Spreading Clean Beauty

Why earthy scents appeal to consumers looking for emotive aromas

The ‘experience economy’ has been with us for some time; as our lives become increasingly urbanized and automated, our desire to de-stress through physical or sensory activity has grown. We want to reconnect with nature, our physicality, and the Earth – and this tendency is felt as acutely in beauty and personal care as in any other market. Consumers are looking for natural, earthy scents that evoke memories, moments in time, and specific locations.

For instance, in December 2019, a premium brand launched an immersive sensory experience inside a Latin American retail location. The project aimed to help customers find their perfect match of fragrance using VR headsets to transport the customer to different “territories” that brought a specific scent to life. This is but one example of the experiential scent trend, which we’ll look at in more detail here.

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Evocative scents in times of uncertainty

The experience economy came to the fore in the 1990s, but currently, it’s undergoing an interesting shift. Certainly, the desire to get back to nature has been a key tendency since life has become increasingly dictated by technology. However, in the wake of recent geopolitical events – not least the COVID-19 pandemic – this nostalgia for simpler, harmonious times is even more pronounced. According to a survey conducted by Mintel, 30% of Irish consumers said the statement “I think things that remind me of my past” describes them very well.

In beauty and personal care, consumers are increasingly looking for creams, shampoos and cosmetics with warming, earthy scents that remind them of childhood or nature. For instance, scents with musk, myrrh, sandalwood, and ginger are evocative of holiday seasons by the fireside or family camping trips. These smells are nostalgic and comforting, transporting the wearer to simpler, less stressful times where they were close to nature. This tendency is reflected in market research: since the COVID-19 outbreak, 41% of Italian consumers have used personal care specifically to reduce stress or anxiety.

Earthy scents that care for the body, mind, and planet

Nostalgic, back-to-nature aromas are a key opportunity for beauty brands. However, this impulse to care needs to be reflected in the formula as much as the result. With 76% of Spanish beauty and personal care consumers reporting that they’re worried that the ingredients used in natural beauty products aren’t sustainably sourced, ethical practices are a central consumer concern. 

Being natural isn’t enough – products need to be sustainable. Beauty brands are taking various creative approaches to this demand, from sustainable packaging to greater ingredient transparency. However, the reality of the situation is, they need to take a holistic approach to sustainability, ensuring their product cares from every angle. From ingredients to packaging, consumers are looking for products that care for their bodies, minds, and the environment: 41% of French report that using ethical or environmentally friendly beauty or grooming products made them feel good about themselves (Mintel, 2019).

All-natural, wholly sustainable

Provital recognizes this demand. We know that consumers are looking for products that care, not only for their bodies but for the planet. Our CareMotives range captures the essence of the Earth to awaken the emotions evoked by natural beauty, using ethically sourced ingredients. We believe that looking after the planet is key to spreading the positive emotion of care, which consumers need now more than ever. Explore the CareMotives catalog to discover earthy scents that bring the user closer to nature in more ways than one.

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