Saturday, Nov 19, 2016

Fragrances are a big deal, particularly in the Middle East, where it accounts for more than 19.6 per cent of the region’s beauty market, according to global analysts Euromonitor International (EMI). Ahead of the regional annual Fifi Awards, known as the Oscars for fragrance, to be held in Dubai on November 22, we asked Shahzad Haider, the chairman of the board of directors of The Fragrance Foundation of Arabia (TFFA), to tell us the top trends in scents right now. The TFFA is affiliated to New York-headquartered The Fragrance Foundation, established in 1949 by companies that belong to legendary perfume houses such as Elizabeth Arden, Coty, Guerlain, Helena Rubenstein, Chanel and Perfumes Weil.

Here are 10 fragrance trends that are hot right now.

1. Layering

A traditional practice among Middle Eastern fragrance lovers is called “Layering Effect”, where they wear around three-seven different fragrances at a time. The main reason for this layering technique is to create his or her own recipe of fragrance that cannot be revealed or discovered by anyone. This not only entices fragrance buyers to experiment but also impacts [in a] big way the innovation and versatility of the Arabian fragrance industry.

2. Oriental

This trend can be called an international phenomenon right now. From New York to LA, from London to Italy, and from Russia to Malaysia, Oriental is in demand. Yes, the depth of oriental varies but oriental is becoming favourite note of fragrance lovers.

3. Designer fragrance

Limited market and even [fewer] buyers, but still in demand without any price barriers. Quality and brand positioning is the key. Many celebrities are lunching or launching their designer fragrances to boost their profile.

4. Combination

Combination of eastern and western fragrances in order to create your own unique fragrance is in style. This is kind of [a] layering effect but in this techniques, number of fragrances mixed are not more than three.

5. Box & Bottle

If the bottle design is creative and box that contains that bottle looks [like] something special, that’s a sure sell. We have seen so many new fragrance brands coming up with ancient pump with bottle instead of normal press-to-spray button. Surely, so many boxes, small and big, [are now] coming with their own lock and key.

6. Personalisation

Going to a oriental fragrance shop and creating your own fragrances is something Arabian fragrance brands are happy about. You can increase or decrease the note of your choice to come up with the perfect combination of smell you always wanted. This is very trendy now days.

7. Signature perfumes

As niche fragrances are in style, same is the case with signature-style brands [that] launch these brands in limited number and call them limited-edition, as well. Signature fragrances are normally a reflection of personal choice.

8. Eastern

I don’t recall an international brand that does not have an oriental or eastern tone variant. Musky, woody, leather or even Oud-based fragrances are drawing tremendous results internationally.

9. Oil and Bakhour

A spray fragrance that has alcohol content is facing a tough competition from oil-based and burning fragrances. Mostly Muslims prefer oil or burning fragrances, especially during religious terms including Ramadan. Arabs are [a] big fan of this trend and always keep a considerable collection for gifting purpose as well.

10. Niche category

Limited availability, selective target segment and higher prices, describes niche fragrance category. Young and affluent Arabs from Dubai [are] always looking for niche perfume brand[s] that gives them exclusivity as well and sense of accomplishment.

By David Tusing, tabloid! Editor

Gulf News 2016. All rights reserved.