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What the fruit trend means for fine fragrance and scented personal care

By Deanna Utroske

10-Nov-2015
Last updated on 10-Nov-2015 at 18:09 GMT2015-11-10T18:09:33Z

Lisa Wilson, owner of Scent & Strategy
Lisa Wilson, owner of Scent & Strategy

Cosmetics Design spoke with fragrance expert Lisa Wilson, owner of Scent & Strategy, about the proliferation of newly sophisticated fruit notes and what perfumers are getting into next.

Fruit is nothing new, but the diversity of notes available to perfumers today is greater and more nuanced than ever.

A bounty of fruit notes

Cosmetics Design summarized Lisa Wilson’s insights and the fruit trend in a recent CD Buzz video . Here we delve deeper:  “What we are seeing is a resurgence of fruity notes like fig, cucumber/melon, pineapple and many others in fine fragrance, and trickle-up notes of apple, pear, plum, cherry, tropical fruits and all the berries,” says Wilson.

Common fruits, like apple and pear are being incorporated into upmarket scents. “Apple notes were the heart of the hair care fragrance market as well as the seasonal home fragrance market, and now we are seeing them in prestige fine fragrance,” she notes. “Boss Bottled Intense by Hugo Boss, a newly launched Aromatic Fougere, features apple (and plum) in the top note.”

“Pear and Apple have a close olfactory profile (at least commercially),” Wilson tells Cosmetics Design, “so we are seeing Pear in haircare, skin, care, home fragrance and prestige fragrance; Jo Malone’s English Pear&Freesia and Miller Harris’ two new Pear-focused launches, Poirier d’un Soir (a ripe, yummy pear) and Couer de Jardin (a citrus with pear and floral nuances) are great examples.”

Helping us imagine pear notes, she adds, “pear can be watery, sweet, crisp, green, floral, and even a little tart…think about when you first bite into the skin of an almost-ripe pear.”  

Berries are a piece of the fruit trend too. “Dark, rich, blackberries are the natural evolution of black currants,” says Wilson.

As a fragrance consultant and scent strategist, Wilson follows trends broadly and gives this example of berry notes in action: “Illume recently launched Blackberry Absinthe across several product categories—personal care, fine fragrance and home fragrance.  And it’s gorgeous in all of them.”

“What makes it work are the facets—green leaves to cut through the sweetness of the blackberry, peppery anise for surprise, rose and jasmine in the heart for beauty, and earthy patchouli in the base for depth,” she explains.

Trending with everyone

“In the not-too-distant past, fruity notes were ubiquitous in the mass market, albeit more singular.  But I see that evolving as mass, masstige and prestige retailers are launching more and more faceted fragrances,” notes Wilson.  

To illustrate this shift, she points out that “Ulta’s Private Label Bath&Body Lines feature a wide variety of fragrances, and with the scents that have fruity aspects, they are carefully wrapped with florals, woods, or herbs so they smell luxurious,” says Wilson. She continues, “Lavender+Berries from their Luxe Line is a perfect example of this—a dark berry note is blended with calming lavender for a good-for-you spa experience.

“Given the launches we’ve seen in the prestige fine fragrance market with scents highlighting notes like lychee, kumquat, peach, strawberry—the trend will continue across all markets,” predicts Wilson.  

Soon to be trending

“Perfumers are always looking to expand their palettes, so fruit and citrus notes are a great way to explore new notes and accords,” says Wilson.

Contemplating how to use existing notes in new ways she says, “I’m always looking to pull top notes deeper into the heart of a fragrance, so I suppose the opportunity could be to find citrus or fruit ingredients with sparkling, bright nuances that aren’t ephemeral. A linear citrus fragrance.  Now that’s exciting.”

With an eye toward the future of fragrance, Wilson says that the next notes to watch out for are “clear, crisp, coniferous woods—for all applications.” Perhaps natural beauty trends and hyperlocal living deserve a bit of credit for these emerging scents.

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