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Snackable, bespoke and functional – what’s in the air for the future of fragrance?

Clear glass perfume bottle with white flowers
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Jan 21, 2023 By WGSN Insider

WGSN’s Head of Beauty Sienna Piccioni shares the key fragrance innovations that brands should focus on to open up new product opportunities.

The global fragrance market is set to reach $52.4bn by 2025. The sheer size of the industry points to its diverse customer base with differing priorities, from health and wellness to sustainability. Find out how brands are appealing to audiences with innovative fragrance formats, as tipped by WGSN Beauty.

Functional fragrances

In the Covid-19 aftermath, when many lost their sense of taste and smell, we better understand the importance of smell on wellbeing and how it can support mental and physical health. Brands should look to formulating emotionally supportive scents, which contain blends to trigger areas of the brain that facilitate relaxation, sleep, happiness and more.

Building emotional connections with users is always a fundamental strategy for perfume brands, but interestingly the trend direction is to evoke personal, everyday memories. *Apartment Perfumes’ (South Africa) conceptual scents draw on still-life imagery, local stories and key notes of oakmoss, cathedral incense, dust and even BIC pens.

Woman smelling a bottle of essential oil
doTERRA International, LLC/Pexels

Bespoke perfumes

A new market of younger Millennial and Gen Z consumers are increasingly turning to fragrance to help them establish their self-identity. They are engaging with brands that understand and support their values, including sustainability, diversity and inclusivity, and are driving a more flexible, fluid and personalised fragrance offer.

Consumers will look for personalised fragrances that express their personalities, putting brands that utilise AI tech and algorithms at the forefront. No Ordinary Scent (Sweden) creates perfumes based on a questionnaire and personal images the consumer has uploaded, allowing consumers to create a scent to ‘fix’ their own memories and stories.

Elderly man smelling liquid in a test tube

Snackable scents

In the future, consumers will use multiple fragrances depending on how they feel or look that day. They will use on-the-go ‘snackable’ scents to offer emotional boosts throughout the day. Bulgari’s (Italy) Allegra Collection offers a set of single-ingredient scents that act as a personalised base layer to boost other fragrances. It’s housed in a discovery box, encouraging consumers to build their unique scent by layering, and is available in mini 10ml sizes.

WGSN subscribers can discover more fragrance purchase drivers in Intelligence: Future of Fine Fragrance 2025

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