PROCUREMENT

The Power Of Fragrance Marketing On Social Media

Nov 23, 2023

Social Media Platforms

The Power Of Fragrance Marketing On Social Media

Leading the way as TikTok’s most searched-for and sold products of 2023 is fragrances.

As the internet’s most tuned-in generation when it comes to online purchases, Gen Z are catapulting the fragrance fame to new heights on TikTok. Thanks to their innate desire to channel their inner “it girl” going hand-in-hand with a recent spike in online “dupe culture”, we’re seeing a huge uptake of fragrance-buying and wearing as of this year. 

Now, when you compliment someone on the scent they’re wearing, more often than not, you’re met with “TikTok made me buy it”. This is thanks to a multitude of reasons we will list below.

The platform’s dedicated fragrance hashtag #perfumetok now has over 5.2 billion views and lends itself perfectly to giving niche scents cult-like status. This hashtag is then circulated by leading creators in the fragrance field and, thanks to TikTok’s viral capabilities, reaches a breadth of Gen Z’ers looking to claim their signature scent. 

But with smell-a-vision still yet to be invented, how are the fragrance industry’s marketing efforts causing an online ruckus?

THE TOP 10 FRAGRANCES MADE FAMOUS BY PERFUMETOK

  1. Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum
  2. Phlur Missing Person Eau de Parfum
  3. Fenty Beauty Fenty Eau de Parfum
  4. Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau de Parfum
  5. Tom Ford Lost Cherry Eau de Parfum
  6. Maison Francis Kurdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum
  7. Narciso Rodriguez For Her Eau de Parfum
  8. Givenchy L’Interdit Eau de Parfum
  9. D.S. & Durga Debaser Eau de Parfum
  10. Eilish by Billie Eilish Eau de Parfum

FRAGRANCE MARKETING ON TIKTOK

Given the nature of the fragrance industry, a lot of the more traditional methods of advertising, such as before and after pictures, are unfortunately futile. Luckily, Gen Z are more than happy to move away from traditional, in-store scent discovery towards making choices based on video content that best decodes the perfume’s notes or the feeling/mood it creates. 

The educational nature of TikTok allows for a deeper understanding of these fragrance notes and the industry as a whole, increasing accessibility for all kinds of people. Fragrances that were once reserved for the wealthy or well-educated are now accessible in the form of dupes to regular consumers who’ve done their research through accounts such as @ProfessorPerfume and @Annnicoleeng__. 

@professorperfume

this is insane ?❤️ #perfumetok #perfumetiktok #mugleraliengoddess #chanelchanceeaufraiche #maisonfranciskurkdjian #fragrancetok

♬ original sound – Emelia | Professor Perfume ?

Fragrance marketing on TikTok offers up entirely new avenues for storytelling. As the consumer can’t smell the perfume itself, they rely on descriptive dialogue from the brand or the creator to paint the picture. This can be done in a variety of ways. While some choose to blatantly describe what they can smell, others share resonating stories (the hashtag #perfumehistory has over 8.5 million views). 

TikTok, as a platform, also lends itself well to the storytelling marketing tropes in many other ways too.

Perfume as a visual experience

TikTok’s video format allows for visual fragrance marketing to take centre stage. 

One of the more recent trends in the fragrance marketing scene is displaying one’s perfume collection with the hashtag #perfumecollection, which has now reached 1.2 billion views. Here, fragrance enthusiasts love to visually share their favourite perfume bottles, colours, labels e.t.c. and generally convey their expertise in this field as they are able to group certain perfumes together based on elements like fragrance notes. 

The example below uses emotion-inducing visuals and audio to show off a specific perfume collection. Fragrance marketing is all about focusing on the impact scents can have on us, whether it’s recalling a memory or triggering an emotion. Throw some enticing visuals into the mix and you have a recipe for sales success. 

