What you need to know

Mounting competition compounded by a recessionary environment puts pressure on the fine fragrance market. Fine fragrance players must highlight added value and emotive benefits to attract consumers. A shift to remote work/school opens doors for brands to develop products reflective of lifestyle shifts, ushering in an era of holistic fragrance solutions.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the fragrance and scented personal care market.

  • The recessionary impact on the fragrance market.

  • How lifestyle shifts can guide product development.

  • How the shifting perception of gender is impacting the future of fragrance.

This Report was written September-October 2020.


For the purposes of this Report, the fragrances market has been defined as follows:

  • Men’s fragrances – cologne, body spray

  • Women’s fragrances – perfume, body spray

“Perfume” is used as a general description to include all fine fragrance formats, such as parfum, eau de parfum, and eau de toilette. Body sprays are not traditionally thought of as fine fragrance, but their popularity in the market has led to their inclusion in the market size.

In addition to fine fragrances and body sprays, this Report will also cover the role of fragrance in non-traditional personal care items, such as: body wash, laundry products, deodorants, and scented hair products.

Excluded from this Report:

  • Home scents, including sprays and candles

  • Car air fresheners

  • Facial skincare

COVID-19: market context

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic, and on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in the US.

Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, and remained in place through May, and in some cases June. During this time, referred to as lockdown, nonessential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations.

During re-emergence, all 50 states have relaxed stay-at-home orders and allowed businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place. The continued spread of COVID-19 infections has driven some states to slow down or reverse course on reopening plans. Mintel anticipates the US will remain in a state of flux through 2021 until a vaccine is available.

Back to top