Choosing The Best Fragrance For Cosmetic & Personal Care Products

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Choosing the best fragrance for cosmetics and personal care products can be a daunting task for the simple reason that there are so many scents available. Consumers can also be a fickle lot and change their minds about preferred scents almost as often as they change their clothes.

To compound the conundrum, certain fragrances work better in certain products. For example, floral, fruity, fantasy, gourmand and fresh and clean abound within the personal care categories. For soaps and bath products and body care, floral fragrance reigns supreme. For deodorant, personal care manufacturers have come to recognize that fantasy fragrances fare the best.

How big is the cosmetics and personal products industry?

The industry has both exploded and fluctuated over the course of the last decade. For the year, 2016 revenue from the global cosmetics and personal care industry reached about 62 billion dollars. The United States comprises some 24 percent of the global cosmetic market. This includes products relating to skin care, hair care, deodorants, toiletries, make-up, perfumes and oral cosmetics. In 2015, the United States was considered the most valuable beauty and personal care market in the world, gleaning a market value of US 80 billion up from US 46 billion in 2014.

Why some scents work better in some cosmetic and personal care products than others?

Both entrepreneurs and established businesses selling cosmetics or scented personal care products must understand one very important fact before adding a fragrance to a particular product line. While the ideal business strategy might seem to be maintaining a single fragrance that is consistent with an entire product line, this doesn’t usually work for a number of reasons.

For one thing, the fragrance must coexist with our body’s natural scent, and no company can ever predict whatever other fragrances from soap, shampoo or deodorant, etc) we may choose to combine with them. For example, a shampoo or other hair product should not have a scent that clashes with a body mist made by the same company. The end result must be a pleasing scent. The key world in adopting a successful scent for a cosmetic or personal care product is flexibility. All fragrances mixed and matched must be both complementary and complimentary (flattering, not free).

For any modern consumer, the initial impression of a cosmetic or personal care product comes before applying it to the hair, face or skin. Although packaging is considered the number one attraction, scent is very important in creating a positive or negative opinion about a cosmetic or personal care product. One size never fits all and each item in a product line works best with its own range of scents.

Scents that work best with cosmetics and personal care products:

Shampoos

Creators of shampoos are well aware that selected essential oils should both appeal to the sense of smell and meet the needs of specific hair types. They are most effective when they work in tandem with certain hair categories. Generally speaking, lavender, carrot seed and rosemary are beneficial for all hair types. If hair is dry, chamomile, rosewood and palmarosa serve as moisturizing agents. Oily hair is balanced by lemongrass, patchouli, sage, cypress and cedar-wood, while geranium, spearmint, tea tree and juniper soothe the scalp and treat the itching and flaking associated with dandruff.

Essential oils also help treat problems such as thinning hair or an itchy scalp and they add shine to the hair and a fresh scent to the shampoo. Other essential oils include: thyme, birch, sandalwood and parsley for fragile hair, and yarrow, lemon, Roman chamomile and rose oils, which encourage hair growth and minimize hair loss.

Soaps

Creating wonderfully fragrant soaps comes from the educated blending of essential oils. The choices are as many as are the scent options, making selections both mindful and time-consuming. The reason essential oils work so well in the making of soap is that they emit distinctive aromas and contain therapeutic aspects as well. Some of these benefits are olfactory in that they derive from the aroma itself and others work by means of contact with the skin (topical application).

Facial creams and lotions

Companies manufacturing facial creams and lotions often focus as much on scent as the delivery of added skin care benefits. Floral fragrances, such as essential rose oil or rose water, are very popular in creams and lotions because they truly capture the flower’s delicate aroma. Another fragrance worthy of mention is manuka honey, which comes from the flowers of a bush in New Zealand that contain antibacterial compounds. This costly honey contains anti-microbial, skin hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties that help to give skin a youthful appearance.

Deodorants

Botanicals and herbs are widely used in deodorants because they appeal to consumers who prefer more natural products. Scent ingredients include: aloe, cucumber, green tea or lemongrass, which are refreshing and naturally deodorizing. Botanical ingredients render authentic scents of the earth. Organic and all-natural formulations are also becoming popular.

Lipsticks

The power of lipstick, both its vision and its fragrance, is no secret to cosmetic manufacturers. Today, there are many color and scent options, but there does seem to be a growing trend towards darker, more dramatic lip colors. Some popular scents are floral; others fruity. They include: cumin, neroli, orange flower, narcissus, musk and vanilla.

