It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas: Home Fragrance Most Important When Company is Expected, The NPD Group Finds

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Nearly 50 percent of all home scent users use home scent to create an inviting/comfortable atmosphere.

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This is a reflection of the consumer movement towards a different type of gift to self: more holistic sensory experiences.

In preparing their homes and minds for the holidays, and the festive family gatherings they bring, consumers turn to scent and décor to get into the holiday spirit. Home fragrance is most important to consumers when company is expected, as scents are a way of honoring their guests and ensuring they have a pleasant visit, according to Scentiments, a new suite of consumer insights and tools on the fragrance industry from global information company The NPD Group.

Nearly 50 percent of all home scent users use home scent “to create an inviting/comfortable atmosphere,” according to data from Scentiments. Women, with 84 percent of them using scented home products, are more likely to increase home scents when guests are expected, and men do this as well, though to a lesser degree.

“As the upsurge in prestige sales and consumer statements attest, the home scents market is growing rapidly. This is a reflection of the consumer movement towards a different type of gift to self: more holistic sensory experiences,” said Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Consumers tend to use candles, diffusers, and other scented home products not out of necessity, but out of a desire for a warm and intimate space that brings both the consumer and—especially during the holidays—their guests, comfort, joy, and positivity.”

In scenting the home, consumers tend to stick within their favorite scent families: sweet/fruity, tropical, food/baking, warm/woodsy, and clean/light. However, many will switch from one scent family to another on a seasonal basis. Nearly one-third of all home scent users say they change their home scent “when the seasons change.” This number skews even higher among older millennials, or 25-34 year olds, who are most likely to change scents seasonally. In addition, three-fourths of women in particular may use different scents in different rooms, illustrating not only the prevalence of scent in the home, but the importance of finding harmony and balance in scent combinations.

According to NPD’s retail tracking data, sales of prestige home scents spike in the fourth quarter of the year (October-December), coinciding with the holiday season. During November and December 2015, the top-selling home scent items based on units sold were: NEST Holiday Candle, Jo Malone’s Lime Basil & Mandarin Scent Surround Diffuser, and NEST Birchwood Pine Candle.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides market information and business solutions that drive better decision-making and better results. The world’s leading brands rely on us to help them get the right products in the right places for the right people. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, diamonds, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, technology, toys, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup @npdstyle

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Marissa Guyduy
The NPD Group
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