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2017 Beauty Outlook, Part 3: A Split Decision for Scent

Dec 27, 2016
Karen Grant, Senior Vice President, Global Industry Analyst ;
Beauty

What do you say? Do you believe all the reports? Do you believe that we have become so detached from what else matters that we don’t care about anything but appearance? I don’t believe that. 

Some say it doesn’t matter. Some say it does. Such is the split decision around fragrance and its future.

Fragrance and the need for scent will not disappear, but it is undergoing change. Usage is shifting. That is a fact not just in the U.S., but also in other well-developed markets. Even in France, the venerable fragrance capital where two-thirds of prestige beauty sales is generated in that category, fragrance is facing the challenge of continuing to engage and excite the younger population to wear scent daily. Innovation in messaging, packaging, and delivery is sparking buzz and excitement. There will need to be more of it, as the younger generation relates to brands differently and prioritizes those that help them make a statement.

Consumer engagement continues to expand to embrace the personal and holistic experience. While legacy issues and limited innovation continue to erode topline results in fragrance, look beneath the surface to see the whole story. For the individual, designer classics reimagined for a younger generation and olfactory expansive artisanal scents outpace category growth at rates more than double the industry average. For the broader scent experience, differentiation in offerings for the home is growing at more than triple the industry average for total fragrance.

In the split decision of going with or without fragrance, know that fragrance is going through a rebirth of sorts. While fragrance engagement changes, as the trend of old-new world rediscovery takes hold, fragrance is poised to gain importance.


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