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The NPD Group sees notable shifts happening within U.S. prestige fragrance


PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — With three years of consecutive double-digit growth, women's scents in the United States have grown in lighter concentrations such as colognes, while men's scents are experiencing the greatest lift in eau de parfum (EDP), a richer concentration not traditionally used by American men, according to global information company The NPD Group.

Prestige retail dollar sales of men’s EDP reached $51 million in the 12 months ended February 2015 (March 14 to February 15), almost doubling in sales from two years ago. On the other side, cologne is a leader in women’s prestige fragrance and reached $69.6 million in sales during the most recent time period.  

“By all appearances, it seems that men are establishing a new relationship with fragrance, and their level of experimentation and sophistication has risen. EDP is a niche and emerging category, likely embraced by early adopters who are generally more sophisticated users. In line with this emerging type, the growing presence of multicultural men as well as women—likely buyers for men’s fragrance—within the U.S. population provides a new audience for richer scents,” stated Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Women’s fragrance behavior ties together with their movement towards natural beauty. Like the growth of active wear in apparel and footwear, growth in the more subtle fragrance concentrations complements the lifestyle elements of casualness growing within the women’s market.”  

There are some other notable shifts happening within the U.S. prestige fragrance industry, The NPD Group noted. At the same time that the more potent EDP types are experiencing a boost among men, sales of prestige fragrance after shave products, a $19.5 million market, have been declining for the past three years, suggesting a change in scent behavior.

In addition, among both men and women, the popularity of on-the-go fragrance formats is rising. Women’s purse spray/travel spray and roll on/rollerballs grew 67% in dollar sales in the 12 months ended February 2015, while the men’s varieties grew 54%.

“Quick fixes and on-the-go are the new buzz words within beauty. Products that are effective and convenient to carry are appealing to consumers, especially when they are part of consumers’ everyday routines,” Grant stated.


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