Body Mists Are Suddenly Relevant Again

Another Y2K revival.

body mists
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Finding your signature scent is an art. It requires determining which notes complement your body chemistry and reflect your personal style. However, in the end, having an intoxicating aroma that doubles as a calling card is worth the effort. In the early 2000s, that wasn’t the case. At that time, body mists, which delivered the same distinct smell on any wearer, were the popular way of wearing a fragrance. In 2024, it seems that these nostalgic sprays have made a comeback. But this time around, they're less about cloying scents and sticky formulas. Instead, they've evolved to be just as chic as a traditional bottle of perfume.

If you're of a certain age, you may remember the smell of notable mists like Victoria's Secret's Love Spell and Bath and Body Works' Japanese Cherry Blossom. Their Y2K-era fame was attributed to sales from teenage mall-goers and grown women alike. While the demographic of shoppers hasn't changed much over the years, Yarden Horwitz, co-founder of Spate, the artificial intelligence platform for identifying top trends in beauty, explains that the interest in body mists follows that of high-end fragrances. "Body sprays offer consumers the opportunity to experiment at an affordable price," she says.

As the overall fragrance category continues to grow, mists have opened a new lane for those seeking expensive scents that cost less. Below, TZR spoke with a group of experts, including analysts, perfumers, and brand owners about the revival of body mists.

Why Are Body Mists Popular Again?

A glance at recent fragrance trends will give you a clue as to why body mists have returned. There’s no denying that 2023 was the year of gourmand scents that made you smell delicious and ultra-luxurious. Though there are options at any price point, the most coveted ones come from expensive brands. “The spiking interest in scents like Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540 was followed by a surge in interest for equally edible-smelling Brazilian Crush mist from Sol De Janeiro,” says Horwitz. The major difference between the two? Cost. At a fraction of the price, she explains that a body spray feeds consumers' hunger for discovering and experiencing beauty trends.

In the past, body mists were considered an afterthought — a lower-cost version of their eau de parfum counterparts. But today's formulations are designed to help you build a scent wardrobe without breaking the bank. “These are hero products on their own, offering elevated olfactive profiles for all ages and taste levels, says Dana Steinfeld, SVP of brand incubation and product innovation at Maesa Group. Like high-end fragrances, mists have captured the attention of social media influencers and viewers. According to Horwitz, body mists and sprays are within the top 10 most-viewed personal fragrance TikTok trends, amassing up to 322.5M total views of related hashtags.

The growing interest has not only led to the revival but also an entryway into the fragrance category. Steinfeld tells TZR that many brands are leading with body mists as their star product given that consumers have accepted the format as a key player in the scent game.

What Are Body Mists?

By design, body mists are lighter than your standard perfume. Linda G. Levy, president of The Fragrance Foundation, explains that this is due to the percent concentration of levels of the product. “Perfumes can have 20-40% of fragrance oils in their composition while mists have a lower concentration amount,” she says. Most are a mixture of water, alcohol, and oils, making them lightweight and impacting their staying power. Levy notes that mists can last anywhere from one to two hours, but can last longer when sprayed on multiple areas of the body and clothing.

However, this doesn’t mean the scents can’t still be top-tier. “Most body mists are expertly crafted using complex and fine fragrances just at a lower percentage,” says Maggie Arms, director of global product marketing, fragrance at Sol de Janeiro. Levy adds that many notable fragrance brands also produce body sprays in their most popular scents, allowing consumers to enjoy them more casually.

What Are The Benefits Of Body Mists?

Affordability is always a win when it comes to beauty products. With many body mists priced under $30, it’s easy to see why their popularity has increased. Cost aside, there are a few other benefits to owning one of these unique sprays. “The lighter wear of perfume mists allows people to mix and match their fragrance with their mood or layer to create their own unique scent,” says Arms. They can be either built up or spritzed on for a quick refresh.

“Sometimes it’s nice to smell good without smelling like you're wearing a lot of perfume,” says Chriselle Lim, co-founder of fragrance brand Phlur. For those occasions, having a body mist on hand is ideal. “They’re easy to take on the go for an energizing spray in between meetings or workouts,” she says. With a less intense approach, you don’t have to worry about being stuck with an overpowering scent. “Their ability to be multipurpose also means you can use them more often to boost your mood or give you a self-care reset whenever you need it,” adds Steinfeld.

How Have Body Mists Evolved?

Over the past few years, body mists have grown up and gotten a serious makeover. “Historically there was always a stark contrast between traditional perfumes and fruit-forward, very sweet, and inexpensive mists,” says Arms. However, modern formulations function much like a capsule wardrobe, giving consumers a beautiful, complex, and unique fragrance while saving some coins. “They say ‘I don’t take myself too seriously but I want to smell amazing’, adds Arms.

From the refined scents to the packaging, the shift is consistent with the industry’s push for innovation and fixation on nostalgic beauty trends. According to Horwitz, Google searches for body mists have increased by 31.6% since last year, with significant interest in both classic and newer brands. She explains that many brands are tapping into consumers through nostalgic, colorful packaging and the popularity of viral ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos, both of which align with the growing preppy skin care trend.

As the category of fragrance continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how body mists develop. “There are so many different ways to wear a fragrance nowadays, and people are really enjoying exploring them all,” says Lim. With self-expression and mood-lifting aromas at the forefront of how we purchase fragrances, it’s unsurprising to see these formats take charge. So, are body mists back for good this time? Only time will tell.

Shop Body Mists