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 Perfume trends from 1990 to today 

The exuberance of the 80s is followed by the ambivalence of the 90s, between pleasure and purity. Marketing and globalization permeate the following decades. A context in the shadow of which emerges the niche perfumery. 

Ecology, AIDS… In search of purity, the 90s saw the birth of a serene sensuality, far from the exacerbated sensuality of the 80s. A wave of freshness surged around aquatic notes, like L’Eau d’Issey (1992), and androgynous perfumery, in the wake of CK One (1994). Fashionable, fruity florals embody a wise femininity, from Trésor by Lancôme (1990) to J’adore by Dior (1999). 

In 1992, Angel by Thierry Mugler shook up perfumery with its original accord of praline and patchouli. It was the beginning of the gourmand era, comforting in uncertain times. It became established in the 2000s around caramel (Flowerbomb, 2005) or fruity notes, which even intruded into the chypre structures. Like the best-selling Coco Mademoiselle (2001) or Miss Dior (2005). 

The glycemic indexes explode the following decade, with the success of La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme (2012) and Black Opium (2014). Powerful amber woods invite themselves in the men’s wardrobe, around “muscular” juices, like Invictus by Paco Rabanne (2013). 

On the bangs of this race for profitability, an exclusive perfumery is emerging. In the 2000s, “niche” brands like Diptyque, L’Artisan Parfumeur and Frédéric Malle cultivated a singular, authentic style. This boom is threatening the big houses, which are creating their own exclusive ranges.

But this trend does not escape the king of marketing: the brands proliferate. A real goose with golden eyes, oud wood, highly prized in the Middle East, has imposed itself in the 2010s in the West. Nothing can stop this frenzy of launches, not even the health crisis. But it marks a return to more cozy scents, both in selective and niche markets.  

Sophie Normand