Driven by innovation-hungry and high-spending Gen Z, future fragrance is escaping the confines of its spray format to contribute to a global industry estimated to be worth $52.4bn by 2025.
On the retail and experience front, innovations such as ScentTronix, an olfactory printer, create hyper-personalized scents harnessing artificial intelligence and personal survey inputs. For online browsing, Fragrance Tech has developed Fragrance.chat, an AI fragrance advisor. For product delivery, there’s Aira, a Wifi- and app-enabled home scent system.
On the development side, there has been an increasing focus on alcohol-free formulas. 83% of Gen Zers buy organic and natural products, displaying an emphasis on “clean” formulations, and as consumers have become more discerning about alcohol in their skincare, fragrance applications have now come under equal inspection. Here, perfume oil rollerballs, fragrance serums, and balms that replace alcohol with moisturizing carrier oils offer a competitive edge, but also a different sensorial experience.
Housing these updated formulas are a variety of portable counterparts to the vanity table atomizer. NPD reports that travel spray sales have increased by 28%. FreshEnGo offers individual-use capsules, Jo Malone produces gel-filled scent paintbrushes, and Byredo had previously launched brush-on-powered products. Data from consumer insights group Scentiments states that 1/3 of female consumers see fragrance as a personal treat, purchasing a new scent as often as once a month. Buying perfume more often means that customers are likely to look for smaller and more cost-effective formats, with 69% of women claiming that they are strongly influenced by price when buying perfume online. Lifelong signature scents and 100ml bottle purchases have been replaced with more convenient and playful formats.
Scentinvent Technologies is an innovator looking to lead consumers and businesses alike into this new world of olfactory experience. The company launched Linger Fragrance Primer on HSN in 2016 to help extend the wearability of alcohol-based fragrance. This summer they launched their first B2C brand, Sparti Scents, targeted at the younger and more digitally engaged scent consumer. “There is a whole new fragrance generation excited to participate and learn about ways of enjoying scent that relate to their everyday lifestyle. That’s what Sparti is really representing, it’s a new and fresh voice in fragrance, that is building a community to celebrate scent and self, ” explains co-founder and CEO Abby Wallach.
The line is comprised of fragrance coolers packaged in a convenient swivel-stick format, available in three fine fragrance compositions: Dance Sparti (a purple cooler with notes of starfruit, orange flower, and amber), Spring Sparti (a lime-green cooler scented with grapefruit, white peony, and vanilla), and Love Sparti (an orange cooler with fruity notes, hyacinth, and patchouli). Colorful yet translucent on the skin, the alcohol-free formula delivers skincare benefits via bisabolol and green tea, as well as a unique, velvety skin-feel which contains a substantial 20% fragrance concentration. “We saw an opportunity and white space many years ago to meet todays’ consumers with new formulations, textures, and delivery systems outside of your typical alcohol-based fragrance spray. All generations seem to be interested in this new format based on our many years of research and focus groups,” co-founder Caroline Fabrigas states.
Another facet of today’s modern fragrance consumer is social media-driven engagement, fueled by hashtags, TikTok videos, and relatable brand ambassadors. The ethos has shifted from a Eurocentric, exclusive, velvet-roped approach to one of community building and attainable pricing. Whereas traditional marketing efforts thrived on romanticism, opulence, and high-end luxury, the Gen Z consumer is less likely to be wowed by an exorbitant price tag or heritage brand, and more interested in becoming part of an online collective which values their individual spirit, aesthetic, and ethics. “The brilliance of Sparti Scents is connecting a fragrance-loving consumer with joyful content shared by a community that is engaged, creating awareness and drives commerce,” comments Pamela Baxter, co-founder and CEO of Bona Fide Beauty and Operating Partner at MidOcean Partners.
Scentinvent Technologies recently signed a licensing deal with WWP Beauty, which will enable their trade-secret formulations to be accessed by beauty and fragrance companies across the luxury, prestige, masstige, and mass categories. Josh Kirschbaum, CEO of WWP Beauty, states: “Scentinvent Technologies have not only re-engineered new forms of fragrance with new delivery systems, they have created a new fantasy and experience with Sparti Scents to lead the way.”