Shoppers are turning to 'comforting' nostalgic perfumes amid pandemic

Sweet smell of nostalgia! Shoppers turn to familiar scents for comfort amid the pandemic – with sales of 80s and 90s classics such as Davidoff Cool Water and Tommy Girl up by as much as 188%

  •  The Perfume Shop revealed sales of nostalgic scents from 80s and 90s are up
  •  Sales of 1988’s Cool Water by Davidoff were up 188 per cent month on month
  • Meanwhile 90s classic Gucci Rush increased by 153 per cent in the same period 

As the UK continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, shoppers are turning to well-loved nostalgic scents to provide a sense of comfort and transport them back to more carefree times.

Fragrance retailer The Perfume Shop has revealed the second lockdown drove UK shoppers back to the familiar scents of their younger years, with the 1990s proving a particularly popular era. 

Sales of the classic fragrance Cool Water by Davidoff, first released in 1988, were up by a huge 188 per cent month on month, making it the retailer’s top-selling retro scent. 

Meanwhile, ’90s classic Gucci Rush saw an impressive 153 per cent increase.

Fragrance retailer The Perfume Shop has revealed that the second lockdown drove UK shoppers to buy nostalgic scents, including 1988 fragrance Cool Water by Davidoff


Sales of the Nineties classic Gucci Rush (left) increased by 153 per cent while Acqua Di Gio (right) from 1995 was also in the top three best performing scents 

Acqua Di Gio also increased in sales by a huge 145 per cent over the second lockdown.

And Clinique Happy was the retailer’s fourth best-selling nostalgic scent of the period. 

Men’s classic Joop! Homme, which was originally released in 1989, was just behind with an increase of almost 80 per cent compared to the previous month. 

Other classic scents that made the list included Tommy Hilfiger scent Tommy Girl (1996), J’adore Dior – released in 1999 – and Jean Paul Gaultier’s signature 1995 fragrance. 

A reliance on online shopping may have also contributed to the boost in sales of nostalgic scents, because the inability to test new scents in person drove consumers to opt for familiar classics. 

Meanwhile, the top selling perfumes of the year included Dior Sauvage, Paco Rabanne 1 Million and Thierry Mulgar’s Alien.

Cathy Newman, marketing and customer experience director for The Perfume Shop, said: ‘Iconic fragrances have really made a comeback with our customers in 2020. 

‘Cocooning ourselves in a nostalgic scent takes us back to safer, familiar time. 

‘We can rarely smell a nostalgic scent without being transported back to another time and place and it also provides a sense of escapism from the troubling realities of this year’.

Clinique Happy, released in 1998 was the retailer’s fourth best-selling nostalgic scent of the period 


Men’s classic Joop! Homme (left), which was originally released in 1989, saw an increase of almost 80 per cent and 1996 Tommy Hilfiger scent Tommy Girl (right) also made the list 

Top selling perfumes this year  

 Fragrance 

Dior Sauvage 

Paco Rabanne 1 Million 

Thierry Mulgar Alien 

YSL Black Opium 

Paco Rabanne Invictus 

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle 

Huge Boss, Boss Bottled 

Lancome La Vie Est Belle 

Lady Million Paco Rabanne 

Caroline Herrera Good Girl  

 Year to date units sold 

197,667

122,654 

109,245

71,769 

64,511 

64,363 

64,296 

62,593

 61,329

53,739 

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