Group 4

Are we entering a signature scent era?

Digi x Nylon on the rise of custom and personalised fragrance


Nylon got in touch to discuss a Digi Fairy TikTok on the internet's interest in personalised and custom scents, from pheromone perfume to vabbing and the ‘what I smell like’ trend, how customisation is affecting fragrance, and what's next in scent:

Nylon: In the recent TikTok, the Digi Fairy called this moment the "era of signature scent". What prompted you to label it that? What trends / patterns had you been noticing?

Digi: We observed several  trends and patterns that seem to indicate an interest in personal and custom scents: including vabbing and pheromone perfumes going viral, the ‘what I smell like’ trend where people show off the unique layers that make up their signature scent, and #perfumetok offering advice on how to find your signature scent and using fragrance to draw people in. Beyond TikTok trends, we noticed a growing interest in more niche fragrance companies and the market shifting away from celeb fragrances (which tend to be more “commercial” scents) as celebrities move towards the cosmetics and skincare spaces to leverage their influence in the beauty industry. 

Nylon: It seems like there's a new viral TikTok scent a day. How do you think this has contributed to people wanting to find their own personal scent?

Digi: It’s led to people experimenting with different scents and perfumes, and thus having a stronger opinion on what kind of fragrance suits them best and how others perceive different scents. It’s also likely exposing large audiences to the world of perfume connoisseurship, which unlocks a new approach to scent, approaching aspects like body chemistry and note levels with more consideration. 

Nylon: What type of signature scents are people looking for? Is it about finding something low-key? Or finding one that suits your personality?

Digi: It appears to be a mix of finding a scent that you personally think smells good on you and that other people also think smells good on you. This sounds like it would be one in the same but there seems to be a distinct awareness of how your scent can influence how people around you perceive you layered into a lot of this content (specifically with vabbing and pheromone perfumes). Finding a scent that aligns with your or “vibe” also seems to be a major theme in this kind of content. For example, I’ve seen an interest in the Margiela Replica perfumes on TikTok, on account of how they’re inspired by dreamy life experiences (like sitting by the fireside at a ski resort in 70s France), which a wearer can then almost imagine as becoming part of their own personal narrative or vibe.

Nylon: There's a lot of personalisation happening in the beauty world right now (personalised skincare routines etc). How is this impacting fragrance?

Digi: I think rather than seeking fragrances made specifically for them (the perfume equivalent of getting a custom blend serum from a DTC skincare company), people are branching out to try niche fragrances and niche fragrance brands and becoming more interested in how fragrances work with their body chemistry (the perfume equivalent of knowing which type of skincare acid works for your skin specifically).

Nylon: What does this mean for the future of fragrance trends online?

Digi: I see the fragrance industry’s hold on content growing, similar to how beauty content exploded in the 2010s, especially since beauty and skincare have recently taken a turn towards a sleazier or lower effort approaches after a decade of full face beats, glittery Euphoria looks, and “no lash out of place” clean girl faces. Fragrance content has potential to fill some of the void as we lose interest in skincare and makeup routines with loads of steps. We’ve also already seen influencers like Jeremy Perfume break out of the fragrance content bubble and woo followers who aren’t even interested in perfume. I also think an interest in fragrance aligns well with the ongoing trend of curating a hyper-specific “vibe.” If you go on a fragrance website like Fragrantica, the niche and often poetic language perfume lovers use to describe scents mirrors the kind of language people are now using to describe their vibe online.

Read the full article by Laura Pitcher here.

✨ Contributing Fairies

  • Biz Sherbert, Culture Editor

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