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Ready for Prime Time

Sep 20, 2016
Kissura Craft, Director, Industry Analyst ;
Beauty

Primers have become very popular items in the makeup category. Consumer usage of primers has increased by 10 percentage points to 39 percent*, and retail sales within prestige grew 20 percent last year**. Makeup finishing sprays, though only 1 percent of prestige sales, experienced growth of 45 percent**. Both products promise to make your makeup application look flawless and last longer. They ensure that even if you’re done for the day, your makeup isn’t.

Still under the influence of makeup primers, imagine my surprise when one morning I arrived at work and found a fragrance primer sample left on my desk by a co-worker. It promised to create a barrier on my skin that would not only give the fragrance something to grab onto, but help it to last longer. The fragrance would be unable to mingle with my skin chemistry and would smell truer to the scent in the bottle. I was intrigued. I did some research and found there to be a couple other fragrance primers and finishing sprays on the market.  Will primers work in fragrance? Will this product really make fragrance last longer?  I decided to try a little experiment right there in the office. I sprayed the primer on one of my wrists (it didn’t smell like anything to me). Once it dried, I sprayed both wrists with fragrance. About four hours later, when my fragrance usually dissipates, I went from co-worker to co-worker asking them to smell my wrists, and asked them which smelled stronger. I did not tell them why, as I didn’t want to sway their answers. Of the 10 people I asked, all 10 identified the “primed” wrist as the stronger of the two.

The whole idea of a fragrance primer is novel, but it’s in line with consumer need. Eighty-three percent of women say that “long-lasting” is the number-one attribute they are looking for in a fragrance***. What better way to understand this need than by giving consumers a product that will help their fragrances last longer. When companies listen to their consumers, everyone wins. We see this in the makeup category, where the brands that listen are the ones that are showing larger growth rates.

Since my experiment, I have been using the fragrance primer sample every day. I will have to invest in this product when my sample runs out. It will now become a staple in my daily routine, right along with my makeup primers.

 

 *Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / 2016 Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report
**Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Annual 2015
***Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / 2015 Women’s FragranceTrack