July 17, 2019 /Director's View

Fragrance & Lifestyle

serum poured onto head

Why are fragrances working so well as the foundations for a lifestyle brands?

The fragrance world is fascinating – an ever morphing landscape of patterns and trends.

At its root, there have always been three significant sections of this hugely important market: Aspirational (heavily covered by fashion and ultra high value brands), Celebrity (capturing notoriety) and Niche or Specialist brands.

It will be interesting to see if wellness’s influence remains a trend or is able to evolve into a category in its own right. We have our theory.

We have been working in the fragrance industry for a long time but as we meet more and more fragrance brands to talk about how they can make the most of retail today, one question is becoming particularly interesting:

Why, when scent used to be largely a subcategory of fashion, are fragrance brands now able to so successfully leverage the product as the foundations for a lifestyle offering?

jars on shelves

To me, this is a direct reflection of consumers searching for depth and integrity. Our relationship with scent is complex; it has a strong relationship with both our emotions and an intrinsic link to memory. In that light, whether we like a particular smell is linked directly to both who we are (nature) and our experiences (nurture). When you look at it like this it is no surprise that the selection of a scent is incredibly personal.

Whether we are loyal for life or like to evolve as we grow: once selected, a fragrance becomes a direct statement of our identity.

The reason that successful fragrance brands are able to extend their offering to lifestyle is because the connection that they have with their loyal customers runs so deep. Consumers think, ‘If this brand understands me as an individual, I am likely to be open to the idea that their other product ranges will both suit my needs and help to further reflect my character.’


floating trees

If brands extending their offering can understand and leverage this notion when shaping their retail environment, it can become an incredibly powerful part of introducing new consumers to the brand and current customers to their wider ranges.

There are many ways to create a deeper connection with your customer in a physical environment; this has the potential to be up there with the best due to its direct link with emotion.