Fresh Scent is the new preference for the under 35-year-old market, a surprise to the industry.  A new (unreleased independent report) shows a strong sampling of what are called “fresh” fragrances as the preference of the key under 35-year-old marketplace.  In 2016, the upset to the Fragrance industry was a surprising dip in December sales.  In 2017, this new unreleased report shows that preferences in the US fragrance market are trending to Fresh Scent followed closely with the contrast of Warm Scent.

In an unassisted environment, women experienced a variety of Scent choices to sample. This new report will profile what actual consumers in the real world are choosing.   Any lifestyle trend of the all-important Millennial marketplace bears note as this is the largest group of consumers ever assembled on the planet. The Industry always capitalizes on what preferences are driving consumers.


Of the 27,000 women who were intercepted for the study, 38% were under 24, 21% were age 25-34 and the remaining 41% were age 35 plus.  The study uncovered significant unaided preferences.  All selections were made by the individual and were not influenced.  According to the report, the FRESH SCENT category comprised of citrusfruity, and water, subfamilies may end up driving Scent innovations and inspirations for new products and brand expansions for 2018. The top 4 notes in order were: Fresh Citrus, Fresh Fruity, Sweet, and Fresh Water.

Fragrance defines generations; it is a part of how they see themselves, how they live, how they feel about the world around them. Scent has become a growing global marketplace in the billions of dollars annually. As we have said in previous Scent Narrative’s, Scent is the strongest sensory attribute humans experience. This growing field would benefit from more direct modeling thanks to field gathered information.


This kind of real-time analytics with real consumer preferences has been impossible to get in the past.  The awareness of FRESH SCENT is a wake up to the industry. Scent product development relies on gathering business and market intelligence and trend analysis is critical too.  Rarely has there been predictive analysis until now. Market intelligence and trends provide strategic direction. It reinforces and supports the creative process that is so critical in Scent.  Scent is all about lifestyle, which reflects social media and global influences, challenging the Millennial market to be choosing Fresh Scent, reflecting trends in the pervasive health and well-being lifestyle.


The competitive landscape in every category of products we service is tremendously large and challenging, and the more challenging it is, the more important market intelligence becomes. Product developers do not have the luxury of missing the mark with consumers. Merchandising space is limited and retail buyers must have successful products on their shelves.” stated Lori Miller Burns, director of marketing, Arylessence, “Knowledge regarding the competitive landscape is critical—without it, it is difficult to establish a winning point of difference. Isolating gaps and opportunities within lifestyle trend positioning can only be done with extensive market review. We accurately forecast fragrance and flavor trends at least two years out.


The research begins by creating a voluntary intercept, where participants interact with the Scent, unaware that their actions are being anonymously reviewed. The company doing the study states that conditions of the research are “reflective of a lifestyle of the participants, placing them in a natural environment.” The psychological connection of the Scent with the individual is one of choice, allowing participants to freely interact and experience.  Although the first report of its kind, the company is committed to the long-term saying, “The lifecycle of the trends in the report is being followed for several years, we are focused on revealing enduring trends reflective of a generation, not just momentary whims.”


Now, many in this $50 billion global industry talk about 2016 as “the year that got away.”  While the industry is profit driven, many are eschewing celebrity based Scents vs. more “experiential ones” like this trend to “Fresh” fragrances.   The opinion was that the industry got away from its core values of creation and got caught up in celebrity names and marketing driven (not research driven) creations (whims).

For me, 2016 was a disaster and it affected me deeply,” says super-nose Azzi Glasser of The Perfumer’s Story. “I found myself turning to my archives, delving into hidden accords [blends] that offer confidence, comfort and optimism, which I had created in a time when hope seemed eternal. With new days come new opportunities and I believe 2017 will be positively antidotal.[1]

Kingsmen: The Golden Circle As An Inspiration

Ironically, the newest scent from The Perfumers Story is based on the popular movie “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle”.  From the sounds of it, this is an experiential Scent that has Fresh overtones. From the website: “The official collaboration between Azzi Glasser and film director Matthew Vaughn inspired by … Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Character & Style: Debonair/Intelligent/Charismatic…based on the virtual DNA print of the Kingsman – elegant, provocative and intellectual. The top accord of English Earl Grey Tea and Neroli blended with the finest notes of Laurel Leaf and Elemi Oil are enduring and full of temptation. Clary Sage enveloped with delicious Rum, Tobacco flower and an overdose of Vetivert add a sultry smokey heritage accord that is full of lust. With Black Oudh added, it has an addictive depth of strength, loyalty, and charm that all desire.”

Scent has become a very dramatic and dynamic market.  In 2017, trends that were noted from 2016 showed how sales were measured, but not direct information on consumer preferences.  There is little information that can be “predictive”.  As we all have learned here in Silicon Valley, history rarely innovates the future. What is so exciting about this new report is that it is outside the realm of the “known” and closer to the what can be.  The excitement in creation begins when you know what the world wants.

[1] What does 2017 smell like? – the perfumes and fragrances to have on your radar this year © Telegraph Media Group Limited 2017


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