When looking ahead, many times one has to look back. Evaluating the past by learning the successes and failures can lead to future accomplishments or regrettably missed opportunities. History doesn’t always repeat itself, but it does offer similar societal occurrences.
Projecting the future of fragrances – perfumes and colognes, home aromatics, and even cleansing products – will be no different. Look at the past, evaluate, and improve.
The ancient Egyptians made use of extremely limited fragrances for praying, adoring, and offerings. Other civilizations utilized fragrances for lovemaking ambiance. 16th-century international royalty used fragrances to mask poor hygiene. Today, we use fragrance in many things, such as laundry and dish detergents, shower gels and bar soaps, moisturizing lotions and skin care products, and of course perfumes and colognes.
Specifically for perfumes and colognes, it is still an unknown industry. The entire process from creation to the counters is not widely shared beyond those within the circle. The information is not easily researched. The manufacturers have a dominant hand in the market.
However, much of that will change. As technology leads the way for developing, marketing, and even retailing, the industry will (or will need to) adapt to consumer demand and purchasing habits. I can foresee a whole new emphasis on sharing information, rather than limiting information and educating consumers, rather than promoting customers.
Currently, there is a significant appeal of niche fragrances over designer perfumes and colognes. Unique oils, higher quality fragrances, and non-traditional brands are expanding to give customers a more personal and less mass market scent. Many women and men are identifying with more individualized products to create their own image, personality, and status. These customers are willing to spend more to get what they want – and what not everyone else has. This segment will continue to grow steadily.
I also predict more people will purchase several fragrances and not just the signature scents. A collection of multiple perfumes/colognes will match that day’s apparel, mood, or event. We have already heard of people relating certain scents to memories of a particular time, such as a wedding, vacation, or other life events.
An increased demand for smaller sized fragrances will also occur in the future. As many people will change their scents more often, they will be less likely to buy the largest sizes. However, that will drive up the price of raw materials, research, development, and packaging.
The best news for customers will be more selection, newer fragrance notes, better quality, and more excitement than ever! A person will be able to get a unique scent to appreciate and enjoy! One day we’ll look back and compare to the current trends while looking forward yet again.
Let me know what you think about the next 100 years of fragrances. Share your comments below and we can all have an even better perspective of wants, needs, and desires!
By Eric Lundeen
Eric Lundeen is the store manager at Perfumes 4U store located at St. Louis Premium Outlets. He is an expert fragrance consultant