Five Fascinating Fragrance Trends for 2024
To say the global fragrance industry is evolving at hyper-speed would be an understatement. At no time in the past two centuries have we seen every aspect of perfumery changing, adapting and morphing into something new. What’s fueling this change in 2024? Well, it’s a combination of Gen Z and new technology (A.I.) We’ve researched the trends around the world and have condensed them to the five most important ones.
New Extraction Technology
We’re particularly excited to hear whispers that several big fragrance houses have perfected new ways to extract aromas from plants and raw materials. This is so top secret that no official word has been made, but a handful of insiders say they are just waiting for patents to be approved. One perfumer said the technology uses microwave waves. Expect to read about this in the second half of 2024.
For hundreds of years, the two main ways of extracting scent from flower petals has been steam distillation and enfleurage, the process where aromas are extracted using fats. These are then transformed into potent essential oils. More recently, headspace science has captured a smell in a clear glass bell and reproduced in a lab. All three processes work. But these new methods promise to create even more brilliant, radiant and joyful notes.
It’s a little ironic that following the trend of scent-free workplaces that consumers are now demanding stronger and stronger concentrations of fragrance. This trend started in Europe where younger consumers started asking retailers for stronger versions of their favourite fragrances. They wanted them to have a stronger impact and to last longer. Fragrance houses responded with parfum editions and now elixirs which boast 26% essential oils. One spritz will last six to seven hours. The momentum to parfums is picking up speed throughout America now, one of the world’s biggest perfume markets. So expect to see even stronger editions coming.
Ground-breaking consumer research by Circana last year, revealed that Gen Z men and women are buying scents to boost their moods. They wear fragrance at least three times per week and choose the brands based on how they want to feel that day. This is a seismic change for an industry focused on selling sex appeal. Watch for more feel-good eau de parfums coming with bright lemon, mandarin, soothing lavender and comforting vanilla. You’ll see a shift in ad campaigns to focus on happiness and self-esteem.
A.I. Consumer Research
Artificial Intelligence is changing every aspect of our lives and fragrance is no exception. The world’s top retailers have been using AI for several years now in the planning and inventory departments. This helps make sure the right scents are in the right stores in the right quantities. The AI algorithms are constantly learning about your tastes and desires and then pick the perfect products for you.
What’s new for 2024 is how the world’s top fragrance houses are using A.I. They are constantly analyzing which ingredients, notes and styles are most popular. And which ones will likely be the star ingredients of the future. This helps a brand when composing a fragrance as it cuts down on the possibility a scent won’t do well in a particular market. As you’d expect, perfumers are rebelling against this trend saying it is taking the artistry from perfumery. But CEOs are responding saying it costs more than $30 million on launch a global fragrance today and they need to do everything in their power to ensure it has the best chance for success.
Since the global pandemic, fragrance sales have skyrocketed – particularly with those aged 18 to 26, Gen Z. This group has discovered a passion for fragrance. They watch TikTok videos, read blogs, view Youtube reviews and research niche brands. What is wonderful is they are demanding retailers offer instore experiences where they can share their passion for scent with likeminded individuals. So you are now seeing more master classes, scent pairing events, perfumer personal appearances, etc. There are so many groups on social media to learn and share. This will only grow in 2024 and that is a very good thing.