Cosmetics Business reveals the 5 key fragrance trends of 2021 in new report

By Jo Allen | Published: 13-Jul-2021

As fragrance is poised to enter a boom period, this report outlines the opportunities awaiting brands and retailers

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Report introduction: At a glance

What's in this report?


Top 5 trends:

1. Bottling the zeitgeist

2. Fixing digital discovery

3. Diversity & representation

4. Nostalgic scents

5. Feel-good fragrances

Country highlights


Key challenges addressed

It has been a bittersweet story for fragrance over the past year, but recovery is in sight.

The US and China have experienced a period of heady sales and strong consumption, yet the picture for much of Europe has been less fragrant, with lengthy lockdowns creating a waft of continued disruption. Not least are the persisting restrictions on international travel and the devastating impact on duty free sales of fine fragrance.

According to The NPD Group, fragrance sales in Europe (covering France, Germany, Spain, Italy and UK) declined by 17% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, with many countries experiencing two or three months of store closures during this time.

The UK has since reported early signs of a bounce back, nevertheless, the altered retail landscape is expected to continue to impact fragrance sales to some degree.

Matt Maxwell, Strategic Insight Director of Kantar says, “There is now less opportunity to buy fragrance on the UK’s high street, given the big changes we have seen in the last year.”

Before Covid, department stores took a 21% share of fragrance sales, but last year this dropped to 13% and Maxwell says: “The closure of Debenhams means that it will be a lot harder for department stores to regain that spend, given that there are less options in the marketplace.”

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