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Are Men the New Scent Aficionados?

Jun 11, 2018
Elsa Bustamante, Manager, Fragrance Industry Analyst ;
Beauty

My father and I have a very special relationship. As the daughter of an accomplished artist, I understood from an early age that passion, inspiration, and recognition are what matter most to him. He pushed me to find my inspiration, but I struggled to discover it.

For my 14th birthday, my father brought me to the Fragonard perfume museum in Paris. Although he did not particularly care for fragrances, he was adamant about finding ways to stimulate my creativity. As we walked through the rooms and discovered the process of perfume making, an overwhelming flow of energy and a feeling of joy overtook me. This struck me clearly as the universe I wanted to belong to.

From then onwards, not only had perfume bewitched me, but my relationship with my father began to blossom. For the first time, I was truly passionate about something and my father was thrilled.

Fifteen years have passed as I look back on this life-changing moment. I have spent the last seven years exploring and developing my fragrance expertise alongside perfumers, brands, and retailers, and I am still utterly excited about perfume. I am also proud to have witnessed and influenced my father’s own fragrance exploration. As a result of my persistence and his growing curiosity, he has evolved from wearing the same scent for 20 years, to becoming an avid fragrance collector!

I am thrilled to see many other men following suit, and increasingly investing in the category. According to NPD’s 2017 data, men’s prestige fragrance launches grew 21 percent in total U.S. sales for the year. Moreover, NPD’s recent Scented Mind survey confirmed this growing engagement, with 89 percent of U.S. men reporting that they use scent and 46 percent ‘loving to try new or different scents.’

With an average of 3.6 bottles per head, who would have thought men were the new scent aficionados?

As Father’s Day approaches, the opportunity is ripe for brands and retailers to entice the purchase of men’s fragrances.



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