Fragrance experts debate industry’s future

29-Nov-2016

It is a challenging time for fragrance so the industry needs to work together and innovate, explains The Fragrance Foundation’s board of experts

The Fragrance Foundation panel included Annalise Fard, Director of Home and Beauty at Harrods and Chairman of The Fragrance Foundation; Duncan Chater, Chief Revenue Officer at Hearst UK; Joanna Rogers VP and Commercial Director for Beauty and Gifting at Boots; Olivier Marret General Manager at Puig UK and Ireland and Jane Boardman CEO at Talk PR.

The Fragrance Foundation’s Chairman, Annalise Fard, Director of Home and Beauty at Harrods quizzed a panel of industry experts last week about the future of fragrance.

The panel, which included members of The Fragrance Foundation’s board, agreed the industry is facing a challenging period and needs to be innovative.

Joanna Rogers, VP and Commercial Director for Beauty and Gifting at Boots and the newest member of the board said: “From a retail perspective, fragrance is in crisis. A lot of consumers are not engaged with fragrance anymore. We see a lot of love for make-up and visual beauty products but younger consumers aren’t showing the same love for perfume.”

Rogers added there is a massive opportunity to show customers that fragrance can be a part of who a person is and every part of who that person is: “I think this moment of tension in the market will make us all more creative.”

Jane Boardman, CEO of Talk PR believes the industry needs to communicate the story-telling element to consumers.

She said: “The niche fragrance sector is doing lots of interesting things on the fringes. We need to look at different ways to create fragrance and maybe come up with alternative ways of putting it on as well.”

Olivier Marret, General Manager Puig UK and Ireland added there isn’t a formula for commercial success. However, he said: “We can be innovative with the bottle as well as the product, like we did with our stiletto fragrance [Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl].”

He added it is a challenging time: “We’re flat in terms of growth so we all need to work together so we can all win.”

Boardman pointed out The Fragrance Foundation is working on a report about the challenges facing the industry.

She said there is a shortage of information for those who would like to make fragrance a career and as a result it isn’t taken seriously because people don’t know how to get into it: “Our sector needs to raise its profile and encourage young people by having courses readily available to them.”

Marret agreed and said: “Our sector is one of a kind because it combines business with creativity. We need to promote and proclaim all that we have to offer.”