Prestige and niche fragrances outperform market

Consumers look for unique and unusual scents as sales slow elsewhere

A hectic launch pace, predominantly fuelled by flankers from existing lines, has long characterised many of the mature markets for women’s fragrances, such as the US and western Europe

Research in Cosmetics Business Markets finds many of those markets are failing to achieve significant growth, yet prestige women’s fragrances are outperforming overall market growth, showing that consumers are willing to spend more on strong launches that offer a premium scent experience. Data from Mintel shows that niche perfumery in particular gained traction in 2015, with interest rising from consumers who are recognising the added value of exclusive, harder-to-find fragrances. With these brands, the focus is mainly on the scent of the product, rather than on marketing and communication, which in the US seems to be what consumers want. Mintel data shows that the scent itself is the primary purchase driver – half of fragrance users have bought a scent because they tested it on their skin.

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