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EXCLUSIVE: 5 Sens Fragrance Brand Goes to Sephora

The fragrance brand, founded by Divya Gugnani, will debut at the end of May online and in 224 doors the following month.

Sephora is beefing up its clean fragrance offering with its latest brand partnership.

5 Sens, the fragrance brand founded by beauty investor and Wander Beauty cofounder Divya Gugnani, will debut its full assortment at the retailer online May 23. From there, three scents — Catch Feelings, Life of the Party and Twin Flame — and a discovery set will roll out to 224 doors the following month.

Gugnani introduced the brand earlier this year, as reported by WWD, and its debut five scents are meant to be swapped based on the wearer’s mood. Each full-sized fragrance is $65, and the brand is also vegan, Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free, and opts for glass, wood and post-consumer recycled plastic.

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Gugnani said it was time to get the brand’s story into retail. “Launching direct-to-consumer was important for us because we wanted to build our own communities, get that initial feedback of which fragrances are working, which are not working, and whether or not consumers are resonating with the price point,” Gugnani said. “Narrow and deep distribution initially, to build the brand, is the right way to do it.”

Sephora was an obvious choice for a partnership, she said, given the retailer’s fragrance consumer. “Sephora is attracting the customer base that overlaps with us, which is the fragrance-curious person, and it gives the customer an opportunity to physically try our scents. Because fragrance is a sensory experience, a lot of what you can do in a Facebook or Instagram ad with skin care and makeup, you can’t with fragrance,” Gugnani said.

Added Carye Campbell, vice president of fragrance merchandising at Sephora, in an email, “With its purpose-driven approach to fragrance, and powerful, clean formulations, 5 Sens creates a unique sensory experience that seeks to capture and cultivate individual energy and moods. We can’t wait for our clients to discover all that this brand has to offer, and we know it will be a wonderful addition to our fragrance assortment.” 

The launch comes at a time of growth both for Sephora and for fragrance more broadly. On its most recent earnings call, Sephora parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported 28 percent organic growth in its selective retailing division, driven by Sephora. Fragrance, according to Circana, grew 15 percent in the first quarter of 2023.

Gugnani didn’t comment on sales expectations for the brand, but as reported, industry sources expect it to land between $3 million and $5 million at retail in its first year on the market.

Though expansion is top of mind, she isn’t looking to oversaturate her assortment. “We’re not going to launch a new fragrance every month,” she said. “We believe in our core, which is the juice we created. By telling our story on our site and on social media, people are connecting with the brand. There’s definitely product market fit, and the next step is building on that.”