IT IS FAIR to say that the Big 5 has expe- rienced a fragrant year in the past 12 months with all countries reporting
a rise in value sales, which is extremely
encouraging indeed. Women’s fragrances have always been a popular channel,
and one prone to keeping its sales levels
high even during an economic downturn,
which always bodes well for any category.
Fragrant in France
According to NPD the selective women’s
fragrance market in France grew by 3.5%
in 2011, although volume growth was just
0.4%. Looking at the mass market, sales of
EDT and EDP products through the mass
market also grew by 3.7% to $68.4 million
while sales of women’s fragrance gift sets
jumped 27.5%. And according to Mintel,
the French women’s fragrance market was
worth $1.8 billion last year, with many
claiming that it is by far the most lucrative
fragrance market of all of the Big 5 countries.
The return of the floral segment for fragrances has been strong in France in the
past year and also seems to have piqued the
interest of niche brands. The French press
has been raving about Trompe L’Oeil by Six
Scents, Series 3 No. 2, a compilation of neroli, mimosa, rose and tuberose on a warm
vanilla base, and Clemency by Humiecki &
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Graef, featuring rose, linden blossom, cassis,
milk, sandalwood and leather.
Meanwhile, the king of niche brands,
Serge Lutens, has also turned to florals for
his latest creation, Vitriol d’Oeillet, which
translates as“angry carnation.” It features
spicy notes, including cayenne, black pepper, pink pepper, nutmeg and clove, and is
described as slightly powdery.
According to industry insiders, Serge
Lutens is much more than just a niche
brand; however, it is available within classic distribution yet successfully adopts the
niche attitude and has carefully built up a
cult reputation over time.
The German women’s fragrance market has also been in the ascendant in the
past year with value growth of 5.7% in
value terms to $1.5 million, according to
SymphonyIRI Germany. Volume growth
matched that entirely, also seeing a rise of
5.7% to 52 million units. Singular bottles
of fragrance have also see value growth,
boosted by 6% in the past year to $1.17
billion and women’s fragrance sets rose
by an impressive 9.1% to $221.8 million. Although, fragranced body care sets
did see a drop in sales of 0.5% to $153.4
In terms of retail channels popular
with German consumers, the perfumery
was the most popular place to part with
their hard earned euros, accounting for $1
billion in sales, which represented a 5.4%
increase in the past year.
Italian fragrance sales inched up 1.6% to
$1.3 billion overall, according to newly
released figures by industry body Unipro.
Unsurprisingly the women’s fragrance
market continues to dominate by far, accounting for $799.5 million worth of
sales compared to that of $504.6 million
for men. And like in Germany, it was the
perfumery channel that scored big on the
sales front, ringing up nearly $1.1 billion
worth of sales through its tills, across both
male and female sales.
In terms of NPD activity, there was
much to whet the appetites of Italian consumers. Popular domestic brand Collistar
launched its first women’s fragrance,
Profumo della Felicità, Body Aromatic
Water, entitled as an ode to the femininity
and the joy of living life in all its fullness.
Top fresh notes of grapefruit and mandarin join the heart of lotus flower, velvety
tones of peony are illuminated by pink
pepper and red currant. The base contains
the seductive notes of osmanthus and the
refinement of vetiver and musk. The formula is further enhanced with the beneficial softening and toning effects of orange
blossom and passion fruit extracts, according to Collistar.
A summer fragrance, Profumo della
Felicità is described as cheerful and lively
and enriched with euphonizing essential oils and Mediterranean extracts that
make it a real beauty treatment for the
body and a well-being ritual for the spirit.
Created by perfumer Nathalie Lorson, she
describes her perfume style as harmonious and generous, characteristics that she
wants to show in her choice of raw materials for this scent.
A Blooming Year
The Spanish women’s fragrance market has also had a fruitful year with
SymphonyIRI Spain reporting that sales
here rose 5% to $151 million while for
the same period volume sales rose by
6.6% to about 1 million units. Unlike
other European countries, volume sales
of fragrances purchased through the mass
market (namely supermarkets and hypermarkets) are on the rise, with volume sales
here growing by a healthy 13% to 692,000
units as sales here rose by 10% to $95 million. Private label fragrances also recorded