Perfume sales grew double digits in 2021, according to findings by the NPD Group (see page 33); new data from The Benchmarking Company’s most recent primary studies of U.S. female beauty buyers serves to back up some of the reasons for those gains.
Me Time Driving Purchases
In a recent study of more than 4,000 U.S. female beauty buyers, 90% of respondents said they’ve bought a fragrance for the body (perfume, cologne, etc.) in the past two years, even during the height of the pandemic.
Seventy-five percent said those purchases have happened in the past year alone as sensorial aspects of overall wellness and “me-time” continue to evolve.
Purchase Frequency is High
She’s buying often. More than half of respondents (55%) say they regularly purchase fragrance products for themselves two to six times per year, with 18% saying they purchase once a year. One out of five fragrance buyers (20%) say they purchase fragrance for themselves monthly or more often.
Popular Fragrance Formats
Fragrance types most often purchased include perfumes (87%), body sprays (66%), eau de toilette (55%), essential oils (36%) and cologne (34%).
This buyer is amenable to a wide variety of fragrance form factors and sizes. Most fragrance buyers (97%) typically purchase full-size spray fragrances.
Fifty-five percent buy travel- or sample-size fragrances, which are easy to keep in her purse and makeup bag.
Forty percent buy roll-on fragrances; 21% buy perfume oils and 20% buy solid perfumes. Seven percent of fragrance buyers buy scents in towelette/wipe form, an up-and-coming format.
Purchase & Use Frequency
Respondents don’t own or use just one fragrance; they’re collectors. Forty-eight percent of fragrance buyers use two to four fragrances regularly; 26% use six to eight on a regular basis; and 16% use an eclectic mix of more than 10 fragrances, depending on her mood.
More than three quarters of fragrance buyers use a fragrance daily (78%), and 19% wear a fragrance a few times a week. A very small number of fragrance buyers wait for a special occasion to wear a scent, with only 1% saying they do so.
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