Not bigger as in bolder scents, but bigger as in fragrance packaging. In 1981’s The Incredible Shrinking Woman, a mix of perfumes and other household products causes an ordinary suburban housewife to shrink down to just a few inches in size (whee!). Today, it’s the other way around, with perfume bottles shrinking on fragrance counters worldwide.
Increasingly for fragrances, it’s a small world, with smaller and smaller options like rollerballs, fragrance sticks and mini-bottles (1 oz. or less) for sale. The economy has something to do with it — smaller bottles generally cost less than bigger ones do and contain less product — but shrinking bottles don’t necessarily mean better values, at least not in terms of price per ounce.
A small (CUTE!) 1 oz. bottle of Gwen’s Harajuku Lovers fragrance, for instance, costs $45 at Sephora, but if you don’t go through fragrances very quickly, that may not be a bad deal. Of course, if the same scent came in a bottle the size of a Coke can (12 oz.), we’d be talking about a whopping $540 instead.
Are shrinking fragrance bottles a win-win for consumers and beauty companies alike?
“Smaller sizes are a great way for consumers to get a taste of what’s new or to remember a loved, favorite scent,” explains Karen Grant, Vice President and Global Industry Analyst at The NPD Group. “This could be not only a thoughtful option, but a budget-friendly one for gift giving.”
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. For iPhone owners with a nose for news, Givaudan just launched iPerfumer, a new app on the iPhone app store (open in iTunes). No. 1: it’s free (yay!). They call it a “personal fragrance consultant in your pocket,” and it lets users create a scent profile and get fragrance recommendations by rating various scents. Personalized recommendations are broken down by category — “top rated,” “recommended” and “new launches.” The app maintains a giant database of fragrances and has a search tool, too.