Of perfume and Millennial Pink

Of perfume and Millennial Pink

Glossier pink, Acne pink, Millennial Pink: What is it about this colour that everyone loves?

Brands and designers have tapped into a colour recently that millennials just can’t seem to get enough of. It’s come to be known as Millennial Pink—and you probably already know what I’m talking about.

Blame it on Pantone. The brand’s 2016 colour of the year was Rose Quartz (accompanied by Serenity, a periwinkle blue that was quickly cast aside) and suddenly the colour was everywhere you looked. But it was definitely building before that. The Cut and other outlets written about the colour phenom, so we’ll save this space for talking about perfume.

If you thought your favourite perfume brands haven’t been touched by the pink bug, you’d be wrong.

Millennial Pink perfumes

A quick look to our perfume sample shelf confirms that the last few years have been decidedly pink perfume years. Fragrance eaus have more often than not leaned towards soft, pastel colours, but we’ve seen bottles in every shade and style embrace the hue.

Pink is not revolutionary when it comes to perfume of course, but the hue, combined with the growing trend of unisex or genderless fragrances, creates an interesting dichotomy. That’s not to say these fragrances aren’t traditionally girly: The potions tend to veer fruity and floral when encased in pink. But the packaging has become much less precious and saccharine.

Take for instance, Valentino. The Barbie-inspired pink and the floral applique could make this bottle OTT femme, but instead, the matte finish and clean lines are modern. It’s definitely more pink punk rocker than pretty-in-pink princess. Ditto for Narciso Fleur Musc. Even the softer shades from Lacoste and See By Chloe aren’t overly feminine. The Chloe fragrance flask uses stripes to invoke whimsy and Lacoste stays ever true to a classic and minimalist vibe; the colour is just the punch each bottle needs to make it modern.

Bottom line

Although we don’t have stats or insight on how well these Millennial Pink bottled scents are selling vs the non-pink perfumes, the trend is certainly ubiquitous. It’s a curious happening given that today’s fashion and design world—and popular culture in general—is boldly questioning gender norms. The reclamation of the hue and its delicate girls-only identity then is certainly a challenge. It does, however, make us stop and think about the implicit power behind perfume and the colour pink.

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Alexandra Donaldson is the editorial assistant at The Whale & The Rose and a freelance writer and content creator. Although she recently took up yoga in an effort to be a healthy adult, she still binge-watches cartoons on a regular basis and dreams of running away to a cottage in the woods. She has yet to nail down her favourite perfume, but knows that it smells green, earthy and maybe a little bit spicy, but definitely not sweet.