Colors do not simply follow emotion, but rather have been shown to evoke emotion, create a mood, communicate a theme and literally, impact our collective experience. The symbiotic relationship existing between color and emotion can clearly be seen within the world of artistic expression.
The art of perfumery follows the shades of the emotional landscape in order to align its fragrance story with the trending undertones of the sensory spectrum.
Today’s emotional climate is colored by the consumers’ yearning to escape the over-connected world of around the clock communication and rediscover life’s simple pleasures. Their growing need for calm and inner quiet, as well as their desire to manifest more simplicity and authenticity into their daily experience, has generated a shift in the fragrance kaleidoscope to the more refined elegance of white.
White is considered color at its most complete, containing a balance of all the colors of the spectrum. A universal symbol of purity, innocence and wholeness, it is the image of new beginnings. White is a virtual blank canvas, opening the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive.
In color psychology, white is a symbol of equality, freedom, peace and comfort allowing for the awakening of a reflective and hopeful spirit. Ultimately, white makes everything lighter, gentler and more tranquil.
The “White” Story
The “white luxury” trend echoes the consumers’ need to infuse a greater sense of peace and freedom into their lives, embrace the natural and incorporate its ethereal, and soothing “genuineness” into their environment. The consumers’ desire to create their own personal sanctuary of relaxation and renewal has driven demand for products that exhibit organic, unrefined, luxuriously inspiring qualities, and has continued to blur the definition of true luxury.
Subsequently, the more subtle brands are reaping greater appeal than their flashier competitors, with consumers demanding quality over status symbols. Similarly, white, the hue seen to embody the purity, softness and refinement now resonating with consumers, has become the focal point in all aspects of fragrance branding.
White, and the quiet luxury this color represents, is trending across a comprehensive array of market categories i.e. food, fashion, art, decor and fragrance.
There is an increasing interest in raw food diets and pure ingredients as seen in the growing market share of pure nut milks, a popular and healthier alternative to dairy milk. Additionally, creative milk infusions are replacing milkshakes and hot winter drinks.
Consumers are being drawn to fabrics described as “delicately wild” and are finding greater comfort and warmth in clothes made of natural fibers. Sensual, cocooning silhouettes in soft, billowy white fabrics are gracing the runways.
White plays with shadow in art forms using simple materials to create more intricate pieces.
Softness is at the heart of home décor with accents of cozy textures and padded surfaces. Pod-like and faux fur lined furniture creates intimate, cocooning interior spaces. Nuances of softness and tactility are augmented by applying added cushioning and layers to hard surfaces. Fluffy white feathers and plush white fabrics and knits seamlessly exude a feeling of luxury.
White fragrance directions have become the prominent trend across a vast range of categories (fine fragrance, personal care and home fragrance). Purity and opulence are the fundamental themes expressed throughout these fragrance stories.
Top marketers in the field have turned the page from the year-long trend of black and now are telling “white stories” through all aspects of their fragrance manufacturing and branding, specifically through their packaging, naming and ingredients, as well as other more illusorily, abstract elements.
Some recent fragrance market products depicting the trending “white story” are:
Packaging and Name – Michael Kors White, Byredo Parfums Blanche, Clinique Aromatics in White, Votivo Wonderful White, Sonia Kashuk White Etheriana and Axe White Label.
Ingredients – Softsoap Fresh & Glow Milk Protein Almond & Coconut, Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk, Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet Body Milk and Aquiesse White Currant & Rose.
Other ingredients highlighting the “white luxury” trend are: mint, oud, white florals, lily of the valley, jasmine, lotus, tiare flower, white musk, white pepper and white chocolate. Aldehydes also add a feeling of “whiteness” in a fragrance.
Age of Authenticity
At the very heart of the white luxury trend is the marriage of purity with comfort and authenticity with elegance. Fragrance marketers hoping to capture consumer attention and market share will need to incorporate the “white stories” and the theme of refined opulence in their branding strategy and position their brands to appeal to the needs of the white luxury consumer, also know as the discrete connoisseur.