Special Edition: Fragrance Trends

Cherry, mandarin and peach: ‘Fruity scents’ and ‘sustainable’ trend in 2020 perfume reviews

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Consumer mentions of iris are up 190% and cherry up 148% across online reviews and engagement in the UK and North America for the first-half of 2020 (Getty Images)
Consumer mentions of iris are up 190% and cherry up 148% across online reviews and engagement in the UK and North America for the first-half of 2020 (Getty Images)

Related tags Revuze Perfume Fragrance Consumer trends Fruit sustainable beauty Natural ingredients

Perfume consumers are talking a lot about fruity notes, less about herbal and citrus scents and more about sustainable ingredients in online reviews and social media engagements – conversations AI data specialist Revuze says will soon convert to purchase trends.

The Israel-headquartered tech firm used self-learning, artificial intelligence (AI) data capture technology to scan more than 630,000 online product reviews in the perfumes category in the first half (H1) of 2020. Data was captured from 20 different platforms across the UK and North America.

Findings showed online reviews and comments – what it defined as ‘voice share’ – was up 16% for ‘fruity notes’ and sharply up for specific fruity ingredients: rising 190% for iris; 148% for cherry; 140% for mandarin; 133% for vanilla and 120% for peach.

Woody scents also proved popular, with mentions up 26% in H1 2020 versus H1 2019.

By contrast, conversations around herbal and citrus smells declined: down 53% for orange; 38% for lavender; 31% for jasmine; and down 28% for mint.

Fruity perfumes will soon be sought after

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Alon Ghelber, chief marketing officer at Revuze, said these online conversations were worth paying attention to because such activity signalled future purchasing trends.

“As discussion share increases, we will see considerable following up within a short period of time – usually several months,”​ Ghelber said.

What this meant, he said, was that rising chatter around fruity notes in perfumes would soon translate into consumers actively shopping for products with these fragrance profiles.

For perfumers and fragrance brand owners, Ghelber said this didn’t necessarily spell a need for reformulation or new product development, though it could; rather just a twist on marketing around existing products.

“It’s more about the messaging. Formulating new scents and bringing products to market takes months – there are processes and the production line takes a while. But most manufacturers already have an inventory going on; it’s just aligning the marketing mass to showcase certain scents,” ​he said.

“…The message would be to highlight your listing and give more detailed examples about what the smell is like – describe the smell, describe the scents and give consumers insights.”

L’Oréal, he said, was doing “a great job in that area”​ – providing scent pyramids for consumers to look at to better understand perfumes. And this sort of marketing effort was increasingly important as many consumers turned to online shopping because of COVID-19, he said.

‘Kind of amazing’ – sustainable fragrance conversation sharply up

On top of increased conversation around fruity notes in the perfume category, Ghelber said consumers were increasingly mentioning sustainability and natural and organic ingredients.

Findings from the H1 scan of online reviews showed the volume of discussion around sustainable perfumery was up 60% year-over-year in 2020 so far.

“What is kind of amazing is that the number of [sustainable] discussions in the first half of 2020 is actually much higher than it was in 2019 altogether,”​ Ghelber said.

Whilst sustainability currently remained “a niche”​ in the perfume world rather than a mass market focus, he said there was clearly appetite among consumers and the fragrance world might do well in following big brand sustainable shifts already seen in cosmetics.

For perfume consumers, key topics like ‘natural and organic’ featured in the sustainable conversation and mentions of sustainability mostly related to ingredients rather than packaging, he said, though this was likely due to less market focus on sustainable packaging in perfumes.

Ghelber said that as 2020 progressed and countries came out of COVID-19 lockdowns, new trends may develop in fragrances – all of which would be tracked by Revuze’s AI-powered data tech and be especially important for brands to follow.

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