Warm, heavy and aromatic cumin is often used as a top note in lipsticks because of its heady and sharp presence. Neroli lends a light, slightly orange and romantic floral middle note to any lipstick scent. Sweet, strong, rich, foliage green and floral, narcissus works well in most lipsticks. Musk and vanilla serve as wonderful base notes; the musk, earthy and metallic; the vanilla sweet, cozy, comforting and promising sweet treats and innocent pleasures. (Maybe not so innocent in a lipstick, but that’s okay too!)

Favorite scents and the emotions they bring to mind.

Generally speaking, fragrances are powerful bridges to the wealth of memories that we all have tucked away in our minds. The list of wonderful scents utilized in the cosmetics and personal care products is formidable. Below are some all-time favorites and the emotions they evoke.

Lavender: The hidden force behind herbal, mild, sweet, floral lavender lies in  its calming properties. This scent has a soothing effect on nerves and is known to help release nervous tension, decrease heart rate and treat headaches.

Cypress: This smoky, pine-like, pungent and spicy scent is invigorating to the spirit. It eases anxiety and relieves sorrow.

Jasmine: This is a strong, yet sweet pleasing and romantic fragrance. It is known to relieve anger, ease depression, energize and increases confidence.

Sage: Strong, earthy, warm, woody, aromatic and pungent, sage is known for its ability to invigorate and help overcome fatigue and to ease sorrow and depression.

Lemongrass: This fragrance with its strong, lemony, sharp, pungent and fresh notes is used in soaps and cosmetics and blends well with attar of rose, geranium, rose and citrus, particularly lime and orange. It is said to invoke alertness and improve circulation and muscle development.

Chamomile: Known to relieve anger, lessen stress, reduce nervous tension, insomnia and irritability, there are three kinds of chamomile. The German variety has a sweet lingering scent, reminiscent of apples. Roman chamomile is often used in perfumes and is warming, heady and sweet, while wild chamomile is warm, woody and musky.

Four things to consider when adding a fragrance to a product line

1. Know your target audience

The fragrances that are often used in personal care products are chosen because formulators believe they will affect a consumer’s perception of the product’s performance. This is why knowing to whom the scent will appeal in terms of age, gender, etc., is so important.

2. Use more natural and organic ingredients

Natural and organic beauty products are very popular and are expected to become more so as lifestyles for the modern age become greener and healthier.

3. Understand fragrance allergens and the interactions between fragrances and other ingredients

As a product formulator, whether green entrepreneur or very experienced, if you are adding a new fragrance to an established product line, you must responsibly educate yourself about the dark side of scent manufacture, particularly fragrance interactions and the misuse of essential oils, which can be very concentrated. Some may need to be diluted before use and some can stimulate and even irritate the skin.

4. Be transparent about the ingredients in your fragranced product

While the word, “fragrance” is usually found on any product label, it is rare to see a listing of specific ingredients. This lack of disclosure is not fair to consumers even if no laws are being broken. Do the right thing; be transparent. In the end, your customers will appreciate it.

What does the fragrance you select say about your brand or cosmetic line?

A good signature fragrance, whether for a luxury boutique or a new line of cosmetics and personal care products beckons to customers in a multi-sensorial way. The importance of a particular aroma lies in its appeal to a target audience. Different stores and products service customers with different needs, and sensory branding is the bridge between their emotions and their wallets.

According to Michelle Burgess, Oribe’s manager of product development, “It was very important to create a product fragrance that captured the essence and sophistication of the line and at the same time worked well with our product formulations.” Scent must never be randomly selected in any type of business environment or product line because of the powerful impression it creates on human emotions, creativity and memory. Researchers now believe that human beings can distinguish more than 10,000 different aromas!

So give a great deal of thought to that haunting fragrance you are thinking of adding to your cosmetic or personal product line. Remember that while it may be true that first impressions are important, lasting impressions fare even better, for they transport customers back to another time and place and act as a reactivation trigger to forgotten memories. Speak with our team today, 412-252-1012 / Int: 800-295-5261,  or submit an inquiry and start building a unique, custom-made fragrance for your product or product line.

Final thoughts on fragrance:

A well-fragranced product should be a gift and tool for the user. ~ Jessica Hanna

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