With the population’s return to the commuter lifestyle bamboozled by new Covid-19 variants, the past 24 months have seen many of us spend more time than usual at home. At the same time, the uncertainty created by the pandemic is encouraging stressed consumers to lean into the wellness category.
It’s a perfect storm for the home fragrance sector, with Emily Austin, Senior Marketing Executive at UK fragrance house CPL Aromas, linking the trend for ambience and home fragrance to wellbeing. “Wellbeing is a huge topic that isn’t going away,” she says. “The ritual of lighting a candle, diffusing a scent or burning oils is one that has been practiced for centuries to calm and relax an individual.”
Jordi Manresa, Global Category Manager Home & Air Care at Eurofragance, explains that the air care segment comprises both functional products (to counteract malodour) and sensorial ones, such as candles and reed diffusers. With “the pandemic putting our homes back in the centre of our lives”, says Manresa, it is this second sensorial category which has benefitted.
“We have never sold so much candle wax in our lives,” says Thomas Kerfoot, founder of O&3, a wholesaler of natural, essential and carrier oils, who also runs Makers Ingredients, supplying DIY cosmetics creators, as well as kitchen table start-ups.
“It’s [due to] people wanting to have their own candle burning while they’re at home working. But also the craft side of things has just completely blown up. There’s a huge amount of people saying ‘I’m going to make my own candles; I’m not going to pay £60 for a candle if I can make it for £3-4’. Plus it’s a fun, ‘crafty’ thing to do.”