‘What is love?’: Givaudan’s olfactive exploration of Gen Z’s love codes

Unfiltered, unstaged and inclusive: as the rules of attraction evolve, our perfumers deliver a fragranced interpretation of love and seduction, as understood by Gen Z

18 Sep 2023 · 12:00 CEST

Givaudan, the global leader in fine fragrances, unveils its new creative vision, ‘What is love?’, translating Gen Z’s love and seduction language into olfactive creations to be showcased in an immersive experience.

Arnaud Guggenbuhl

With 73% of 16-24 year olds in the USA, and 68% in France respectively of the belief that fragrance is the decisive factor that seals the deal with their crush¹, ‘What is love?’ brings to life Gen Z’s take on love and seduction, within the context of unfiltered digital exposure. With 3.9 billion views garnered under the hashtag #PerfumeTok on TikTok, fragrance proves important when it comes to the emotional expression of Gen Z.

‘What is love?’ is the result of extensive research, driven by consumer insights and monitoring of social media, ensuring the most accurate and nuanced olfactive expression of these new love codes which prioritise inclusivity and unbridled emotion.

Givaudan’s perfumers drew on their boundless creative freedom to translate Gen Z’s search for authenticity and caring love into never-before-smelled fragrance compositions.

    “By embracing Gen Z’s reinvention of sensuality, gender and relationships, ‘What is love?’ delivers a realistic reading of what ‘love’ means to this generation. The importance attributed to vulnerability and authentic feelings offers an outstanding inspirational playground for our perfumers, who by empathising with this ‘rule-breaking’ philosophy and ungendered approach, have shaken up all olfactive prejudices around attraction and love in perfumery.”

    Arnaud Guggenbuhl, Fine Fragrance Head of Global Marketing Insight and Image

    “Givaudan’s expertise in decoding the ongoing and future needs of consumers, takes a new form through this creative programme”, adds Xavier Renard, Global Head of Fine Fragrances. ”Supported by extensive research led over the last two years, ‘What is love?’ addresses a strategic opportunity to reclaim a core tenet of fragrance, love, while exploring new narratives relevant to a new generation.”

    Creations belonging to the ‘What is love?’ programme will be showcased during an immersive, fragranced event, inviting Givaudan’s customers to dive into the Gen Z universe, where cosy bedrooms live alongside phone screens, and where heartfelt emotions are the new love and seduction language.

    This exclusive experience will take place in New York from 18 to 29 September and in Paris from 9 to 20 October. It will also be highlighted at Dubai’s Beautyworld, from 30 October to 1 November.

    By looking beyond perfumery stereotypes alongside Gen Z, Givaudan demonstrates its ability to connect with this daring and free-spirited generation in order to shape the future of fragrance creation.


    1. Givaudan internal quantitative survey

    About Givaudan
    Givaudan is a global leader in Fragrance & Beauty and Taste & Wellbeing. We celebrate the beauty of human experience by creating for happier, healthier lives with love for nature. Together with our customers we deliver food experiences, craft inspired fragrances and develop beauty and wellbeing solutions that make people look and feel good. In 2022, Givaudan employed almost 16,700 people worldwide and achieved CHF 7.1 billion in sales with a free cash flow of 6.7%. With a heritage that stretches back over 250 years, we are committed to driving long-term, purpose-led growth by improving people’s health and happiness and increasing our positive impact on nature. This is Givaudan. Human by nature. Discover more at: www.givaudan.com.
    About Givaudan Fragrance & Beauty
    Givaudan Fragrance & Beauty craft inspired fragrances to perfume lives and memories, and develop innovative beauty and wellbeing solutions that make people look and feel good all over the world. Nature is both our responsibility and our most precious muse. We are just as committed to sustainability as we are to creating innovative products that satisfy consumer needs and anticipate their desires. With a collaborative approach that favours co-creation, we have built a diverse portfolio across personal care, fabric care, hygiene, home care, fine fragrances, and beauty, reflecting our multidisciplinary expertise. This is Givaudan. Human by nature. Learn more at www.givaudan.com/fragrance-beauty.

    For further information please contact
    Pauline Martin, Fragrance & Beauty Communications
    E pauline.martin.pm1@givaudan.com