Gourmand Fragrances of the Future

Contact Author Eddie Bulliqi
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In fine fragrance, gourmand notes "need to be less straightforward and are used to reinforce pleasure and longer-term well-being, as opposed to a temporary satisfaction," says Xavier Renard, head of fine fragrances Europe, Givaudan.

Even as far back as 2012, many in the industry were skeptical about how long the gourmand trend would last and were in near disbelief at just how in-demand, prevalent and highly concentrated sugary, mouth-watering and gastronomic accords were becoming in fine fragrance. Fast-forward to 2020, and gourmand still dominates the market—and shows no sign of being displaced for the next decade, at the very least.

This month’s interview with Xavier Renard, Givaudan’s head of fine fragrances Europe, explores the future of gourmand notes with a focus on micro-trends within the category, as well as how the pandemic has accelerated preferences for the personal and intimate in fine fragrance performance.

Eddie Bulliqi [EB]: The legacy of the gourmand category’s initial trend wave has had impressive longevity and continues to dominate olfactory profiles on fine fragrance shelves today. Why do you think the appetite for gourmand scents has lasted so long and hasn’t yet waned?

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Xavier Renard [XR]: Everything is about pleasure! … Gourmand notes—and especially the way they have been treated in perfumery since the birth of Angel, through sugary and praline-like effects—are a reference to taste and immediate satisfaction and pleasure. Triggering the emotion of pleasure through olfaction will only amplify its intensity. Fragrance brands are always looking to gain consumer loyalty and have well understood this concept: with sugar and gourmand notes, the more you smell those notes, the more you want them. On top of that, sugar is becoming banned from more and more food products; indulging in sugary fragrances is a kind of a simultaneous "detox" and indulgence without the risk associated with sugar.

 For the full article, please check out Perfumer & Flavorist's October 2020 issue.