NPD drives men's fragrance sector

The latest study from NPD has underlined the extent to which men's perfumes drove the market last year with sales generated by new perfume products for men growing by more than 50% in the selective distribution sector. Lines launched in 2006 had become fully accepted by 2007.

Jean-Paul Gaultier's Le Male continues to perform well

The latest study from NPD has underlined the extent to which men's perfumes drove the market last year with sales generated by new perfume products for men growing by more than 50% in the selective distribution sector. Lines launched in 2006 had become fully accepted by 2007.

For L'Oréal, which has exploited the licence on Diesel Fuel for Life, this unisex product has been one of the most important launches in the past decade with a take-off in Europe described as "spectacular".

In a highly competitive market with some 300-plus new products emerging each year, producers agree that what makes the difference to sales is the level of investment in marketing and promotion. Remi Ricord, president of drom Fragrances, said an international launch now required a budget of between €20m and €25m. He added that out of the totality of new products, few actually survive and among the remainder "successes are rare".

Through 2007 the best-selling men's perfume in the selective distribution sector was Le Male of Jean-Paul Gaultier, followed by Dior's Eau Sauvage and Boss from Hugo Boss. Among women's products, Chanel No 5 retained its lead ahead of Dior's J'Adore and Thierry Mugler's Angel.

Overall, perfume sales reached a high level last year both in value and volume terms, rising by 5% to €1.8bn with an average price up 1.4% at almost €47. The number of units sold rose 3.6% to 39 million.

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