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Shoppers find home in scented candles, home scent this holiday season

Welcoming the holiday season, people hunt various gifts at shops. On the other hand, cologne and perfume are quite trendy for holiday gifts. In 2020, however, the beauty industry gets an additional boost from various kinds of scents: home aroma.

How could that happen? Shoppers buy tons of smelling-good things such as candles, diffusers, and other scented pieces since they find comfort in smaller luxuries during the virus pandemic, as said by Larissa Jensen, the advisor of president and beauty industry for the NPD Group.

According to a report, the home scent is a prominent player all year. This very makes sense since people are homebound more than ever, said Jensen.

This is such an interesting thing since people tend to skip lipstick and eyeshadow, considering physical distancing and wearing a mask are two important things nowadays – the fragrance industry has found its rare bright spot, which can turn into a lovely collaboration of beauty and fragrance industries. 

Data suggested that fragrance sales drop up to 17 percent from January to September without any sign of an increase in both beauty retailers and department stores. On the other hand, home fragrance sales climb up to 13 percent. Meanwhile, gift sets with home scents in them, such as lotion and candle in a hamper, rise to 22 percent, as reported by the NPD Group. The ups and downs of those different industries took place during the same period.

Jensen also stated that fragrance is always considered as a little engine that helps in many ways. Even though the drop can be surprising, its recovery is even more remarkable.

Even though the sales of fragrance were declining a little, it rebounds somewhat faster than other categories in the beauty section. The fragrance section that includes candles to perfumes gained a lot during the global crisis, even after a little drop during six months in a row. While makeup sales declined by 31 percent in the third quarter from time to time, the fragrance section grows stronger by a one percent rise in sales during the last three months. 

An interesting fact suggested that fragrance gift sets are not just as a piece to give to loved ones or friends. Shoppers love the packages even before seeing what’s inside – packages are a better deal. Consumers take that as a value now, especially if they should lose a job and couldn’t make income during the virus pandemic.

Even Jensen also contributed to the trend of home scents. She has tons of candles and burns them day and night. She believed that burning home scents make the house feel cozier and brighter. People need to escape while the year didn’t allow anyone to do so. Thus, using a home scent is an excellent way to escape without going out of the house.

Ulta Beauty brand reported its result for the third quarter. The company showed that the graphic of bath and fragrance sales were on top of the game, even with double-digit growth. Nonetheless, other categories didn’t perform as well as the previous categories. On the other hand, sales at stores open and online during the last 14 months as well as the quarter faced the downhill nearly 9 percent throughout the year.

Meanwhile, the shares of Ulta Beauty on Friday closed by 3.45 percent, crawling down its value. Still, the company’s shares stick up to 10 percent throughout the year.

The L Brands that owns Bath & Body Works has enjoyed a bounce from fragrance. The CEO, Andrew Meslow, said that the fragrance trend has been accentuated during the timeframe of the virus pandemic, as he quoted in an investor conference. Other than buying hand sanitizers and more soaps, shoppers love to personalize their houses since they have to stay at home more than ever. When you are at home for too long, you may not feel at home anymore. Thus, the presence of home scents is such a personal trend. The best part is that people use fragrance for houses, schools, or even offices.

Jensen of NPD also reported that customers are willing to spend more money on retailers’ websites to purchase colognes and perfumes in the past few months. The most preferred smells include something with lots of fragrance oils but lasts longer, even though those kinds cost more. Jensen believes that shoppers love purchasing scents because they have a close relationship to emotions, since everybody may have a different perspective about it. On the other hand, scents bring back memories. Shoppers probably buy more fragrances to remember how nice the time was before the virus pandemic.

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