When it comes to fashion and beauty, many consumers (including myself) enjoy customizing their style with a mix of high-end and affordable items. Likewise, we take a similar approach when it comes to building our fragrance wardrobes — splurging on luxury while simultaneously saving with options that are more cost-effective.

Consumers are attracted to luxury fragrances for many of the same reasons as luxury fashion: quality, craftsmanship, and the emotional and aspirational elements for which these types of brands are known. Designer and artisanal fragrance brands account for over 80% of the sales revenue within the U.S. prestige fragrance market and boasted double-digit growth rates in 2023, according to Circana data. Similarly, 7-in-10 fragrance consumers are willing to pay more for higher concentrations, which are stronger, longer lasting, and higher priced. This behavior has benefited eau de parfums and parfums, which are outperforming the rest of the fragrance market.

Although consumers are trading up to pricier fragrance products, they are simultaneously spending more on lower-priced alternatives sold in prestige retailers that offer similar benefits. This polarization is evident in the growth of prestige body sprays, a product segment that has tripled in dollar sales over the past year. The average price of body spray is under $25, which is a fraction of the cost of a traditional fragrance bottle. There is also rising interest in fragrance dupes, or lower-priced scents with a resemblance to luxury brands. Sales of private label mass brands, which are leaning into this trend and driving innovation in this area, grew by 94% in 2023, according to Circana Complete Beauty data. Lastly, for consumers who want the luxury brand but not the higher price, many are opting for smaller sizes. Within the women’s fragrance market, juices sized under 1 oz. grew five-times the rate of other sizes, based on units sold, in 2023. 

Just as our apparel wardrobes often consist of both premium and lesser expensive fashion choices, our fragrance shelf is following a similar look. While the high-end of the fragrance market remains very healthy, consumers are becoming more open to budget-friendly scents to add to their collections. Body sprays, dupes, and mini sizes each offer a unique way for fragrance wearers to incorporate variety in a more economical way.

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