Firmenich Research Decodes Consumer Emotions: Global Crisis Demands Local Fragrance Solutions

At the beginning of this new decade, the global COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves worldwide. Throughout lockdown and quarantine, consumers around the world were confronted with new behaviors and new emotions. For many fragrance customers, the looming questions became: what emotions are consumers feeling, what do these emotions mean, and how do they translate into new trends for the industry.

Ilaria Resta, President Global Perfumery, Firmenich

After extensive research done in 11 countries spanning 55% of the world’s population across the Americas, Asia and Europe, Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, has proven that the power of scent has increased. Fifty-six percent of the global population appreciate fragrances more during lockdown. Fifty-six percent also take comfort in scents more than they used to.

Ilaria Resta, President Global Perfumery explains, “Fragrance reinforces feelings of safety, calm and happiness for consumers dealing with stressful situations. Our latest consumer research shows that the importance of scent for different populations of consumers is growing and can be leveraged by customers to determine fragrance and category mix.”



Catherine Ducret, Director, Digital Consumer Insights adds, “Today, there is a true consumer shift towards fragrances that evoke feelings of safety, cleanliness and serenity. We named this combination of emotional signals that consumers expect from fragrances Sereni-Clean™.”

Sixty-eight percent of respondents admitted their lifestyle and emotional wellbeing were highly impacted by quarantine mandates and felt a range of conflicting emotions, such as Fear and Insecurity as well as Care and Love. Furthermore, consumers in each country felt differently, depending on their culture, but also on how their government managed the pandemic and communicated information.

The pandemic ultimately united consumers on an emotional level, making them re-evaluate their priorities and product purchases, with specific implications in each country.

Firmenich anticipates consumers’ expectation for Sereni-Clean™ fragrance to continue over the next months. This will be amplified further with the results of a new wave of consumer research in the coming weeks.

Insights were collected from 11 different countries (Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, UK, USA and Vietnam) and 6,400 participants (male and female across three different economic brackets). Firmenich is a leader in both scientific and market research, using data and consumer insights to drive new fragrance creation, design and innovation, enhancing fragrance benefits for both customers and consumers worldwide.




Christine Schott Ledes
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