Innovation & Know-How

“Scent Scaping”: A Growing Market

Pietro Lattao

By Pietro Lattao07 novembre 2023

The evolution of home fragrance diffusers towards creating unique domestic experiences is on the rise. "Scent scaping" born during the pandemic, is a novel way to adorn one's home and travel on a budget.

In the heart of Marrakech's historic medina lies the splendid home of Serge Lutens, a place of inspiration for the iconic perfumer of immense artistic talent. The Serge Lutens At Home Collection is an invitation to opulent olfactory journeys. (Courtesy Serge Lutens Foundation)

$ 6.3 Bn

Fragrance diffuser market value in 2022

$ 10.2 Bn

Expected value of the fragrance diffuser market by 2028


Olfactory memories remain anchored in our memory after one year

Olfactory design transforms personal spaces, using the power of smell to evoke emotional memories and enrich the aesthetics of the space (Kerastase)

In an increasingly wellness-oriented and personalized world, olfactory design is making its mark with innovative solutions. Among the trends is the quest for a customized olfactory identity for each room, where the presence of incense stick diffusers is becoming more prominent. The sense of smell, often overlooked, has now proven to be a powerful tool for creating emotional memories and unforgettable sensory experiences. A journey into the realm of ambient fragrances reveals a profound connection between design, memory, and emotion, collectively shaping the aesthetics of our spaces. In their pursuit of creating cozier and more relaxing environments in their homes, designers are increasingly turning to creative and aesthetically avant-garde solutions. But what drives brands to invest in home fragrances? Is it merely aesthetics? The answer is, of course, no.

The market for fragrance diffusers is booming, estimated at $6.3 billion in 2022 and expected to reach $10.2 billion by 2028 (Zara Home)

The significance of the sense of smell for consumers has been a topic of numerous discussions and studies in neuroscience over the last decades. The nose is directly linked to the brain's limbic system, which governs memories and emotions. As a result, the sense of smell influences mood, concentration, memories, and emotions. Several studies have delved into the impact of smells on our memory. A study conducted at Rockefeller University highlighted our short-term sensory memory capacity and found that olfactory memory outweighs memory related to other senses. Long-term olfactory memory is even more remarkable: a survey by the Sense of Smell Institute revealed that visual memories, such as images, tend to lose 50% of their intensity within three months, while our brains can recall a smell with 65% accuracy after a year. These results illustrate the powerful effect of sensory perception, especially the sense of smell, in shaping our long-term memory and creating lasting memories.

"Scent Scaping": A Trend Born from the Pandemic

The evocative 'At home' collection by Serge Lutens is an artistic interpretation that awakens the senses and invites you to escape without leaving your living room (Serge Lutens)
Serge Lutens olfactory creations transform spaces into sanctuaries of memories and emotions (Serge Lutens)

During the pandemic, the need to find solace in a reassuring and protective interior gave rise to a new trend: "scent scaping," a sensory escape through fragrance. A study by Market Data Forecast showed that the market for scented diffusers, particularly incense diffusers, was valued at $6.3 billion in 2022, a market projected to reach $10.2 billion by 2028. This trend has not gone unnoticed by beauty industry giants, including the Serge Lutens brand owned by the Japanese Shiseido Group. The master of olfactory essences, crafted as "immobile journeys," introduced a new collection of home fragrances called "At Home" a year ago. To understand the importance of home fragrance for Maison Lutens, one need only visit the Palais Royal boutique in Paris, where, in the private lounge, Moroccan oak, the adopted country of Monsieur Lutens, adorns the ceiling and fills the room with its distinctive aroma. This new collection offers five unique olfactory experiences, interpreted through three modes of use: the spray bottle, incense, and electric cartridge diffuser. Named "The Scottish House," "The Japanese House," and "The Linen Cupboard," among others, these ambient fragrances stimulate our senses with the power to evoke emotions, create memories, and even provide moments of escape.

The market for home fragrances now spans all segments, from mass-market retailers like Zara Home and H&M Home to couturiers and prestige perfumers. Perfuming a room is no longer a trivial act. Here, the essence becomes the centerpiece of the home. It transcends being a mere style signature and becomes protective and reassuring.

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