Fragrance had long been central to beauty and personal care; inspiring joy and adding to the experiential side of the category. But the surging consumer interest in health and wellbeing had opened up new opportunities for fragrance innovation, according to Richard Hopping, senior brand and household analyst at Mintel.

Speaking at last week’s digital SEPAWA 2021 event, Hopping said beauty and personal care brands could start using and positioning fragrances more centrally in products as a beneficial ingredient that helped overall wellbeing and self-care.

“Consumers realise scents are very beneficial, but there is more room for brands to tap into here and really concentrate on getting through to consumers what those benefits are,”​ he said.

Stretching scent beyond traditional ‘relaxation’ claims

Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) indicated a gap between demand and product development, Hopping said, with the number of new products making aromatherapy claims “still relatively low”.

But he said there was scope for brands to move beyond common aromatherapy claims like ‘relaxation’ and ‘re-energising’ and focusing instead on specific claims like ‘productivity’, ‘memory’ and ‘concentration’. There was also opportunity to use fragrance to target lifestyle areas like sexual wellness and meditation, he said.

“Consumers are aware they need lots of help in their lives on an everyday basis and, as we’ve already discovered, consumers are very aware about the difference scent can make to their lives. It’s just about helping encourage consumers to see those benefits.”

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