Are GenZers into Artistic Fragrances?

From immersive multisensory experiences to engaging Tiktok content, here is why the hardest-to-win generation already has a crush on niche perfumery.


By Giulia Piceni. Images courtesy of Pitti Fragranze.

Trying to engage a complex generation such as GenZ in the perfumery niche world is a challenge that not everybody is ready to take. With their demanding retail requests and diverse interests, GenZ makes an attractive customer base for niche perfumery brands, which are now trying to build customer loyalty among them.
During a talk during the 21st edition of Pitti Fragranze, guests and moderators gave their points of view and suggested strategies to attract them.
GenZ members are hard to seduce but have a high desire to purchase as they believe goods and experiences are the best way to shape their personality, which is why they are a brand’s primary goal when developing a marketing strategy; thanks to them, products go viral, making them the main authors of a niche perfumery house’s success.

The talk titled Fragrances and Gen Z: how to build customer engagement from social media to sensory retail experience using music, art and multimedia, which took place during the 21st edition of Pitti Fragranze, featured speeches by professionals from the perfumery field and aimed to define successful strategies to engage this challenging generation.
Given their social media co-dependency, is GenZ’s in-person shop experience still relevant? Starting from this question, here is a report with the retailing focus signed by a GenZ writer.

Multisensory retail experiences and Gen Z TikTok-friendly spaces

Our generation can spend many hours a day in front of a screen to get informed and shape their taste, personality and knowledge. When it comes to niche perfumery, TikTok has transformed into a veritable search engine to find new brands and product recommendations from influencers. It’s what a shop’s selling staff would do until a decade ago.
As consumers rely heavily on online sources, how can niche and artistic perfumery brands enhance the in-person shopping experience? This was one of the questions that dominated the talk Fragrances and Gen Z: how to build customer engagement from social media to sensory retail experience using music, art and multimedia in Stazione Leopolda during the 21st edition of Pitti Fragranze.

The moderators were journalists Francesca Delogu and Silvia Manzoni. Before leaving the floor to all the guests, they gave a practical example of a GenZ-approved brand that has won their hearts and the Internet.
Unlike other customers, GenZ wants the full package, a comprehensive experience that goes beyond in-person or online shopping. What they seek while looking at niche perfumery is a type of involvement that enriches them as individuals and adds value to their online presence through Instagram or TikTok-friendly elements.
One clear example of this well-thought-out shopping experience was provided by the Korean brand BORN TO STAND OUT, which was also present at the Pitti Fragranze trade show. Its pop-up shop in Yongsan-Gu, Korea, used the brand’s trademark colours – red and white – and added a touch of refined interior design elements to create a temporary immersive experience that was viral on every online platform and made younger customers passionate about their products.

How Gen Z combining heritage with current needs: the case of Officina Santa Maria Novella

A strong online presence and spectacular elements during in-person events can be a winning combination, leading a niche or artistic perfumery brand to success.
All along the talk at Stazione Leopolda, Giovanna Flacco, Global Marketing & Brand Manager of Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella, mentioned a recent installation by their Florentine niche perfumery brand that received a great response from the Gen Z audience.
Reinventing the eight-century flagship store of Santa Maria Novella was not an easy task. However, with the help of visual artist Felice Limosani and his installation Blooming in Paradise, they created a magnificent experience. Continuously moving digital images of flowers and petals in shades of lilac, white and light blue were projected on the shop’s historical walls, providing a unique atmosphere for tourists, visitors and customers alike.
As Giovanna Flacco pointed out during the talk, creating a Gen Z-friendly space involves more than just selling products. The objective is to foster a sense of belonging and community, even for those who are not yet customers.
Today, brand loyalty starts long before a purchase is made, with the communication of ideals and desirability being key factors.

Training the future niche perfume brand managers

Valentina Grigoletto, Programme Leader of the Fragrances & Cosmetics programmes at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, also spoke during the talk. After emphasising the growing market for fragrances and cosmetics, she mentioned the importance of having not only excellent noses and perfume designers but even experts in the luxury market they refer to. To address this need, Istituto Marangoni Firenze has developed the Olfactory Experience Management for the Luxury Industry, the most recent addition to the school’s offering. Participants in the programme explore artistic and niche perfumery from a specific angle, transforming environments such as hotels, spas and commercial spaces into unique settings using perfume.
Istituto Marangoni Firenze is known for its forward-thinking approach, and with the needs of GenZ in mind, the Master’s programme mentioned by Valentina Grigoletto is paving the way for new, highly demanded professional figures. The main focus is on the experiential side of perfumery, meaning exclusive retail experiences, emotional engagement and mood-creation in luxurious settings. GenZ can thank Istituto Marangoni Firenze later! 

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