Do you find yourself scrolling for hours on TikTok? I’ll admit that I’m guilty of doing so from time to time. As a fragrance enthusiast, TikTok’s algorithm often gives me a front-row view into the evolution of the PerfumeTok hashtag. Over the last two years TikTok, and subsequently PerfumeTok, expanded and progressed in terms of content, consumer impact, and the ways brands are engaging with their target audiences.
The PerfumeTok hashtag has had more than three billion views on TikTok, and it has arguably contributed to an increase in fragrance purchases. In fact, TikTok accounts for 45% of social media-driven fragrance purchases in the U.S., according to the 2022 “Fragrance Consumer Report” from NPD — a substantial increase of 15 points, versus last year. For Gen Z consumers (aged 13 to 25) TikTok is now tied with Instagram as the top social media platform to influence fragrance purchase decisions. While TikTok’s highest penetration is among Gen Z, the social media platform is gaining significant traction among all U.S. consumer cohorts.
At its inception, the PerfumeTok community was primarily comprised of creators talking about their favorite scents. Fragrances inspired by premium brands soon became a hot topic, and nearly one out of every 10 Gen Z consumers have been influenced to purchase a scent because it mimics a pricier fragrance.
As fragrances continue to capture consumer interest, their presence on TikTok continues to expand. Even beauty influencers who typically focused on makeup or skincare products are now dipping into the fragrance market with genuine reviews and even some brand partnerships. Some of TikTok’s most popular beauty influencers, including Addison Rae and Charlie D’Amelio, have each launched their own fragrance lines within the past year. Several fragrance specific influencers have also capitalized on their TikTok successes and launched their own product lines. Meanwhile, all types of fragrance brands including direct-to-consumer (DTC), designer, celebrity, and artisanal, have elevated their social media strategies around launching new products or reinvigorating excitement for older ones.
While TikTok continues to steer consumers towards purchasing fragrances, in-app fragrance purchasing through social media has been adopted by only 2% of U.S. consumers. Most consumers still want to physically try on scents before buying them, so most fragrance purchasing continues to take place in stores.
Brands should continue to prioritize and tailor their TikTok strategies to inspire consumers to try new scents, whether in-store or with a sample. Personally, my time on TikTok has not been spent in vain, as there are several fragrance brands that I want to seek out the next time I go shopping.