Over the past few years, celebrity skincare routines and the launch of numerous skincare and makeup lines have dominated the beauty industry. However, in a predictable yet intriguing turn of events, fragrances are making a comeback on the red carpet. It seems that the rise of branded perfumes is here to stay, but with a few notable changes.

Gen Z’s Influence on the Fragrance Market

Gen Z has made an undeniable impact on the wellness and beauty market, and now they’re setting their sights on the fragrance industry. While makeup and skincare have taken the spotlight, the younger generation is reshaping the fragrance market. The rise of #PerfumeTok is a clear indication of their interest and influence in this domain.

Sustainability Takes Center Stage

Sustainability has become a top priority for Gen Z, and it comes as no surprise that branded perfume labels must align with their environmental values. Fragrance companies are now scrambling to infuse sustainability into their products. Chanel, for instance, partnered with the luxury packaging company Pochet du Courval to create a recycled glass container for its iconic No. 5 perfume. They even developed a cap using 91% plant-based materials. L’Oreal’s recent addition, Polo Earth, from their Ralph Lauren fragrance collection, consists almost entirely (97%) of natural ingredients.

Choice and Self-Expression Define Gen Z’s Fragrance Journey

Gen Z embraces the malleability of self-expression, breaking free from preconceived boxes. Rather than sticking to one signature scent, they seek a personal scent library. Just as they mix and match makeup to suit their mood and aesthetic, they desire the same versatility in their fragrances. Synaesthesia—the blending of senses—plays a real role in this young generation’s olfactory experiences.

A Shift in Fragrance Consumption and Marketing

Unlike millennials, who sought a single defining element of self-expression, Gen Z thrives on choice and adaptability. This shift in fragrance consumption has significant implications for both production and marketing. Perfume business By Far anticipated this change and launched the By Far Daydreams fragrance collection, featuring seven buildable scents. Each scent comes in a 100ml bottle made of recycled glass that can easily refill a 20ml wearable charm bottle. This innovative approach allows users to select their fragrance based on their mood, day, or desired effect.

The Power of Scent as a Wellness Tool

Gen Z’s emphasis on mental health and self-care has permeated the fragrance world. Aromatherapy, harnessed through scents, has become a valuable aspect of perfumes. The industry is recognizing the potential of fragrances with relaxing and comforting properties to combat daily stressors.

Breaking Gender Barriers: Fragrance for All

Another departure from traditional branding is the increasing promotion of fragrances as unisex products. As Gen Z challenges and dismantles gender norms, branded perfumes are marketed to all genders, including non-binary, gender-fluid, and agender individuals. This shift represents a significant milestone in the marketing of perfumes and signals a more inclusive approach.

A Fragrance Industry Transformed

The products preferred by a generation reflect its culture, consumption patterns, and values. Gen Z’s impact on the fragrance market is profound, driving changes that prioritize sustainability, individuality, and well-being. As this influential generation’s purchasing power continues to grow, the fragrance industry must adapt and embrace these transformative trends to thrive in the evolving market landscape.