Industry sales trends confirm that Fusion Brands America’s executives’ intuition about changing fragrance preferences was on target. According to Larissa Jensen, NPD Group’s executive director and beauty industry analyst, fragrance volume expanded 4 percent in 2017 to $7 billion, driven by natural and artisanal fragrances, which rose 32 percent and 14 percent, respectively. The Clean franchise hits upon both of those trends.
“In 2017, Clean finished its fifth consecutive year of strong global growth. Both our classic Clean EDP collection and our Clean Reserve collection continue to expand distribution within North America, while overseas Clean also continues to expand its global footprint throughout Europe, Middle East and Asia,” said Gregory Black, president of Fusion Brands America Inc.
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Industry sources estimate the combined sales of the Clean collection are approaching $100 million. Fusion Brands America did not comment on projections.
Fast forward to 2018 as the Clean Reserve Avant Garden collection rolls out this month exclusively at Bloomingdale’s and on bloomingdales.com. The launch further solidifies the brand’s eco-conscious and sustainability positioning. “Our exclusive partnership with Bloomingdale’s materialized from our discussion in how we could leverage our unique Clean Reserve concept even further,” Black said. “We both instantly agreed that creating a new Clean Reserve Collection that incorporates even more eco-friendly and sustainable ingredients into a luxurious, yet undeniably Clean olfactive experience was an untapped opportunity in the marketplace.”
Peter Sneider, buyer for fragrances and men’s skin care at Bloomingdale’s, said the launch helps meet his customers’ constant quest for new and different. “We believe shoppers will connect with these eco-conscious fragrances which are free of preservatives, gluten and artificial dyes,” he said. The line lends itself to combining and layering — a boost to multiple sales.
Greta Fitz, vice president global marketing and product development at Fusion Brands America Inc., said the new scents derived from the sustainable flowers from the farm harvested in the original Clean Reserve “have morphed into a fantastical world where two unlikely notes blend together in a lush, secret garden.”
Each fragrance is comprised of two unlikely notes to make a fragrance unlike any other, she said. Another important point, said Fitz, is Avant Garden was designed to be gender fluid. “Hemp and Ginger [one of the fragrances] embodies this concept with a bit more edge and masculinity than the other fragrances within our collection. We are seeing many females purchasing masculine-scented fragrances and males doing the same with feminine-scented fragrances, as we know that each fragrance experience, regardless of gender, is unique to your own body’s chemistry,” she noted.
Although the newest entry hits on all the right fragrance trend notes, Fitz said the company doesn’t get bogged down tracking what is in or out. “We look at what’s happening in the zeitgeist and create a new Clean experience. If we looked at trends then we’d be a ‘me too,’ which is for sure not part of our DNA,” she said.
Fitz added that consumers are also more inquisitive about ingredients in fragrances. “The main behaviors that we’re seeing in the zeitgeist is the stigma of fragrances being carcinogenic and ‘bad for the environment,’ which couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said.
The company is on a mission to educate consumers on how safe synthetics, which are molecular compositions of a natural fragrance, actually preserve nature’s resources and the eco-system. “Clean Fragrances are created under IFRA codes and regulations so that they are safe for your body, as the term ‘synthetics’ has a negative connotation. This makes Avant Garden more relevant and needed in the category more than ever,” Fitz concluded.