Recent data from the report, Market Perspectives and Investment Strategy for the Global Perfume Industry, put the global market for perfumes at US$26 billion per year. The report indicate that brands are launching over 300 new products a year, but growth has slowed or even declined in European and US markets. Meanwhile, perfumes sales in China are showing steady growth.
Despite it’s large population, China represents only 1% of this global perfume market. But changes in consumption habits among millennial consumers suggest that the market is changing fast. A growing number of brands are racing to introduce new products, including crossover products from other industries. For example, Luzhou Laojia, a well-established Chinese liquor brand recently rolled out its own perfume line.
China Beauty Expo has also seen marked growth in its perfume category. Previously, perfume products were limited to Hall W2. Now, they’re seen across numerous halls and segments of the show. For example, in 2017, the Fashion Zone in Hall N5 featured Grasse, France’s fragrance capital, Xiujuexi, and Scent Library.
Chinese Search Underscores Rising Perfume Demand
The average daily volume of Baidu searches in the perfume segment reached 290,000 in 2017, an annual increase of 9%. Mobile devices accounted for 90% of these searches. Peak search periods were concentrated in holiday periods: Women’s Day, Mother’s Day, the Qixi Festival (Chinese Valentine’s Day), and New Year’s Day.
Non-Brand Search Terms Grow Rapidly
Non-brand search terms grew most rapidly in 2017, and those related to word-of-mouth marketing had the largest share of search volume at 44%. There was a sharp jump in search terms such as “ranking list”, “ranking,” “sweet-smelling”, and “lasting”. Terms suggesting premium attributes such as “high-end” and “high-class” also rose sharply. The growth in non-brand and attribute-focused search terms suggests that consumers are still in the discovery stage of understanding the perfume market.
New Launches Top Product Searches
In 2017, many brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Gucci introduced new products into the perfume category. These new products generated a high volume of online searches.
Luxury Brands Diversify Their Lines
A growing number of luxury brands have entered the fragrance category. Louis Vuitton launched seven perfumes in 2017 – marking its first launch in 90 years. Tiffany & Co. launched its first fragrance in 14 years. Celebrities including Rihanna, Beyonce, and Britney Spears have also introduced signature fragrances.
Interest in Floral Scents is on the Rise
In 2017, floral scents were one of the most popular fragrance categories. Daisy-, rose, and jasmine-scented fragrances led the market. Brands also introduced a diverse array of new scents including woody, chocolate, and milk.
Diverse Scents Drives Demand for Smaller-volume Products
Searches for household fragrances also rose in 2017. Brands like Diptyque and Jo Malone saw their searches increase by 131% and 133% respectively. Searches for natural floral scents tended to peak when the corresponding flowers were in season. For example, searches for cherry- and osmanthus-scented fragrances peaked when these flowers were in bloom. Similarly, online searches for small volume packaging such as “10 ml” and “15 ml” rose by 78% and 42% respectively.