Perfume comes alive on the skin and huffing a citrus scent can instantly change our mood. But on camera? It’s basically invisible, which makes the fact that #PerfumeTikTok and #PerfumeTok have amassed 6 billion and 2.6 billion views respectively so fascinating. After all, makeup and skincare transformations are the types of visual content that TikTok normally eats up.
You can’t see or smell perfume notes as they unfurl from the wrist, or experience first or even second hand their mood-altering effects via your phone or laptop. And yet, #PerfumeTikTok has become the perfume industry’s closest ally and new playground for digital creators.
Instead of relying on the mystique of perfumes created in dusty old ateliers, TikTok is reinvigorating the fragrance market with content that makes scent cool and, crucially, accessible to a Gen-Z audience.
For the uninitiated, #PerfumeTikTok is an engaged community of fragrance lovers who share their best finds and trusted favourites in animated videos. Rather than focus on a signature soul mate perfume that you have to be monogamous to, it encourages you to flirt with other possibilities – from the expensive to super affordable – all without using fancy poetic perfume words.
Instead, content creators on #PerfumeTok give you an unfiltered snapshot into how a perfume smells and, all-importantly, whether it’s worth the money. And it’s working.
What perfumes went viral?
#PerfumeTikTok’s biggest success story has to be Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540. Seven years after it originally dropped, the platform is still creating the kind of buzz around this scent that marketing teams bequeath on new launches with breathy ad campaigns. The smell has been described as “rich mom–approved” by Christina Najjar, known as @Tinx. Another, Dave McMillian, aka @itstop5dave, notes, that a woman wearing this scent is “making the ultimate confidence statement,” adding that it’s “luxury and richness in a bottle.”
One could also argue that #PerfumeTok has played a not insignificant role in the enduring appeal of Narciso Rodriguez For Her, which turns 20 this year. A viral sensation, search for videos around the fragrance has hit a staggering 24.5 million views, giving a classic a new lease of life.
Unsurprisingly, celebrity perfume reviews are like catnip for the #PerfumeTok audience, too. Case in point: sharing his take on Billie Eilish’s debut scent, Eilish, garnered @johngnzzz over 835,000 views. @professorperfume went viral with her recent review of Phoebe Bridger’s favourite scent, Diptyque Orphéon, which has been viewed over 600,000 times. While views of videos about Ariana Grande’s Cloud Eau de Parfum have exceeded 44 million.
“In general, celebrity fragrances have high tracking on social media but so do commodity fragrances and content on the best value for price,” John tells GLAMOUR.
Other content that translates into views is what he calls “perfumes to match moods, seasons, or aesthetics, like ‘Perfumes To Match The Wednesday Addams Aesthetic’.” Coinciding with the success of the Addams Family spin-off on Netflix, search around the latter has hit 1.5 million views to date.
What TikTok perfume smells like someone you miss?
Probably one of the most asked questions on Google; the easy answer is Phlur’s Missing Person Fragrance. One of #PerfumeTikTok’s greatest appeals is that it allows more niche and Indie fragrances, such as Phlur, that would otherwise remain relative unknowns, to enjoy their moment in the beauty spotlight.
Missing Person remains one of the top trending perfumes on TikTok right now because it has been specially blended to “evoke the lingering scent of your lover’s skin,” according to the brand’s website.
So if you’re struggling to pick a perfume, why not check out these fragrances that get the most love on #PerfumeTok?