to support brands that promote diversity (GlobalData).And younger consumers are rejecting traditional gender stereotypes and labels. This is reflected by the rising popularity of unisex fragrances, which grew by 18% globally in 2021 (Euromonitor). Berlin Packaging | Jansy developed a unique, custom bottle and cap for Boy Smells. The imposing package eschews traditional perfume and cologne conventions to create something special for these Genderful™ fine fragrances.
Spurred on by clean beauty, ingredient-led beauty, and sustainability trends, "green chemistry" is coming to the fore. It focuses on removing hazardous substances and adding or replacing previous ingredients with bio-based ones. Reducing pollution, eliminating waste, and upcycling are also part of the green equation. As consumers grow more aware of greenwashing, transparency across the supply chain will gain importance. Certifications are in high demand for ingredients and the manufacturing process, becoming more common among premium and niche/artisanal fragrance brands (with mass brands expected to follow).
"We're in the midst of a reinvention of perfumery" – Michal, Benmayor, VP of Conscious Perfumery at Firmenich
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The brands mentioned in this report are trademarks of their respective owners. Inclusion of these brands in this report is not meant to imply an association with or endorsement from the respective trademark owners.