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Arisen From Nature: Fragrance Trends 2017-18

Arisen From Nature: Fragrance Trends 2017-18


Scents of the upcoming seasons are inspired by nature. Compositions reminding of the African grasslands, as well as aquatic fresh notes taking the colourful submarine world as an inspiration, are making up trend topics of the year. Furthermore, poppy, the flower of the year will make its contribution to the variety of scents for fine fragrances, household and personal care products.

Annually, the marketing and fragrance experts of Bell Flavors & Fragrances, a Germany based manufacturer of flavours and fragrances, botanical extracts and ingredient specialties, provide an insight in the fragrance trends for the upcoming year.

Among others, the daily work of Bell Flavors & Fragrances focuses on developing innovative trend concepts for clients. Intensive market research, face-toface customer feedback, as well as extensive product screening help the company to obtain an in-depth look at tomorrow´s world and provide inspiration for successful, new product ideas. Based on more than 100-years of lasting and continuously improved expertise on the world of fragrances, Bell identified four trends for 2017. All come together in one baseline – Arisen from Nature.

Natural treasures of Africa

Derived from oriental fragrances that have become very popular in recent years, spicier and herbal-green compositions will reinvigorate the personal care market in 2017. The new fragrances have their origin in typical African plants and spices. According to GNPD Mintel, ingredients connoted with Africa will gain a better foothold in the personal care market both in the MEA region and globally, and tap into the interest in more natural and healthy products.1

The continent is home to a plethora of nutritious plants. Among them, baobab tree, moringa and the mostly unknown Ethiopian lovegrass that yet fit perfectly in the topic. Furthermore, this trend is a huge chance for personal care brands to add new ingredients to their palette that complement existing ones. For example, the Hibiscus flower is native to Africa and similar to the green tea plant regarding antioxidants and function of revitalising the body.

In the case of suitable fragrances, in particular surfactant applications like shower gels or shampoos will benefit from the trend towards ingredients connoted with Africa. By taking a revitalising shower in the morning, people wish to feel awake and fresh right away. For this, the distinguished fragrances that remind of Africa’s zest for life and the wide plains of the savannah suit very well. They come with the exact powerful top notes which are needed in this segment. Furthermore, the spicy and warm notes are perfect to be promoted with relaxation and moodboosting connotations.

Poppy and watercolour design

As a counterpart to the spicier notes, sensual-floral creations will find their way to impress consumers in 2017. In the spotlight of the floral compositions shines the poppy with its bright red blossoms. Mostly standing strong between cornstalks as one of the most beautiful summer companions, the poppy will enhance the product portfolio of each application area. The German Loki Schmidt Foundation chose it as Flower of the Year 2017.2

As a challenge to perfumers, the beautiful flower actually does not smell that intensely. It is the mastery of fragrance experts that develops compositions by picking up the ‘imagination of summer’. Due to this, Bell experts make use of great expertise and rely on their creativity to create new fragrances that feature the idea of summer. As a result, men and women in Leipzig developed a set of very subtle compositions featuring slightly floral and sweet nuances that remind of wind-blown corn fields and a warm maritime breeze.

Thus, providing a heavenly holiday feeling, these compositions are tailor made for leave-on-applications both in the personal care and in the fine fragrances segment. For instance, light day cremes would be an option, but also eau de toilettesor body sprays could be developed on the base of the subtle floral scents of poppy.

Finally, and not to forget the marketers, the poppy fits perfectly to the watercolour packaging trend that has become popular, lately. The aquarelle design is not only suitable for the strong and at the same time so fragile flower, it also fits for all floral compositions – whether in air care, laundry care, fine fragrances or in personal care products.

Protecting the submarine world

Especially when talking about skin care, rich ingredients such as minerals, sea weed or maritime salts in combination with detox attributes play an important role. They will make their contribution in concepts about the life below the ocean´s surface in 2017. Fragrance compositions feature wateryfresh notes, including classical citric top notes for the first impression. But taking centre stage are lovely floral notes like water lily and lotus which are perfectly suitable for leave-on applications like lotions and creams.

At the same time, in this context there is scope for personal care products to market water-saving attributes in order to address water scarcity concerns. At current consumption rates the World Wildlife Fund estimates that by 2025 two thirds of the world’s population could be at risk of water shortages.3

Where water was once an essential part of any beauty regime, new formulations require little or no extra water in order to function. This will lead to innovations regarding product compositions. For instance, water-saving beauty solutions such as wipes, dry shampoos, non-rinse body washes, and alternative toothpaste formats are already on the rise as pointed out in Mintel’s Beauty- and Personal Care Trend Report ‘Trends 2025’.

Also interesting for personal care brands are the different forms of origin, where water could come from in the future. It might not only be oceans, lakes, lagoons and glaciers. Additionally, people might even climb mountains and harvest fog to gain the purest possible droplets. This broad range will supply another source of creativity for product development.

It´s getting green – Greenery

With Greenery, Bell picks up the Pantone Colour of the Year 20174 in its fragrance compositions and concepts. Greenery is described as a “fresh and zesty yellowgreen shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.” Picking up this description, the colour obviously is additional evidence of the overall topic ‘Arisen from Nature’. It represents the growing desire of people to reconnect with nature, but also reflects the divided social and political landscape nowadays.

Nevertheless, in its first interpretation the yellow-green shade symbolises vitality and reminds one of the juicy, young leaves heralding Spring as well as of the rainforests known as the green lungs of our planet. The colour represents life, growth and is a symbol of a new beginning – all together perfect topics for vitalising and green fragrance compositions.

Bell perfumers developed compositions containing fresh top notes like rainforest or maritime pine which impress in a very powerful top note. Taking on these, they are a perfect starting point for fine fragrances like eau de toilettes, but also for body sprays. In particular younger target groups can be reached with these discreet, but at the same time, fresh and inspiring fragrances.

As it is the case with most trend colours, Greenery already made its way to the runways. During New York Fashion Week last September, designer Zac Posen served up some pretty jacquard staples in Greenery. The reception was more than positive and it was crystal-clear that the shade was meant to go through the roof. In conclusion, fragrances featuring Greenery are ideal to complement this fashion trend.

Botanical extracts as an affordable plus

Obviously, all of the mentioned trend topics share nature as their common focal point. Consumers demand natural products more than ever. At the same time, prices for resources are going up and restrictions in all directions are getting tighter. One option to address this dilemma, are botanical extracts. They can be used for marketing purposes in different ways and for various personal care products.

Regarding the mentioned trends, Bell provides botanical extracts suiting each of them: While boaobab and rooibos are examples of extracts that complement the spicy fragrance compositions of trend topic ‘Treasures of Africa’, extract compositions like Crystal Water or Ocean Extract go perfectly fine with the maritime topic of the ‘Submarine World’. In the case of ‘Greenery’, Bell provides Leafgreen Extract and Iceland Moss Extract to add even more nature to their compositions. Even for the new Flower of the Year, Bell provides suitable extracts from the poppy as part of its extensive range of botanical products.


The German manufacturer works with different extracting agents and solvents, manufactured in modern extraction and distillation facilities. Extracts made of organic raw material, mixtures of different plant materials, so-called custom blends and tailor made solutions such as the development and manufacturing of customised extracts belong to Bell’s product portfolio as well.


1. GNPD Mintel: Category Insight Soap, Bath and Shower Products, January 2017
2. Loki Schmidt Foundation
3. GNPD Mintel: trends 2025 Beauty and Personal Care
4. Pantone LLC

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