Luxury perfume brands: Consumer Brand Relationship and the mature consumer

Lindsey Carey, Aileen Stewart, Susan Walkinshaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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The heritage of luxury fashion perfume brands dates back to the early twentieth century with the first branded perfume, Rosine, being launched by French couturier Paul Poiret’s. Many other perfume brands followed with many establishing a heritage and iconic status such as Chanel No. 5. Glamorous, stylish, fashionable or fun, perfume or scent is the evocative and personal product choice that provokes maximum stimulation of the senses. Floral, oriental, wood or fresh, the chemistry of perfume produces powerful consumer reactions. Perfume has a particular significance for its user and consumer (Cant, Strydom, Jooste, & Du Plessis, 2009). “When a woman buys perfume, she buysmuch, much more than simply fragrant fluids. The perfume image, its promises, its scent, its name and package, the company that makes it, the stores that sell it – all become a part of the total perfume product”. The use of perfume is recognised as a significant part of daily grooming for all women. Ithas been argued that the basis for consumer decision-making in the area of perfume should be based on olfactory preferences responsive to smell, however the process related to this category of product has been shown to be more complex. However, recent research indicates declining sales for younger consumers but, no such decline for the mature consumer perfume market. Within this market the mature consumer purchase decision making is associated to long standing established fragrance brands. While recognition of this significant market and growing consumer group are in evidence it is recognised that advertising and marketing activity does not match the group’s significance. As such, encouraging women of this age group to use fragrance more and by capitalising on brand loyalty (also associated with mature consumers), could be a key area for market development (Libby, 2014). At the frontline of consumer perfume sales are fragrance consultants. With direct contact to the consumer, itaffords these ‘brand ambassadors’ with invaluable information on consumer attitudes, brand attachment and brand relationship. Hence, this paper investigates CBR (Consumer Brand Relationship) through brand attachment and the subsequent purchase behaviour of mature female consumers (age +44) to perfume from a dual UK stakeholder (industry and consumer) perspective.Additionally in this research, attachment and the related notions of loyalty, nostalgia and self–identity are investigated. Results indicate that important perceptual differences related to consumer brand relationships with perfume exist between industry sales consultants and experts on one hand andconsumers on the other. This research promotes a deeper understanding of current sales approach and issues surrounding female mature purchasing behaviour for this product category and complements the growing body of literature related to mature consumer behaviour and consumer brand relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Fashion Conference 2016
Subtitle of host publication5th International Conference on Global Fashion
PublisherStockholm University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789892070537
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2016


  • Consumer Brand Relationship (CBR)
  • brand attachment
  • fragrance
  • mature consumers


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