Christine Esposito • Associate Editor
IF YOU DON’T THINK HOUSEHOLD FRAGRANCE IS COMPLEX, think again. Snuggle—Sun Products’fabric softener brand—features a blue iris and bamboo silk scent in its Exhilarations collection.
That’s a far cry from the standard-issue floral one might associate
with a brand that uses a teddy bear as its front man.
Why such a sophisticated scent? Consumers’ olfactory sense
has become much more refined and they are much receptive to
complex and even exotic notes that had once been the bastion of
fine perfumes, not all purpose cleaners.
But the“simple” scent is big too, as homeowners continue to
gravitate to natural, whether that is the actual ingredients or just
the basic concept.
On top of that, shoppers have high expectations; the scent must
match the brand’s aura, so to speak, be it eco, quirky or classic.
Because of these factors, fragrance—usually one of the last
items on the ingredients list—becomes of primary importance to
marketers as it sets the tone from the moment the consumer encounters a product in the aisle.
“The right fragrance profile is extremely critical for household
products in terms of influencing a purchase decision at point of
sale and also driving repeat purchase/consumer loyalty. The right
fragrance can be inexorably linked in the consumer’s mind with a
brand, and trigger positive or negative memories of the usage experience,” said Joseph Lattarulo, senior vice president, sales and
marketing, Robertet Fragrances.
“We know that scent branding is an important and highly in-
From sophisticated to simple, today’s household care products
fluential strategic lever that companies use to influence consumers
to engage with a brand in hotels, restaurants and retail stores. The
same holds true with household products,” he continued. “If you
spend time in the household aisle at your local supermarket, you
will notice customers pick up a product, smell it and either put it
down or place it into their cart. That psychological purchase deci-
sion is made in an instant and the right fragrance will help convert
nonusers into brand loyalists.”
In 2011, there was robust demand for increasingly sophisti-
feature scents that deliver olfactory pleasure and reinforce a
brand’s DNA to an increasingly discerning consumer base.
cated, longer lasting and highly
diffusive fragrances in nearly
every category from household
cleaners to laundry to air care.
“We have found that consumers want their laundry to
smell fresh and clean not only
when they are first taken from the
dryer, but for weeks afterwards.
They want to slip into sheets that
smell just from the laundry,”con-tinued Lattarulo.
To that end, detergent firms
have been rolling out fabric care products that extend the lifespan
of the scent, so it lingers long after they emerge from the dryer.
Seventh Generation has revamped
its liquid dish wash packaging to
call attention to the fragrance, a
major selling feature in the category.
New Launches Make Sense of Scents
Purex Crystals got the ball rolling when it was introduced by
Henkel at the start of 2011. The new fabric treatment became wildly
popular—so popular, in fact, the company had supply issues when
consumers began gobbling up what was initially seen as a niche
product within the fabric softener category. In June, Henkel announced plans to double capacity for Purex Crystals, which is offered in scents such as Fresh Spring Waters and Lavender Blossom.
Not to be left out, P&G has launched Downy Unstopables,
which comes in a bead format that allows consumers to control
the amount per load to deliver a“customized freshness for their
laundry” when used along or with Downy liquid. Unstopables
come in Fresh, which is clean, crisp and refreshing and can be used
in tandem with Downy Clean Breeze, as well as Lush, which is
billed as comforting and is designed to work with Downy Simple
Pleasures Lavender Serenity.
Plus, P&G is expanding the concept to the Gain brand with new
Gain Fireworks In-Wash Scent Booster, offered in Sweet Sizzle scent.
Fragrance is one of the biggest selling points within the Gain