The Future of Fragrance

Much has changed since the origins of perfumery. Back in 7000 BCE, people used scent in religious rituals to get closer to the Gods. Nowadays, people use perfumes to smell good throughout the day. It’s clear that, over time, how humans use fragrance has adapted. So in 2023, what do we predict people will expect from their fragrances?

During National Fragrance Week we explored the up-and-coming trends set to influence the future of the fragrance industry.

Au natural.

Environmental consciousness is more than a passing trend – it’s a global movement here to stay. And in the fragrance arena, it’s not just about what’s in the perfume itself but the packaging it comes in.

Sustainable raw ingredients with a renewable supply are in high demand. One of sustainability’s many bonuses is that plant-based notes react differently on different people’s skin, which comes back to that consumer desire for personalised scents that express individuality. Plus, the once frowned-upon synthetics are making a comeback, with perfumers experimenting with new ways to create smells that are less harmful to the planet.

Refillable bottles, compared to single-use ones, are increasing in popularity yearly. Tying in nicely with mixing up signature scents, travel-sized perfumes are trending – they’re an easy way to reduce waste and production costs. Also, people can play with various fragrances to reflect their moods at less personal cost.

Scent scaping.

If you’ve not heard of scent scaping, where have you been? With aroma intrinsically linked to emotions, there’s a huge boom in using smells to influence home décor and design to create a vibe in people’s houses.  

Akin to people trying out new methods of applying fragrances, scent scaping allows them to use different aromas to incite different moods and feelings in spaces. It’s a crossover worth watching, as it’s an innovative route to introduce perfumery into unexplored areas of people’s lives.

It’s a new stance on expressing individuality – with specific fragrance groups used to mimic and magnify the design choices made in the home. Heady floral and fresh fruity notes enhance colourful, tropical spaces. Breezy cotton smells and delicate, soothing lavenders boost neutral, calming areas. This also echoes back to the holistic trend of using fragrances to enhance wellness – bonus if you can do both in one go!

Mixing it up.

2023 is the year of “me.” People are finding new ways to express themselves, so we predict that bucking “traditional” trends will impact the fragrance world.

Fragrance fans are experimenting with different beauty products to show off their scent, from body mists to washes, scented creams and oils. We’ll see forward-thinking fragrance brands exploring innovative products for users to try alongside their regular perfumes.

People are also mixing up their signature scents, using different fragrances to reflect their moods, occasion, and even outfits!  The layering scents trend is booming, giving people the level of personalisation they crave to stand out with their smell. Brand experiences like layering labs where consumers can mix up notes to make a unique fragrance are proving wildly popular and help improve brand love and advocacy.

Fragrances with benefits.

With well-being a massive trend across the beauty industry in general, it’s no surprise that this craze is seeping into the perfume space. Holistic scents marry the world where perfumes and aromatherapy collide. People are after fragrances that do more than smell pleasant – they want scents with benefits.

Highlighting notes that boost health-conscious qualities will do well here. Citrussy notes help with energy levels, bergamot combats stress – you get the picture. Perhaps marketing fragrances by concentrating on the scientific efficacy of a scent will see success this year.

Also, inspiring people with different ways to wear their scents – perhaps a spritz of a lavender perfume before bed will set them up for a great night’s sleep - is an intelligent way to appease this trend. Brands that appeal to consumers who want different fragrances for different purposes, with proven health advantages, will prosper this year.

Breaking tradition.

Similarly to breaking “norms” with how to wear perfumes, the notes of scents are becoming much more experimental this year. Of course, the gourmand and floral classics will remain, but people are pushing the limits with new, unusual aromas.

From green tea to vegetables, freshly baked bread to tobacco, people are daring to try different notes to push the boundaries of self-expression. We’re also seeing a desire for scents to capture emotional nostalgia with perfumes pinned to a moment in time – think that warm, homely smell of your grandmother’s kitchen while she bakes.

Bold, daring perfumes are here to stay. People are curious about scents that command attention, excite and intrigue, and leave casual sniffers asking who the wearer is. Combine these in-your-face fragrances with unexpected notes, and you’re appealing to an audience that wants to express themselves noticeably.

It’s clear that the essence of the trends that are shaping the industry are subtly intertwined. Routed in people’s strong desire for experimentation and creative self-expression, they expect more from their fragrances than ever before. As a result, brands that can keep pace with these needs and be open to trying new things too will flourish this year and beyond.

The End
More coming soon!