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Storytelling pushes T-Beauty phenomenon into fragrance

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Storytelling pushes T-Beauty phenomenon into fragrance

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Competition within the Thai beauty market is getting more intense with local players stepping up to be innovation leaders, especially within the skincare and colour cosmetics categories.

Fragrance is a new space that local beauty brands are tapping into and here too they are entering the market with a pioneering mindset. Despite fragrances having a small share in the Thai beauty market because of their premium positioning, their retail market value comes close to colour cosmetics (THB10 billion vs THB11.5 billion).

Thai indie players have leveraged this opportunity and are expanding into white spaces with new offerings. They are having success selling fragrances through stories, nostalgia and at more affordable price points.

As 54% of Thai females* use fragrances at home in the morning, there is opportunity in this space for brands to leverage on the use of fragrance to craft your brand story. 

Prioritise stories and experiences over fragrance notes

The stories behind the scents will become essential for fragrances going forward and will be prioritised over fragrance notes and scent compositions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way consumers use fragrances. Because of social distancing, fragrances have become less of a necessity. The category needs to find new appeal to stay relevant for consumers.

Thai brands have paved new techniques of fragrance appeal by using the scent to let consumers enjoy experiences, stories and reminisce about the past. This emotional connectivity gives fragrances a new role beyond smelling nice for others and provides emotional value.

With travel reduced, transport consumers to different locations

Ruenrom highlights the links between beauty and Thai heritage. The brand initially targeted tourists by highlighting Thai signature fragrances as their hero claim. An example of this is Mango Sticky Rice, a national dish, used as a scent for its hand cream.

However, due to COVID-19, the brand needed to reconsider their strategy as there was a dearth of inbound tourists. The brand chose to continue their path of bringing consumers to locations through fragrance.

To appeal to local Thais, the brand launched a new range of scents that resemble well-known locations among locals such as "Tha Tian", which is described as the crisp and refreshing scent of Bangkok's old town area.

Bring consumers on an emotional journey

Thai brands are using storytelling to promote fragrances. This new communication of highlighting the moments and emotions related to fragrance allows brands to break the barrier of fragrance usage through the scent alone.

Consumers are able to embark on emotional journeys provided by fragrances, surpassing barriers put in place by the pandemic such as isolation and physical store visits.

SIAM 1928 is a newly established Thai brand that composed a poem for each scent. The poetry added an artistic element to product consumption through its aesthetics and design which created a more wholesome product image.

Recreate the discovery of travel

Panpuri – home fragrance collection

Home fragrances such as incense and diffusers are among the popular tourist purchases when visiting Thailand, meaning home fragrances are a great contributor to the growth of the fragrance market in Thailand.

The majority of current home fragrance offerings focus on aromatherapy. The air care category can likewise appeal to consumers by promoting fragrances through stories and connectivity.

As consumers' ability to travel is limited, these offerings can help them reminisce about moments and places and can temporarily fill the need for travel.


Base: 2,000 internet users aged 18+

Source: Dynata/Mintel; Mintel Trends

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