And that’s trimming profits off the aftershave market
This is one hairy situation.
More than half of people ages 18-34 have a beard or stubble, according to research firm Mintel — and it’s causing major problems for the aftershave market. Indeed, in the past year, sales of high-end aftershave fell 11% in terms of dollars and 8% in terms of units sold, according to research firm NPD. One of the reasons they cite: “The rise of men sporting facial hair.”
Meanwhile, the market for the often-scented beard oils and softeners is booming. The number of introductions of these products into the market has quadrupled since 2014, NPD reports. What’s more, sales of these products is up 10%.
But for the well-groomed millennial hipster, not just any scent. The 18-34 set “prefer a fragrance that can only be experienced while standing within their personal space,” Kissura Craft, a beauty industry analyst with NPD writes. “Scented beard oils and softeners fit the bill as they are more subtle in strength.”
These beard balms, oils and softeners don’t come cheap. Take the Honest Amish Beard Balm. A two-ounce tin of the organic balm — crafted from avocado, apricot kernel oils and fruit and nut butters — will set you back more than $12. But for the subtle-scent seeking hipster, that may be worth it: The product has more than 5,000 mostly positive reviews on Amazon, with a lot of them focused on how it smells.
“There is a hint of anise (black licorice) but I think the scent is a mix of spice notes and woodsy scents with maybe a tiny bit of anise,” a reviewer writes on Amazon. “I think, personally, the top note is clove. Is it a strong scent? No, absolutely not.”
The Handlebar Wisdom Premium Beard Oil — made from meadowfoam seed oil, jojoba oil and rice bran oil — is even more expensive at $20 for a 1.6 ounce container. But apparently the ladies love it:
“I got this for my boyfriend who has a short beard,” one reviewer writes on Amazon. “I love the way it makes him smell. It’s nice and fresh and citrusy with notes of musk.”
For those that don’t want to fork over upwards of $10 for a tin of beard oil, you can make your own beard oil — in a “manly” scent no less. BeardOilRecipes.com lists “3 of the most manly-smelling beard oil recipes” on its site, writing: “Do you want to look manly? Grow a beard. Want to smell manly? What you need is a manly-smelling beard oil that you can slather on your face …”
And the site GrowingUpHerbal.com also has several recipes for “manly essential oil beard blends” and men on their site even ask for advice on how to make their beards smell more manly with one writing: “I would like to have a rose scent but it is definitely more of a feminine scent. Can you suggest a way to have a subtle rose scent but be more masculine? Like maybe mixed with something complimentary that would have a masculine base.”
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