50 YEARS OF HOME FRAGRANCE
product development and distribution capabilities. Jarden’s simi-
lar niche consumer strategy and complementary consumer port-
folio will help to accelerate our expansion.”
Other home fragrance brands have been swept up in the
corporate shuffle too. For instance, venerable Colonial Candle,
which traces its lineage back more than 100 years, was acquired
by Blyth in 1990, and in 2005, Limited Brands acquired prestige
player Slatkin & Co., an upscale brand created by industry vision-
ary Harry Slatkin.
In 2011, Blyth sold off Colonial (which was part of the Mid west-CBK business) to MVP Group International, a Charleston, SC-based maker of candles and other home fragrance products. And
after less than a year under MVP’s umbrella, Colonial Candle
opened a 3,000 sq. ft. flagship store in Charleston.
While Blyth isn’t out of the home scenting market entirely,
its direct-to-consumer home fragrance operation Partylite finds
itself up against one of the fast-growing companies in the category—Scentsy. This Meridian, ID-based direct seller of home
fragrance products (and now women’s accessories) has been
growing exponentially. The firm, which was founded in 2004, already boasts a network of more than 200,000 independent consultants and was ranked No. 26 in HAPPI’s Top 50 Report this past
July with estimated annual sales of $560 million.
Innovation Fuels Sales
Scentsy’s staple is the wax melt—and the success it has had with
this form of scent delivery has spurred other marketers to jump
into the pot. As a result, a number of firms offer wax melts, including SC Johnson’s Glade, which caused its own seismic shift
in the home scenting category when it rolled out PlugIns.
But according to some industry observers, the category
hasn’t seen a major innovation in product delivery in some time.
Instead, leading marketers are piquing interest by way of “
refreshing initiatives,” said Karen Doskow of Kline & Co.
Tactics include pushing the connection between home fra-
grance and home décor, creating unique destination and limited
edition scents and unveiling marketing endeavors that promote
air care—especially in mass—in a new light. SC Johnson, for in-
stance, is present on HGTV, including segments in which design-
er Genevieve Gorder talks up Glade Customizables; Air Wick has
teamed up with the National Park Foundation to create a series of
limited edition fragrances; and just last month, Henkel unveiled a
new online Renuzit campaign featuring comedienne Joan Rivers
that spoofs TVs“The Bacherlorette.”
In addition, home fragrance marketers are taking their prod-
ucts to new domains where Americans spend a lot of hours, like
their cars, as well as places they wish they could spend more time,
like the bedroom. Air Wick this year debuted the Filter & Fresh
Car, while P&G’s newest entry is the Febreze Sleep Serenity col-
lection. Out this Fall, the Sleep Serenity Collection includes prod-
ucts such as the Bedroom Mist, Bedside Diffuser and the Febreze
Sleep Serenity Bedding Refresher, which can be sprayed directly
on sheets and comforters.
Could air care marketers active in 1964 ever imaged today’s home
fragrance category—the complexity of the scents, the unique
marketing campaigns, the willingness of consumers to spend big
bucks on something as utilitarian as a candle?
Yet, that appears to be the reality of home fragrance 50 years
later—an estimated $3.6 billion sector where the luxury products
are fueling the overall growth.
According to Kline’s recently released Home Fragrances: US
Market Analysis and Opportunities report, prestige candles collectively posted a 6% gain fueled by the performance of brands
like Lafco, Trapp and Nest.
“High end candle brands are where the growth has been over
the past two years,” said Doskow, pointing out another trend that
could play a role in home fragrance marketing and distribution
over the next 50 years: online shopping.
“It sounds a little odd,”she added,“but the internet is exploding in the home fragrance market.” •
Nest Fragrances sells luxury candles.
of the biggest
players in the