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Home Sweet (Smelling) Home

Apr 29, 2016

Beauty

I have recently developed a new love. I have fallen in love with candles and reed diffusers. I used to have this irrational fear of candles being dangerous and thought that reed diffusers were too fussy, though they are a great alternative to candles. Now I cannot see, or smell, my home without either.

These kinds of home scents have been growing exponentially in prestige despite their price tags. Consumers have been buying fragranced home-scented items in the prestige market. Though a small fraction of the market, dollar and unit sales of home scents have grown by double-digits for the last three years, with candles and reed diffusers driving the growth*. This sales increase speaks to consumers’ wanting to have signature fragrances for their homes.

My love affair began last year, during a trip to a high-end department store. Passing by an aisle display of candles, I was stopped in my tracks by an arresting aroma. I had to have the candle that wafted such a delicious scent. The ambrosial odor was exactly what I thought my new home should smell like. I balked at the price. They wanted how much for a candle? Disappointed, I walked away from that beautifully scented dream, but after that experience I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. A few weeks later I was in another high-end department store in NYC and was confronted by that same, wonderfully redolent scent. I broke down and bought not only the candle, but the reed diffuser as well.

It’s the artisanal brands that are really driving the growth of home scents. Their growth rate as a whole was 27 percentage points faster than that of the rest of the brand types in the home scent segment*. These brands are helping consumers to be more holistic in their approach to scent. They are not limiting scent just to the body, but are showing the other applications of scent in consumers’ lives. This is a strategy that has been helping them to win as artisanal brands in overall fragrance sales; they have been the only brand type to see double-digit growth for the last three years. The rest of the industry would do well to realize that fragrance as a category has various options and many, sweet-smelling applications.

*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Annual 2015


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