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Feeling fragrant: Australia’s perfume and aftershave buyers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jan-Dec 2013 (n=18,576) and Jan-Dec 2015 (n=15,367).

Australians are getting more fragrant by the year, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal, with a growing number of us buying women’s perfume and/or men’s aftershave/cologne in any given four-week period.

Between January 2013 and December 2015, the number of Australians 14+ buying women’s perfume in an average four weeks increased from 1,140,000 to 1,509,000 people, a growth of 32%. This takes it past men’s aftershave/cologne, which was purchased by 1,345,000 people in 2015 (up from 1,192,000 people in 2013).

The growth in both categories was driven by both male and female consumers, with more Aussie men buying women’s perfume and men’s aftershave/cologne in 2015 than they were in 2013, and more Aussie women doing the same.

Buying perfume and aftershave/cologne by gender: 2013 vs 2015


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jan-Dec 2013 (n=18,576) and Jan-Dec 2015 (n=15,367).

True romance

In news to restore the faith of anyone who thinks romance is dead, Aussies who are married or de facto are more likely than their single/unmarried counterparts to buy fragrance for the opposite gender. For example, married and de facto men are more than twice as likely as their single/unmarried counterparts to buy women’s perfume in an average four weeks, and married/de facto women are three times as likely as single/unmarried women to buy men’s aftershave/cologne.

Andrew Price, General Manager—Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Sales of women’s perfume and men’s aftershave/cologne have shown a healthy upward trajectory since 2013, with rising proportions of Australian men and women buying both types of fragrance in any given four-week period. But this doesn’t mean that retailers can rest on their laurels, especially with Roy Morgan data showing that online shopping for these products is also on the rise. Having an understanding of who exactly is most likely to buy men’s and women’s fragrances is essential, both to retain existing customers and to gain new ones.

“As we have shown, marital status is just one variable that helps paint a clearer picture of Australia’s fragrance-buyers. Attitude is another important consideration. Men who buy aftershave/cologne and women who buy perfume are more likely than the average Aussie to believe that ‘it’s important to look fashionable’ and ‘wear clothes that will get me noticed’— an insight that could certainly come in handy when devising a marketing strategy, for example.

“With in-depth and holistic data compiled from more than 50,000 respondents annually, Roy Morgan Research Single Source is your one-stop shop for the kind of consumer insights that will allow you to gain an edge on the competition…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%