The Zenith of Total Wellness

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the annual inspirational summer event that my fragrance house partner, Firmenich, hosts at their New York HQ. Inspired by the insight from their research that total well-being is achieved when one engages all one’s senses, they showcased different olfactive creations that brings this to life. The theme reminded me just how ingrained holistic wellness is now in culture. It is no longer a trend, it is table stakes; and many brands out there across product categories are jostling to capitalize on this movement as the ultimate zenith of complete wellness evolves and takes shape.

In the mood

Mood matters. Emotional wellbeing management has gone mainstream. 42% of US consumers are putting a lot of emphasis toward their mental wellbeing according to Mintel. Let’s face it, the world is becoming a more stressful place to be every day, and people are now actively interested in ways to come up or come down , taking mental wellness into their own hands.

Here scent is instrumental. The Firmenich exhibit took us on a journey of how scent amplifies all senses to create that feel good feeling.

Many brands are overtly channeling this within the fragrance industry. From concepts that literally call out mood in name through to concepts that include ingredients to help manage mood, like cannabis.  A focus on mood and mood management is definitely in the spotlight as consumers seek solutions to self-manage their pursuit of total wellness.

Safety in numbers

With stress on the up, people are more and more interested in what’s inside the products they are using. If you don’t recognize the ingredient, it begs the question, is it good for you, and is it safe? Transparency is essential and some brands are building on this by heralding concerns around how safe products that aren’t transparent are.

‘Clean’ beauty is taking the industry by storm. Beauty Counter was the top googled beauty brand in 2018! The brand is built on a very clear mission around product safety and has gone so far as lobbying politically for the cause.

This is even infiltrating fragrance with Michelle Pfeiffer’s launch of her Henry Rose perfume brand. As she said to Allure magazine:

“We’re not going to make the most ‘natural’ fragrance that we can. We’re going to make the safest fragrance that we can.”

Biologically speaking

Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs. Thanks to yoghurts paving the way for consumers appreciating the benefits of ‘good bacteria’, this concept is now pervading beauty and household product categories. 77% of US adults say they are actively trying to improve their health in some way and 51% of US female beauty product buyers associate probiotic ingredients with being healthy, according to Mintel. From probiotic skin care that seeks to maximize the health of the skin’s microbiome, to detergents and air fresheners that introduce good microorganisms in to your home to reduce allergens and help you strive for the ‘healthiest’ lifestyle possible. Some of these examples may seem niche, but with J&J and Unilever dedicating focus on innovation in this space, this will be mainstream before you know it.

These examples don’t even scratch the surface of the plethora of brand activity tackling how to offer total wellness to consumers. From mood management, radical ingredient transparency and reassurance of maximum safety, to the use of high performance biological science to provide even ‘healthier’ options, brands are pushing the boundaries to find new and unique ways explore this space. What’s on earth will be next? I don’t know but I’m enjoying seeing and being part of how it evolves.

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