5 Perfume Trends that will be big in 2022

Roses are back and violets too! Pandemic has changed the way we wear fragrances. It was assumed that when we are home-bound, fragrances will be relegated to the bottom-most drawer of the vanity dresser as opportunities for stepping out were minimal. However, the opposite of it turned true. In solitude, we turned to fragrances like never before to hold us, comfort us and instantly feel better in a spritz. According to the NPD Fragrance Consumer Study, the fragrance category has witnessed an unprecedented high compared to 2020 and 2019, and this trend of ‘fragrance first’ is only predicted to grow.

“How, when & what to wear applies now to fragrances also, and not just not clothes. The Indian millennial and GEN Z consumer has evolved from using perfumes for occasional wear to making perfumes a part of their daily grooming routine. The trend of matching fragrances to moods is new. Still, one I predict will change the future of perfumery,” says Abdulla Ajmal, Business Mentor & Perfumist, NHA division, Ajmal & Sons. He is the first of the 3rd generation to join the 70-year-old heritage perfumery brand and collaborate with some of the world’s most renowned master perfumers such as Dominique Ropion, Christian Provenzano Arturetto Landi, and Alberto Morillas.

Ahead is an insider’s take on the biggest olfactory trends from Abdulla, one of the go-to names in the arena of global fragrance development. 

1- More gender-neutral scents

According to a Mintel survey, 59% of adults aged 18-34 prefer unisex fragrances, showcasing a shift in how younger generations prioritize representation. “Coming from a background where we started with traditional perfumes or attars that are gender-less, it’s interesting to note how the global market is returning to this concept. The imagery and the values very influence the younger audience. They appreciate freedom and are redefining gender boundaries. That gets reflected in their choice of fragrances as well. They feel empowered if their nose makes a choice instead of the labelling on the box,’ says Abdulla.

Perfume trends 2022

2- Rise of Quiet Fragrances

Millennials and gen Z show a clear bias towards green freshness and watery accents in fragrances. “There is a rise in (what in perfumery we call) ‘easy’ fragrances, the ones that are not loud or demand attention. These are soft, balanced compositions that are not specific to time, occasion, or personality. You can wear them anytime or even gift them as their olfactory character is easy-going or relaxed,” adds Abdulla. Ingredients don’t matter as here it’s all about intensity. Still, usually, a heart of such freesia, violet, Muguet, iris paired with zesty citrus gives that serene balance to a fragrance.

Perfume trends 2022

3- Return of the Rose

The rose was never really out of a perfumer’s mood board, but now it’s getting a new interpretation. “Most popular rose fragrances are sensual, dark and, if I may say, a little difficult to carry. You had to either be in a mood to wear a rose-fragrance or have the personality to carry the composition. Now, the rose note is getting reinvented. The floracy remains, but it gets a sparkling, almost green makeover. It’s fresh, modern floral, not unfamiliar but unlike the favourite scent of your grandma. Watch out for pairing of rose with refreshing notes of lychee or soft spiciness of pink pepper,” points out Abdulla.

Perfume trends 2022

4- Wear your Mood

“A fragrance is a piece of jewellery. Although it’s invisible to the naked eye, it stirs up a connection between memory and emotion. The fragrance is for every day. It’s a gesture to start the day or unwind for the evening,” explains Abdulla. He adds that the most significant trend is moving away from ‘finding the signature scent’ to ‘building a fragrance wardrobe’. The customers no longer commit to one fragrance or one family of fragrances. Instead, they are embracing and experimenting. Hence, discovery sets in perfumes are a rage as the modern customer wants to create a collection of fragrances.

Perfume trends 2022

5- Layer to Personalize 

Usually, one of the easiest ways to personalize a fragrance without spending a bomb is to layer two or three of your existing fragrances. This way, you can create your unique formulation and make the most of your current fragrance wardrobe. Globally, designer perfumes are coming up with ranges that are designed to be paired with each other encouraging users to experiment and make their scent.

“At Ajmal, our range with the house of Anita Dongre (AND & GD) was formulated in a way that any two fragrances out of the 16 variants could be paired with each other to create a scent that will be pleasant,” says Abdulla

Perfume trends 2022

How to layer fragrances

Layering is a bit of a trial-and-error process. You shouldn’t pair more than two fragrances as a beginner, as it gets very complicated. Let me use the examples of my favourites – Eternal Radiance and Soulful Trance. If I were to pair these two, I would use two spritzes of Eternal Radiance and one spritz of Soulful Trance because the latter has an intense characteristic. But there are no such rules, as it depends on what you want more of. So, for example, Eternal Radiance will soften Soulful Trance but will bring a fruitiness to it. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the strength and potency, you would like the muskiness, soften, and velvetiness of Eternal Radiance, so you might try the other way around.

What matters most is not what an expert will tell you or what your friend will suggest. It’s the fragrance that will speak to your nose and rest comfortably on your skin.



  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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