Price may not be the sole reason why young consumers prefer body mists. It could be all down to preference.
IN the fragrance hierarchy, the body mist sits at the bottom. Most of us hear “body mist” and think it’s a cheaper version of perfume. Some even think that it should not be mentioned in the same breath as perfume.
The perception may be due to the lower pricing - at below RM100 - and the association of body mist with sweaty teenagers, who douse themselves with it after 30 minutes of physical education. The assumption is that teenagers do not have strong purchasing power and resort to cheaper products.
That means body mist attract only young consumers because of the price? The answer is more complicated.
Yes, body mists are less expensive than perfume, especially compared to high end brands. That could be the reason the body mist market has recorded significant growth.
The report on Global Body Mist Market Forecast Period 2018-2025 revealed the growth was based on several factors including increasing demand, rise in disposable income, growth in distribution channels, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, and technical innovations.
In the future, consumption is estimated to continue developing with a stable growth rate. To meet the large and increasing demand, more manufacturers will go into this industry.
Walk into any personal care store, and you will find shelves of body mists with various scents — from strawberry, rose and sandalwood to vanilla, ylang ylang and coconut. The number of brands is increasing and includes The Body Shop, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Giorgio Armani, Estee Lauder, Shiseido, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford. Even sporting brands such as adidas and Nike are coming out with their own body mists.
On the other hand, it does not mean only the young use them. Since body mist was introduced in the last decade or so, consumers’ demographic has changed. While teenagers and young adults do make up the bulk of buyers, those aged 30 and above also love the low-key scents and various options they can get from body mists.
It also does not mean these young consumers between 18 and 30 are not buying perfume. Depending on their budget, they probably will not choose from perfume houses such as Channel or Dior. But there are other brands that cost them less than RM200 that give them beautiful scents.
It is reported that people are losing interest in perfume from famous brands because they want scents that are more personal. The market is saturated with the same smell and consumers especially younger people are looking for something different.
The Body Shop’s director of marketing and commercial Florence Duchemin says fragrance is based on personal preference.
When The Body Shop introduced its body mist more than 10 years ago, young people were not the only target market. The idea was to give more choices as a way to widen its customers’ base.
“Usually when we launch a range of eau de parfum, eau de toilette and perfume oil, we include the body mist. It is more of marketing strategy. When people walk into our stores and look for a particular scent, they have a choice of perfume or body mist.
“Again it depends on the individual’s preference. There are those who prefer body mist because of the light and refreshing subtle scent. Of course, for young buyers, price may play a role.”
However, young consumers also go for The Body Shop’s EDP, EDT and perfume oil although the prices are slightly expensive as they like the strong scent. They prefer perfume as the scent lasts for hours, they don’t have to keep using body mist throughout the day.
Body mist has less concentration of fragrance compared to EDP, EDT and perfume oil.
The volume of concentration gives different intensities of scent and longevity. Body mist contains between three and five per cent fragrance concentration which can lasts between one and two hours, EDP at 12 to 15 per cent and lasts six to eight hours and EDT with seven to 12 per cent concentration and lasts four to five hours. Perfume oil has the most concentrated form with 20 per cent and lasts for six to eight hours
The Body Shop has introduced more than 16 body mists under its body care and fragrance categories. These include vanilla, satsuma, mountain rose, Fijian water, moringa, shea, white musk, black musk, English gardenia and Japanese cherry blossom. The prices range between RM59.90 and RM79.90.
Duchemin says The Body Shop’s body mists are made from the same ingredients as the EDP and EDT and the only difference is the concentration of the fragrance.
“Obviously as the concentration is less, we cannot put the price too high. With body mists, the budget-conscious can wear fragrance of the same quality as perfume.”
To ensure the scent lasts longer, it is better to layer the fragrance with shower gel, body lotion and then body mist.
“We advise customers to start with the shower gel, then apply the body lotion and finally body mist, all from the same scent.
“I wear a body mist after a shower or before I go to bed. It is so convenient to just spray it all over my body. Some people wear it after exercising at the gym or they just want to stay fresh at work.”
A Bath & Body Works Asia & Australia spokesperson dismisses the notion that body mist is only for young people as its customers are those in the 18 to 45 age group.
It offers body mist for men and women, and their purchase is based on the wide choices of scents. With more than 20 scents, customers buy a variety and use on different days to suit their mood, she says.
“We don’t like to say they are cheaper. We refer to it as offering a good price point. The ingredients are the same, but with less concentration. It does not mean they are paying less due to low quality.
“We focus on making fun fragrances and want customers to enjoy different wonderful scents such as flora, fruity and fresh. If customers, younger or older, love the scent, they don’t mind paying more.”