NEW Fragrance Foundation Research Reveals the Turn to Fragrance during Lockdown

by | Jun 10, 2020

The findings have been announced as The Fragrance Foundation UK launches its first ever consumer-facing campaign with the aim of bringing the complex relationships that people have with scent to life.

Further supporting a trend highlighted in a recent Beauty Bytes post focusing on the impact of Covid-19 , new research carried out by not-for-profit authority for the fragrance industry, The Fragrance Foundation UK, and ad agency M&C Saatchi reveals that people are turning to fragrance to help improve their mood and create a sense of normality amidst the Covid-19 crisis. Statistics show there has been an 11% increase in social media conversations on personal fragrance since lockdown began.

According to the research, many social posts have inferred that perfume makes people feel more ‘normal’ during lockdown. Others have posted that applying a ‘nice perfume’ boosts their mood, and even productivity when working remotely. Whilst fragrance could be considered for special occasions or applied ahead of socialising, many have shared their amusement that they have in fact chosen to wear fragrance to do every day errands, whether it be taking the dog for a walk or heading to the supermarket.

The findings come as The Fragrance Foundation UK launches its first ever consumer campaign, created in partnership with M&C Saatchi. Called ‘Fragrance lasts’ the campaign seeks to bring to life the complex relationships that people have with scent, with a view to driving sales, reframing the way people think about scent and reinforcing perceptions of fragrance as a high value purchase.

Based on the insight that fragrances are strongly linked with memory, the drive is inspired by the key thought that every scent has a story – from how it’s created and who made it through to the way it makes a person feel, and the experiences they’ve had whilst wearing it.

A series of press adverts carrying the line ‘Fragrance lasts’ feature stories of people’s memories of scent with the aim of inciting similar responses to those we experience when smelling a familiar fragrance. Each advert touches on memories and experiences, including the loss of a loved one and the progression of a romance. As a nod to the current Covid-19 crisis, one of the ads features socially distanced typography to tell a love story that’s been interrupted by lockdown.

Linda Key Jackson, CEO, The Fragrance Foundation UK, said:

“This research clearly demonstrates the huge role that fragrance plays in people’s lives, in good times and bad, as well as the power of scent to evoke familiar memories and emotions – all things we’re aiming to communicate with our new campaign. Partnering with M&C Saatchi, we’ve developed a series of ads which tells the human stories of fragrance. It really reinforces the complex craft and alchemy that go into every bottle of fragrance, as well as the powerful memories that a scent can evoke.”

Ben Golik, Chief Creative Officer, M&C Saatchi added:

“Fragrance takes you back and clearly a lot of people are keen to connect with life as it was before. Why not try your partner’s fragrance if you cannot be with them? Our campaign captures the romance of scent but doesn’t shy away from the full gamut of emotions that fragrance can evoke.”

You’ll find the series of adverts in key consumer press and digital titles including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Evening Standard, Fabulous, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Tatler, The Sunday Times Style, Vanity Fair and Vogue.

The campaign is encouraging consumers to share their own personal scent memories at

Find further news, education and training resources from The Fragrance Foundation via their website and social channels:


The research was conducted using Brandwatch Consumer Insights, performing keyword searches on fragrance and scent-related terms to better understand and benchmark the volume, sentiment, and key topics of online conversations. The search details were analysed from 23 Mar – 30 May 2020 across UK Twitter, blogs, and forums. Further filters were applied to analyse specific subcategories.

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