Fragrances in Beauty and Personal Care: Selling with Scents

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Oct 2017

Fragrance is a vital ingredient in personal care products in order to mask the scents of active chemical ingredients but in many categories it also plays a significant role in product positioning and marketing. This report assesses global fragrance trends in beauty and personal care, looking at market sizes and segmentation and exploring some of the themes impacting usage. Specific analysis is also included on trends in bath and shower, hair care and deodorants.

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Fragrances in Beauty and Personal Care: Selling with Scents

More than just a masking agent

Fragrance is far more than merely a way to mask unpleasant odours from active chemicals. Specific fragrances can also play a range of marketing roles, helping to position products and to enhance the overall sensory experience.

Diverse roles in product positioning and marketing

Fragrance’s main marketing roles are centred on three key themes: brand image; product targeting; and the sensory experience. Under each of these headings, there are many more specific themes that fragrance can and does address.

Steady and solid growth

Use of fragrance in personal care applications totalled 105,000 tonnes in 2016, representing almost a quarter of total fragrance volume. Sales increased at a CAGR of 2.3% over 2011-2016 and are set to maintain this level over 2016-2021.

Key targets in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa

Latin America and the Middle East and Africa will be the most important growth regions for fragrances over 2016-2021, each with forecast CAGRs of over 3.5%. Asia Pacific is now the largest market overall and is forecast a 2.4% CAGR.

Regional variation in fragrance applications

Bath and shower is the largest single market for fragrance in every region of the world, with hair care second in most. Deodorants are most important in developed markets and take second place in West Europe and Australasia.

Bath and shower is most important market

Bath and shower is the largest personal care application for fragrances, accounting for 46% of total volume in 2016. Other important areas are hair care, deodorants and fine fragrances; men’s grooming overlaps with these but is also significant.

Fragrance can play primary or secondary role

Bath and shower is also most important to fragrance innovation as scent is still the primary marketing tool in this category. While fragrance is important in all personal care markets, it sometimes plays a secondary role behind overall function.


Key findings
The use of fragrance
SWOT: Fragrances

Market and Industry Overview

Personal care uses over 105,000 tonnes of fragrance
Latin America/Middle East and Africa offer best growth prospects
Forecast volume growth is widely spread
Givaudan tops the global ranking
M&A: Focus on speciality and technical add-ons

Market Segmentation

Bath and shower leads the way
Different approaches to fragrance marketing in different categories
Regional variation in the most important fragrance applications
Regional hotspots in core categories

Concept Drivers

Brand image: Boosting a natural image
Brand image: Fragrance to enhance functionality
Brand image: Sophistication through fragrance
Targets: The right time for the right fragrance
Targets: The right scent for the right demographic
Experience: Indulgence through fragrance
Experience: Take-me-away scents
Experience: Mood modification

Category Analysis: Bath and Shower

Bar soap is largest market but liquids and gels are driving growth
Fragrance is crucial to brand image and positioning
Spotlight on recent fragrance innovations in bath and shower
Brand study: Le Petit Marseillais - looking to enhance local focus
Country study: Naturals are a growing focus in Egypt

Category Analysis: Hair Care

Largest subcategories are projected strongest growth
Fragrance is often a secondary factor but can help to add value
Spotlight on recent fragrance innovations in hair care
Brand study: OGX - a dual focus on active naturals and fragrance
Country study: Moroccan focus is on efficacy rather than scent

Category Analysis: Deodorants

Sprays drive fragrance demand in deodorants
Fragrance is often a secondary factor but can help to add value
Spotlight on recent fragrance innovations in deodorants
Brand study: Engage - coupling experiential fragrances
Country study: Fragrance can tap growth in Indonesian sprays


Address specific and local needs, then look at nature and edibles