Bottling Emotions: Fragrance Trends for Mother’s Day

Port Washington, NY, May 1, 2018 – Behind December and November, May has historically been the third best-selling month for women’s prestige fragrance in the U.S., making the Mother’s Day month the most popular time of year for sales after the holiday season,* according to global information company The NPD Group.

Consumers spent close to $90 million in department/specialty stores alone for women’s fragrance juices and gift sets in the week leading up to Mother’s Day last year, which fell on May 14. Dollar sales were more than two to three times greater from May 7 through May 13 than any other week in May. Across the total 52 weeks of 2017, the only weeks to generate higher sales were the first three of December, coinciding with the holiday shopping wave.**

“The fragrance industry benefits from the extra recognition mothers get in May. Gifting fragrance is special because the emotional component of the category makes it a perfect option to show appreciation for Mother’s Day,” said Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Looking at how fragrance is faring so far this year, it’s off to a great start on account of the turnaround we’re seeing during key holiday periods over the past four months. Given this trend, fragrance has the potential to outshine itself this Mother’s Day.”

Year-to-date through March 2018, the sale of women’s juices grew by 7 percent to $335.1 million, and gift sets were up 5 percent to $83.9 million, a particularly encouraging Q1 performance compared to last year, when sales for both segments began the year flat.*

The top five emotions women report feeling when wearing a fragrance, according to NPD’s Scentiments, are feminine (66 percent), fresh/clean (56 percent), attractive (49 percent), confident (44 percent), and happy (39 percent). The top five selling women’s fragrances in the market right now echo these sentiments:***


1. Chance (Chanel)
“Unpredictable, in perpetual movement, the unexpected floral fragrance sweeps you into its whirlwind of happiness and fantasy.”

2. Coco Mademoiselle (Chanel)
“Irresistibly sexy, irrepressibly spirited. A semi-Oriental fragrance created by Jacques Polge, Coco Mademoiselle is an absolutely modern composition with a strong yet surprisingly fresh character.”

3. La Vie Est Belle (Lancôme)
“Universal yet personal, Lancôme’s femininity is a choice embraced by women, not an imposed standard. The choice to live one’s life and fill it with beauty. Your own way.”

4. Light Blue (Dolce & Gabbana)
“All the essence of a sunny summer day is enclosed in this lively, fresh, floral and fruity fragrance that evokes the sensuality of the Mediterranean woman.”

5. J’adore (Dior)
“The J'adore fragrance is a symbol of absolute, sophisticated and glamorous femininity. J'adore gathers the most noble raw materials in a unique, generous and harmonious floral bouquet.”


*Source: The NPD Group / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market
** Source: The NPD Group / U.S. Prestige Beauty Department Store/Specialty Weekly

***Source: The NPD Group / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Fragrance Juice Dollar Sales by Parent Brand, January-March 2018

Coinciding with the National Retail Federation calendar, dollar sales in 2018 are adjusted to account for the addition of a 53rd week into 2018. 

Product descriptions are sourced from brand websites:;;;

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