As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to take stock of some of the 2018 trends in fine fragrances and their ingredients, as discussed at the recent British Society of Perfumers 2018 New Fragrances Presentation (North).
The event was an opportunity for those in the industry in the northern regions to meet and discuss how this year has seen perfumes develop across the male, female and unisex markets, and to vote for their favourite.
A total of 25 newly launched perfumes were presented unbranded and blind so the vote solely focused on the olfactive qualities – these votes will be combined with those from the South region and overall winners announced in due course.
So what fragrance trends were identified in 2018? It’s been a year of parallel development across male and female fragrances, providing common ground for unisex aromas to be developed too.
BSP president Virginie Daniau looked at male, female and unisex perfumes across four main fragrance ingredient families: citrus, floral, woods and oriental.
Citrus is a source of fresh fragrance ingredients but also offers good longevity, mandarin and orange were popular this year for male and female perfumes alike.
For women in particular, white floral fragrance ingredients have been accenting citrus creations in 2018, while gourmand aroma ingredients are among the modern additions to recipes.
Once the preserve of female fragrances only, floral fragrance ingredients are increasingly finding their way into more aromatic men’s perfumes.
Women, meanwhile, are showing a preference for greater complexity than in the past, which is leading the industry away from the very simple floral fragrances of years gone by.
Woody aromas include other materials like leather and spices, and interestingly these are increasingly combined with floral fragrance ingredients in products for men who are seeking a balance between masculinity and those softer, lighter top notes.
Conversely, women’s perfumes are taking a page out of the feminist movement’s book. In the year of female empowerment, there was a strong revival of chypre fragrances, warm and dry, based on oakmoss, labdanum, patchouli and bergamot.
Finally, oriental perfumes continue to deliver complex, exotic scents that pack in some of the most provocative aroma ingredients, from rich woods and spices to delicious gourmand fruits.
Women’s perfumes, including some of the more highly prized limited edition brands, have been incorporating red fruit aromas in 2018, while for men balsamic aroma ingredients complement a blend of orientals, woods and leather.