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Brief Published: 11 Dec 2020

New Fragrance Launches Challenge Conventions


New indie perfume brands are disrupting the industry with unique product narratives that challenge convention. The pandemic has forced consumers to change their lifestyles and, as explored in Pandemic Perfumery, brands should be open to shifting their marketing language and mobilising fragrance’s ability to transport the mind through scents.

US-based Snif is championing this through simplifying the fragrance-buying process in order to concentrate on the scent experience. It focuses on the consumer’s individual encounter with scent and enhancing emotional connection. The brand launched with three description-less scents which are delivered to the consumer as testers. They can personally interpret the scents and create their own description, prompting a more emotional connection to the product, considering 75% of all emotions generated every day are due to smell (Moodmedia, 2020).

The brand also addresses inclusivity by marketing the scents as genderless. Unisex scents appeal to younger generations who feel less constrained by conventional masculine and feminine notes. Genderless scents enable consumers to freely express their individuality and emotions. Founder Phil Riportella told US business magazine Fast Company that: “The concept of having a signature scent is passé. Consumers want to change their scent based on their mood or their outfit.”

Similarly, UK-based Bel Rebel disregards trends in favour of its own experimentation and creates scents which tell a story of freedom and non-conformity. As an example, feelings of escapism are evoked by fragrance Born to Rebel, transporting the mind to a peaceful and fulfilled paradise, with notes of lemon, almond blossom and vanilla.

In the past, perfume was typically marketed by the scent notes and the type of fragrance family it belongs to, but disruptive indie brands are moving away from this. Brands should acknowledge that younger consumers respond more to emotional connection than this type of formulaic marketing. For more, see Lifestyle-Led Beauty and Fragrance Projections 2020.

Bel Rebel