Retailers internationally, in countries including Kuwait, Denmark and Brazil, are showing great interest in the trend toward custom perfumes, according to Sue Phillips fragrance developer, president & founder of Scenterprises™ a global marketing and branding consultancy. But, should 5th Avenue take action to be at the forefront of this specialty fragrance segment?
A viable segment
Mintel’s recent report on US consumer trends for the coming year suggests that the market in this county is ready for customized personal care products. The media intelligence provider determined that consumers are eager for bespoke convenience, seek out companies with a progressive understanding of gender, expect their rights to be recognized, and desire smart value-added technology.
Made to order
Apps that learn a consumer’s tastes, purchasing patterns, behaviours and more, as well as make personalized recommendations have quickly become the norm. And US consumers have access to all manner of goods made to their specifications: jeans from Qcut, eye glasses designed in-house at Warby Parker, and makeup from Prescriptives , which started in 1979, and offers custom foundation blends online and in department stores.
Custom fragrance offers a unique chance for brands to approach gender more progressively, designing scents that are conventionally feminine, masculine, or fresh interpretations of character altogether. A custom fragrance can arrive in consumer hands unencumbered by pink-and-blue pricing models, packaging or marketing.
“Marketers need to show that they understand consumers' modern perceptions of gender, namely that consumers are much more complex than the social constraints built around them,” according to the Mintel report.
What’s that smell
Consumers are curious about ingredients and make purchasing decisions based on the ethical behaviour, sustainability, and socially responsible activities of corporations. Working alongside a perfumer lets consumers see just what’s in their personalized fragrance formula and learn from an expert about the ingredients.
Plus, digital databases keep custom blends available for reorder online.
Boutiques and beyond
Custom perfume aligns well with small batch formulation and intimate settings for sales and consumer interaction, much the way so many natural and organic personal care products come from home-grown businesses.
Two primary consumer relationship solutions have already appeared on the market to address the issue of scalability for customized consumer goods: small siting room–style shops and DIY kits.
In May and June of this year shoppers at Selfridges department store in London could visit a futuristically bespoke lab-style custom scent shop, with scents by Givaudan (and creative vision from the design studio Campaign and tend forecasters at The Future Laboratory).
DIY kits that offer mix-and-match roll-on aromas like, Fred Segal’s The Blend out of LA, are already on the market. Also this summer, Phillips launched her own deluxe perfume making kit, complete with a scent personality test and calibrated pipettes so consumers can blend a measured fragrance that suites their distinctive character.