Singular note fine fragrances fit with post-recession austerity

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

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The trend for discreet and inconspicuous luxury, borne out of the economic downturn, is appearing in fine fragrances with the emergence of singular note scents.

‘Rough Luxury’ is the name given to the trend by fragrance house CPL Aromas in its recently released trends publication, and it embodies ideas of austerity chic and discreet luxury.

Drawing on movements in fashion and design, the trends in CPL Aroma’s Forecast magazine are expected to influence product design in the fragrance and cosmetics sectors, so spoke to creative manager at the company, Angela Stavrevska, to find out how.

Rough Luxury

According to Stavrevska, ‘Rough Luxury’ can be seen in fine fragrances with the emergence of singular note scents.

“We are seeing a lot of fine fragrances at the moment based around singular notes. These have the roughness and simplicity of one or two key ingredients, without losing the luxury,”​ she told

She highlighted vetiver as one of the ingredients to have emerged as a key note in recent launches.

Derived from the roots of a grass native to India, the scent is smoky and woody, and traditionally associated with masculine fragrances; although it is currently being lightened for women’s fragrances.

Crossover scents

In fact, crossover between traditionally male or female notes as well as finished products is occurring more and more, according to Stavrevska.

“The popularity of the premium niche market such as Tom Ford private blend collection or Hermes Hermessence could have had an effect here, as these fragrances are often not specifically male of female,”​ she said.

Another trend to be identified by the company is ‘Evanescent Elegance’. Embodying ideas of elegance and light, floaty materials, Stavrevska said parallels can be seen in fine fragrances with the revival of galbanum. Derived from the resin of a number of plant species, galbanum has a green, fleeting scent.

In addition, she said a number of lighter, cleaner musks are gaining ground, which have been adapted from the more traditional, animalic scents.

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