Mood motivates fragrance purchases, Mintel finds

CHICAGO A woman's mood is the biggest motivator when selecting a fragrance, according to recent research by Mintel.

According to Mintel, a consumer research firm, more than half (54%) of female fragrance users decided what fragrance to use based on how they were feeling. The second most popular decision factor (at 31%) was what activity (work function versus personal outing) they were doing. Meanwhile, 26% of users decided fragrance purchase based on the time of day, and 25% decided based on what they were wearing. Women ages 45 years and older tended to wear one fragrance, or a signature scent -- so they were less likely to base their choice on their clothing or mood.

Motivations for fragrance purchase also differed, but the clear favorite, according to Mintel, was in-store samples. Sixty-nine percent of fragrance owners said they were motivated to purchase a new fragrance based on samples they tried in store, while 26% cited a recommendation from a family member or friend as the impetus behind a new purchase.

"Women have to experience a scent to make sure it's appropriate, as there aren't many objective criteria they can use to test smell," stated Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. "Female consumers often [said] that a fragrance smells different on their skin than it does out of the bottle, so trying an in-store sample increases the likelihood that they'll still be happy with their purchase once they get it home."

For women who don't wear a fragrance, 28% said they had no interest in using them, 20% said they were allergic and 14% said they had yet to find a scent they liked.

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