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Sniffing The Future: Olfactive Trends To Watch


Perfume Bottle

As the fragrance industry seeks to rebuild its relevance for today’s consumers, expect to see less newness for its own sake and more focus on creating scents that will stand the test of time.

According to experts gathered for the Fragrance Foundation’s 2010 Fragrance Trends in New York City, scents with a clear signature are the way forward. Cosimo Policastro, Executive Vice President of Fine Fragrances at Givaudan said that successful scents must be clearly distinguished from everything else on the market.

According to Camille MacDonald, President of Bath & Body Works, today’s consumers are more likely to use discretionary income to buy skin care or color cosmetics, not to mention fashion accessories or electronics, instead of fragrances.

To inspire desire, Bath & Body Works takes a cue from the storytelling approach of European ateliers and niche brands, creating emotion and making the fragrance (and the notes) the centerpiece. “It matters what it smells like,” said MacDonald.

Some olfactive directions in the air for this year and beyond, according to the Fragrance Foundation:

• A trend toward sensuality and signature, which will be exemplified by a rise of the Floriental family

• A wave of sophisticated fragrances relying on ambery notes, powdery notes, and modern floral nuances

• An increase in the use of solar musks for warmth

• Continued acceptance of masculine notes in women’s fragrances


• An increase in the use of woody notes to add a warm sensuality and signature

• A new definition of transparency as we move away from heady white florals and robust gourmands

• Presence of citrus notes will continue, with an emphasis on energetic and powerful compositions

• A return to beloved flowers such as lily of the valley, honeysuckle, and hyacinth

• Natural green qualities will become more popular as we embrace nature

• Optimism and hopefulness in a bottle: effervescence, sparkle and brightness

• Simplicity in fragrance


The Fragrance Foundation also predicts that 1 oz. fragrance sizes (a big success story in 2009, according to NPD) will continue to be popular, as will portable fragrance formats (roller balls, solids) and fragrance jewelry (rings, pendants, etc.)

*Fragrance houses Givaudan, Mane, Robertet, Symrise, Takasago, and Ungerer contributed to the Fragrance Foundation’s report.

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Original Publication Date: 2010 - Revised Date: 04/23/11


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