@lola.desina

For the gourmand girls… #fyp #foryou #Perfumetiktok #perfumetok #perfumecollection #vanillascents #vanillaperfume #blackgirlluxury

♬ original sound – speblack

Colour also plays a huge role in leveraging fragrance marketing as a visual experience. Think Tom Ford’s ‘Lost Cherry’ (65.1 million views) or, possibly the most viral of them all, Baccarat’s ‘Rouge540’ (624.6 million views). Aesthetically-pleasing perfumes and their accompanying bottles provide for engaging content and encourage curiosity among consumers. 

Fragrance marketing on TikTok promotes new practices

Social media, particularly TikTok, has become an important vector for the circulation of new gestures. Thanks to this, anyone can become a perfumer.

The most noticeable example of this is perfume layering, which consists of applying layers of different perfumes. Typically, perfume layering entails going in with a body lotion or a perfume oil before the fragrance itself. Both skincare and fragrance brands can leverage perfume layering experts on TikTok to promote the practice alongside their products. 

@alejayofficial

Have you ever wondered why people don’t smell your perfume when you walk by? Well, the secret might be in how you apply it. ? When you don’t layer it properly, the fragrance tends to fade quickly. ⏳ But don’t worry, I’m here to help! ?? By following these simple steps, you’ll always smell amazing! ? #beauty #girltips #perfume #perfumehack #howtolayerscents #fyp

♬ original sound – Ale Jay

Leaning into dupe culture

Successful fragrance marketing is that which leans into TikTok’s pre-existing dupe culture surrounding the beauty industry

Signature scents are one of the most effective ways for Gen Z’ers to channel their inner “it girl” thanks to the countless number of fragrance dupes the industry produces. Based on exact or similar notes from the most famed perfumes, consumers are able to spend just a fraction of the price on fragrance experiences that would otherwise break the bank. Oftentimes, these dupes go undetected in both smell and, sometimes, packaging appearance, and are therefore Gen Z’s key to unlocking a world previously reserved for the wealthy. Luckily for us, dupe culture now embraces its knock-off nature, meaning perfumers on TikTok are less likely to shy away from offering up cheaper alternatives.

@annnicoleng__

miss Zara slayed again!!! Zara misses the mark sometimes but they did well for recreating YSL Libre 10/10 #perfumetok #zaraperfume #perfumedupe #dupe

♬ Seven (feat. Latto) – Clean Ver. – Jung Kook & Latto

“It girl” behaviour doesn’t always necessarily have to come from dupes of the internet’s most-famed perfumes, however. “It girl” behaviour is also a mindset that can be encouraged through the feeling a fragrance conveys. Brands can tailor their fragrance marketing to this by selling their products with a feeling synonymous with being an “it girl”. 

Sol de Janiro has done just this with the launch and circulation of its fragrance mists, particularly Cheriosa62 and Cheriosa68. Leveraging marketing capabilities on TikTok, the brand catapulted its mists to viral heights by publishing campaign content with trending sounds, engaging concepts and a general feeling of femininity through the fragrance notes chosen. Its virality created product demand and, eventually, earned it “it girl” status.

@0emmamac

♬ original sound – EMMA MAC

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FUTURE FRAGRANCE MARKETING ENDEAVOURS

“It girl” fragrance marketing isn’t limited to established brands. In fact, it’s given rise to more niche fragrances. While niche and indie fragrances aren’t a new discovery, their popularity is and thanks to TikTok they’re able to capitalise on this popularity to leverage their online presence and go head-to-head with the icons of the industry. 

But why the sudden rise in popularity?

This is because a sense of individuality comes with smaller batches or DTC fragrances. Individuality is also a driver of “it girl” culture online and so Millennials and Gen Z are more apt to want fragrances crafted in smaller perfume houses or not readily available at your average perfume counter. 

Successful fragrance marketing isn’t about trying to emulate what established brands are doing, it’s about going against the grain by being innovative and redefining what fragrance is for the many. This is, ultimately, what will transform the industry for good. 

Our influencer marketing agency and social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.

@ Socially Powerful

Author

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Ella Proctor

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