There is an interesting article in The Earth Times on "sweet fruit and flowers are basis of summer fragrance trends" in terms mostly of interpretive discourse about perfume about how recently fragrances have become distinctive. If we are to follow them, the whole industry has decided to take risks, mainly by overdosing fruity and floral notes in recent compositions and lest this might be considered to be too daring, adding woody notes to counterbalance the audacity of the thought, in some cases like Burberry The Beat.
"The new fragrances are not to everyone's taste. That's because the trend is going in the direction of distinct fragrances that don't necessarily appeal to the masses."
The fruity-floral category is probably the most commercial one in the women's market nowadays. One could decide that such fragrances are now de facto the least distinctive category if you just focus on the group itself as a perfume family.....
On the other hand, if you start looking at the intensity of the notes, you could decide that they are "distinctive" in the sense of being noticeable. For example, Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild and Mariah Carey M which are kind of nice would be good examples of overdosed familiar types as they offer an increased level of intensity which make them less banal. Avon Wish of Happiness although firmly marketed as a mass-perfume goes in that direction too. But a perfume like Tommy Hilfiger Dreaming would be more "old school", i.e., not aiming to be an amped up power fruity-floral, just a Jane Doe-worthy one.
More ambiguously Tom Ford decided to lighten Black Orchid with Black Orchid Voile de Fleur (quoted in the article), so in fact it could be here interpreted as a lowering of distinctiveness and intensity compared with the original while meeting the mainstream requirements for a distinctiveness that is on the verge of being unacceptable, risky, daring by other standards.
Intensity is an important nuance in perfumery. This type of outlook however reinforces the trend of aiming for small, rather conservative innovations and being satisfied with them. You could call it subtle or revolutionary, depending on your ideas of "distinctive" and "change". Or you could see it as the oblique return of the cocotte type, the one that reeked of perfume in her boa, which gave the verb "cocotter". The article might actually be sending promising sexual signals to make the perfumes attractive. One of the main reasons for wearing perfumes for many people is to feel distinctive.
All in all, it is difficult for us to interpret this trend as a daring one. Within the current context in which it takes place, it is still very acceptable to smell of double-dosed jammy strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow and such. Gourmand notes are usually inserted in fragrances because they appeal to our comforting childhood memories. If you put an extra dose of toasted marshmallow or caramel into a fragrance, you are not going to make us believe that you are running the risk of alienating your broad customer base. This is just a discourse about living on the edge of danger while wearing perfume for people who want to believe that buying a rose fragrance such as Paul Smith Rose is taking "the classics to the limit". We guess that going to the amusement park and being promised a horror or power ride likens it, although things happen.
Read more in the Earth Times....