Return to Blog February 8, 2023

This Year’s Perfume and Fragrance Trends

A smiling women in a soft robe applies fine perfume.

As consumers ease into 2023, perfume trends shift away from the muted and subtle scents of the past few years. Fragrance and perfume customers, and the industry, are looking to explore new sensory experiences in the year ahead. From bold scents to sustainable manufacturing, this is what’s in demand for fragrances this year.

2023 Perfume Trends to Watch

The pandemic saw unexpected growth for perfume manufacturers, but the subtle, toned-down scents consumers leaned toward in 2020 and 2021 are being moved to the back of the shelf. In their place, we already see increased demand for bold florals and complex formulations with several notes combined.

Building on Strong Foundations

Vanilla fragrance ingredients are familiar scents used in countless successful perfumes. This year, this timeless favorite is being utilized as a foundation. Paired with citrus, cocoa and florals, finished vanilla products will feature widely – if not prominently – in 2023’s top perfumes.

Bright Floral Notes

Consumers might consider the pandemic’s scents sterile compared to the intense floral scents dominating the market. A carryover from the 2022 holiday season, consumers have long associated floral perfumes with femininity and quality. Expect nuanced floral offerings to remain a top choice through the summer.

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Clean Ingredients Take Center Stage

Consumer demand for clean perfume ingredients continues to increase. Certification of non-toxic and environmentally responsible fragrance ingredients remains a top priority for suppliers, distributors and manufacturers. Consumers are also watching for sustainable packaging. Sustainability isn’t a trend; for most brands, it’s a part of their identity and growth strategy.

Market Spotlight: Fragrance Industry Trends

This year’s shift in consumer preferences serves as a capstone on the previous three years of change in the fragrance industry. Like many markets, personal care and cosmetics faced considerable headwinds in the wake and rolling boil of COVID-19.

Beginning in the first half of 2021, fragrance manufacturers staged a remarkable comeback. Sales increased 45% over 2020, according to NPD Group, an industry research firm. At first blush, it makes sense; the first half of 2020 encompassed some of the darkest, most tragic and isolated days of the pandemic. But compared to 2019, sales still jumped 27%, a remarkable metric for an industry valued at $50.85 billion in 2022.

Offline Sales Channels Remain Strong

Fragrance is a truly personal and experiential consumer product. Despite substantial growth in online sales over the past decade, more than 74.65% of fragrance purchases were made in person. Celebrity and social media influencer endorsement, diverse product offerings and custom scents drive in-store purchases.

What’s Driving Fragrance Industry Growth?

Two key trends drive the market’s growth and long-term trajectory. For manufacturers, both opportunities are based on a collaborative distribution partner with the technical services to innovate and adapt.

Natural and Sustainable Ingredients

Creating innovative scents with natural ingredients is the most significant growth opportunity in terms of formulations. Rising concerns around synthetic ingredients, allergies and respiratory health have accelerated a pre-existing trend toward natural, organic and socially-responsible ingredients. Having a readily available catalog of stable, consistent, quality natural flavor ingredients is pivotal to meeting this growing consumer priority.

Personalized, Custom-blended Fragrances

Both offline and online sales channels offer personalized formulations to provide every customer with a signature scent. This custom fragrance trend includes varying degrees of formulation and expertise, from fragrance consulting to made-to-order, direct-to-consumer online sales.

Adaptable Services to Meet – and Anticipate – Trends

Trends change. At Tilley, we provide the agility manufacturers need to capitalize on changing consumer priorities. With a comprehensive product catalog, global distribution capabilities and in-house technical support, we’re helping partners adapt and grow. Speak with a Tilley representative today to get started.