US Perfume Market

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US Perfume Market

Perfume buyers in the US tend to be millennial women. These individuals buy perfumes as a personal treat or to enhance their mood. They prefer smaller sized bottles of perfumes as it allows them to experiment with different scents. They also consider samples important, this explains why they are more likely to buy perfumes in brick and mortar stores, rather than online.



  • Millennials and older Gen Z's are reportedly the driving force of the perfume industry.
  • A study by Statista revealed that 44% of Americans between ages 18 to 29 use perfume daily, while 28% use perfume several times a week, and 8% use perfume once a week.
  • In comparison, 41% of Americans between ages 30 to 49 use perfume daily, while 23% use it several times a week, and 6% use it once a week.
  • Americans aged 60 and older are the least likely to use perfumes as only 22% of them use perfumes daily, while 18% use it several times a week.


  • Women in the US are more likely to use perfumes than men. The aforementioned Statista study showed that 15% of men never use fragrances (perfume & eau de toilette), compared to 8% of women.
  • In addition, 41% of women in the US use perfumes daily compared to 39% of men.
  • Around 27% of women and 21% of men use perfumes several times a week.
  • Women in the US purchase fragrances more often than men. While women purchase a new perfume once a month, men only purchase it once or twice a year.


  • Being that around 55% of 18 to 29 year olds are White, this racial demographic is more likely to account for the largest share of perfume buyers.
  • According to Nielsen, consumers of color, specifically African-Americans, Hispanic, and Asian consumers, invest a lot of money on their physical appearance.
  • African Americans reportedly have "outsized influence over spending" on women's fragrances. Despite the fact that they account for just 14% of the US population, they are responsible 22.37% of the total spend on these fragrances.

Income Level

  • The median income of perfume buyers - millennial women - is $39,000.

Educational Level

  • Perfume buyers in the US tend to be more educated than the average American as around 43% of them have at least bachelor's degree.


Consumer Attitudes

  • When buying perfumes, women encourage a stronger tie to perfume, by letting their moods dictate the scent they wear.
  • They are typically contemplative when deciding on the right perfume to purchase. It takes them at least five minutes to sample and decide whether to buy a certain fragrance.
  • Roughly 33% of US women who buy perfumes see fragrance as a personal treat, or a "pick-me-up to enhance their mood." These women choose scents based on how well they fit with their personality.
  • Smaller bottle sizes of perfumes appeal to these individuals as it offers the ability to experiment with different fragrances at a lesser cost than full-size varieties.
  • Perfume buyers in the US consider samples "extremely important" as they prefer taking home these samples and living with it before deciding to invest in the fragrance.


  • Perfume buyers grew up with the internet and smartphones in a digital world. A lot of them are always online or on their phones.
  • They tend to research fragrances online, by looking at reviews and scent notes, before actually buying them.
  • Their affinity for "technology is reshaping the retail space." With "product information, reviews and price comparisons at their fingertips, they are turning to brands that can offer maximum convenience at the lowest cost. "


  • Perfume buyers in the US tend to place a lot of emphasis on financial success.
  • In the US, perfume buyers are increasingly Democratic. A Pew Research study revealed that 70% of millennial women - the cohort accounting for the majority of perfume buyers - identify as democrats.
  • These individuals see family and career as complementary, not mutually exclusive. Choosing a career is almost equally important as getting married to this group.
  • They are passionate about social issues like civil rights and the environmental issues like climate change. As a result, some are willing to pay more for sustainable brands or brands with social purpose.


Limitless Assortments

  • About 92% of people who shop for fragrances online do so because of the limitless assortment they can select online, including fragrances that have been discontinued.
  • These individuals were raised in a world with choices. Having the opportunity to choose from a wide range of options makes them feel in control.
  • The appeal to buy fragrances online stems from the ability to look for certain products and compare choices.


  • Exactly 95% of perfume buyers purchase fragrances online because they find the best price via this medium.
  • The popularity of online shopping among perfume buyers is fueled by the price sensitivity of these shoppers, specifically in relation to discounts.
  • They consider price more important than a friend's recommendation, product quality, and brand reputation.
  • Majority of them follow brands online for discount opportunities. Over 60% of them look for discounts and coupons online before making an online transaction.

Free & Fast Shipping

  • Around 91% of Americans who buy perfumes consider free shipping to be an influencing factor for purchasing these fragrances online.
  • Free shipping is important to these individuals as almost 50% of them consider same-day delivery important while shopping.
  • Majority of them are willing to switch brands if they are not offered free or fast shipping.
  • If same-day delivery is not available, they want to receive their items in less than five days.

Online Reviews

  • Almost 50% of perfume buyers are influenced by online reviews when buying fragrances online.
  • A lot of them will only buy a product if it has online reviews. They rely on reviews to stop them from wasting money.
  • Reviews also allow them compare prices and ensure that if they do splurge on luxury fragrances, it is worth it.


Perfume buyers in the US tend to shop in physical stores than online, becuase this avenue allows them to test the fragrance they want and ask questions to store associates as necessary.


  • About 56% of perfume buyers buy fragrances in physical stores because of the service.
  • Perfume buyers like to seek advice from store associates and ask them questions.


  • Around 52% are influenced by free gifts when purchasing a perfume in a physical store.
  • Exactly 47% purchase fragrances in brick and mortar stores because of the samples available.
  • A lot of perfume buyers are more likely to be repeat customers if their order includes a gift; physical stores are more likely to offer free samples and gifts.

No Wait Time

  • Over 60% of perfume buyers say they shop in physical stores becuase they can take the items home immediately and do not want/need to wait for the products they buy to be delivered.
  • These individuals grew up getting access to things immediately and are even willing to pay more for a faster customer experience.
  • The fact that they have their mobile devices on their fingertips and are connected all the time contributes to their impatience when it comes to buying products.


  • About 57% of millennials - Americans who buy perfumes - purchase them in physical stores becuase they simply enjoy browsing stores.
  • Perfume buyers in the US are driven by the quest for experience, and physical stores tend to deliver.
  • They crave and actively seek out a multi-sensory experience when shopping for fragrances, this includes seeing, touching, and feeling the items they are considering.


Please note that despite thorough research across studies by marketing organizations like eMarketer, credible publications like Forbes, and trusted databases like Statista, we were unable to find publicly available insights on some of the requested information. As a result, we made deductions. For example, knowing that perfume buyers in the US tend to be millennial women, we offered the values and habits of these women. In addition, while we typically only leverage resources that were published within the last two years, we have broadened our scope for the purpose of this project. Some of the data we provided for the reasons perfume buyers buy fragrances online and in physical stores were derived from 2016 surveys. We compared this to more recent data on why millennials shop online/in physical stores and found that it was still accurate.

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