True Beauty Ventures (TBV) and Unilever Ventures (UV) have announced a minority investment in clean fragrance brand The 7 Virtues. It’s the first time either venture capital firm has made a fragrance investment, and signals ongoing investor confidence in the sector.
Prestige fragrance has been a particularly strong category, with sales up 56 percent against pre-pandemic levels last year according to market research firm Circana, and unit sales up almost a quarter. Gen Z are also significant users, with 83 percent using fragrance in 2023, up 5 percent from the previous year.
The 7 Virtues was founded in 2010 by Barb Stegemann, who remains its majority shareholder. The company has pitched its scents as free from ingredients such as parabens and sulphates, and cruelty-free with a high concentration of fragrance oils, chiming with a wider trend towards “clean” perfume, wherein consumers look for blends they perceive to be both more natural and without potential irritants, but also longer-lasting on the skin.
TBV’s portfolio includes buzzy brands like K18, Crown Affair and Maude, while UV’s includes Saie, Sachajuan and The Nue Co.
The 7 Virtues is stocked in Sephora stores in North America, Canada, Europe and Australia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Celebrity Fragrance is Back
Facing an oversaturated beauty market, A-listers are returning to scents to profit off their image. Only now, you might find some of them stocked next to Byredo rather than at Walmart.