It’s the thought that counts: is perfume the perfect present?

It’s the thought that counts: is perfume the perfect present?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and our very last blog of 2016 to boot – so naturally, our gift to you is an inside peek at what makes the perfect present. And be it Dior, Prada, Chanel, perfume is a popular choice – recent research conducted by MBNA and YouGov reveals that 72 percent of people like to receive fragrance as a gift.

But how much thought goes into the purchase of our favourite scents? Not much, if the MBNA/YouGov survey, which canvassed the opinion of 2,000 British adults on their gifting habits, is to be believed. In fact, 51 percent of men buy fragrance products in the week before Christmas, and 24 percent of those surveyed don’t even know the name of their partner’s preferred pong – that figure grows to 36 percent among male respondents.

Although to be fair, that’s hardly surprising given that Brigham Young University found that women like to keep their signature scent a secret. A look at the buying habits of 146 women from the Netherlands and US published in July 2015, revealed that women don’t share their perfume choices readily.

“Women treasure fragrances as a vital pillar of their personal identity,” said Bryan Howell, BYU Industrial Design Professor. “They may use the same fragrance for many years, and some women keep their fragrance choice a secret so their friends won’t wear it.”

However, while men may well be suffering from a serious case of, the fairer sex can’t take much credit for their altruistic motives either, the chances of women choosing a scent for their partner based on their own tastes are more than double compared to men at 22 percent versus 9 percent, according to MBNA’s research. And Howell agrees:

“While women hold fragrances as personally intimate and respect other women’s intimate choices, they happily want to influence what fragrances men wear,” Howell said. “Assuming it is for a spouse or boyfriend, they want to pick fragrances they also like since they’ll be around that person often.”

However, with Unisex fragrances expected to grow at a faster rate than the wider perfume market – with a CAGR of 6.9 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to Future Market Insights – could our buying habits soon converge?

Indeed, it appears neither sex can be credited with putting an enormous amount of thought into their perfume purchase – some 68 percent of respondents conducted no online research at all prior to purchase and most can’t even be bothered to sniff the scent in question when in store. Just 13 percent chose a fragrance based on in-store sampling. That’s good news for online retailers, of course. It might not be such music to the ears of those hoping for a thoughtful and considered gift on Christmas Day, however.

And on that note, Happy Christmas from your very own GCN Blogger – and we’ll see you in the New Year! Of course, if you can’t wait for more of our in-depth insights into the cosmetics industry – visit over the festive period for a little surprise or two!