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Millennial Fragrances | How Scent is Being Sold to the Instagram Generation

Millennial Fragrances | How Scent is Being Sold to the Instagram Generation

Fragrance is a beautiful thing. With the right fragrance, we can invoke certain memories and feelings, since scents can transport us back to a different time in our life, another place. But…fragrance can be so expensive. At least that’s what millennials are saying. So now brands are finding ways to appeal to younger generations so that we can experience the magic of a good perfume- and of course so they can stay in business.

At some point in the last few decades, there was a shift in how we see fragrance. Even if we grew up addicted to body sprays from The Gap and Bath and Body Works, we left those sprays behind as we got older.  But at the same time weren’t quite ready to make the leap into expensive adult fragrances. After all, many perfumes cost over $100 for a small bottle, so when it came to budgeting out beauty purchases, fragrance was the first to go.

Brands noticed the lack of interest in fragrance, so many new and existing companies decided to make some changes. Besides the high price point, they knew there were other factors causing the decline in fragrance popularity among millennials. Namely, our obsession with aesthetics, and at the time scent wasn’t especially Instagrammable. We’ve taken a look at some brands gaining popularity with millennials by using clever marketing techniques and fun new ways to experience fragrance and found some intriguing products to try.


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Pinrose Pinrose is a brand that’s found a way to make millennials actually want to wear perfume again. Founded by two Stanford grads in 2014, Pinrose uses a personalized algorithm in the form of a fun and interactive quiz to help consumers find the perfect scent. After choosing appealing images and of course entering your birthday so they know what zodiac sign you are, you’ll get a few different results. With names like Garden Gangster and Pillowtalk Poet, these scents are sure to pique your interest. Pinrose also offers fragrance wipes, or Petal Packs, which are a travel-friendly and innovative way to discover new scents. Each bottle of Pinrose perfume costs $65.00, which isn’t a bad price point for most millennials.


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Glossier
Another brand leading the way with “personalized” perfume is the infamously millennial Glossier. This brand already has several cult-classic products that appeal to the popular “no makeup” makeup aesthetic, so it only makes sense that they created Glossier You, a sort of “no fragrance” fragrance. Described as “human-y” and “creamy, sparkling, clean, warm”, Glossier You is supposed to enhance your natural scent. The perfume costs $60.00, or you can try the solid version for $22.00. Offering Glossier You in a fun solid version is another way the brand appeals to the young, on-the-go crowd, though after reading the reviews it seems that the original version is the more popular choice.


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Scentbird Maybe you don’t want to commit to a full-size bottle of a perfume you’ve never even smelled before. Makes total sense, especially because it would be a waste of money if you didn’t love it. This is one of the many factors that Scentbird considered as they developed their brand. Scentbird is a subscription service that allows you to choose one 8 ml bottle of designer perfume for just $14.95 per month. Their impressive portfolio includes over 450 brands from Clinique to Tom Ford.  Scentbird’s rising popularity can be attributed to their countless options young users who may not want to stick with one perfume year-round, as well as the excitement of getting a new product in the mail each month.

KKW Fragrance
Of course, you can always just make a fun little perfume bottle that will appeal to millennials the way Kim Kardashian West did. Between her Kimoji Peach and KKW Body, Kim’s team has once again found a way to make their products intriguing and collectible. KKW Fragrance has its own Instagram with a collection of cheeky Kimoji photos mixed in with more daring nude photos for a new scent coming out in November. KKW Fragrance has also had a few pop-ups which provide an interactive experience for consumers that also feel exclusive and exciting.


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Scented candles There are several luxury brands popular among millennials who love perfume but also want a home fragrance. The rising popularity of luxury home fragrance is great for people who can’t wear perfume because of their career, such as those in the medical field. This allows them to indulge in scents in a different way, like with cozy seasonal candle or even a fancier version. Nest, Byredo, Le Labo, and Diptyque are some chic fragrance brands where you can find Instagram-friendly candles, as well as amazing perfumes. Diptyque has become so iconic that many people save the glass votive for makeup brush holders, as seen in countless #shelfies.


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Like any other beauty product, fragrance is a personal choice. It can be as playful or as sophisticated as you want. It can be worn daily or saved for special occasions. And perhaps most importantly, we can breathe a sigh of relief because brands have found a way to make fragrance millennial-friendly and Instagrammable. Just kidding, but we do have some cool options.

by Clare Saxton
cover photos via Instagram
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