Variations on scent

Although the Asian fragrance market is still dwarved by those of other regions, the use perfumes and colognes is growing in China, India and Indonesia

Buoyed by a growing middle class, fine fragrance usage is increasing across Asia, although in many regions, fragranced toiletries are still viewed as a value alternative. In both cases, however, manufacturers ignore local customs and preferences at their peril

For many beauty product sectors, Asia Pacific represents the most dynamic market on planet earth. China and India are veritable goldmines for the multinational personal care giants, while Japan is a world leader in innovation, especially when it comes to skin care.

Fine fragrance, however, is notoriously not one of these sectors and penetration across the region remains frustratingly low. According to Euromonitor International, fragrance value sales in Asia Pacific totalled US$3.2bn in 2012, up 2.6%, with premium fragrances accounting for nearly $2bn and the mass market sub-sector reaching just over $1.2bn. While growth should never be sniffed at, the aforementioned figures pale in comparison with Asia’s mighty skin care market, for example, which was worth more than $45bn in the same year, an increase of 6.1% on the previous year.

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