Growth in the fragrance market has stalled in recent years. North American sales have barely risen since 2002 while in the established European markets, such as France, Italy and Germany, growth has also ground to a halt, according to figures from Euromonitor.
So how can the perfume industry entice more people to wear fragrances?
Tania Sanchez, co-author of the flattery-free “Perfumes: The Guide”, had a straightforward answer.
She told CosmeticsDesign.com that the industry should “make better perfume”.
But creating a world beating fragrance is no easy task.
Matt Frost, the global marketing director of fine fragrances and beauty care at International Flavors and Fragances (IFF), said that of the hundreds of annual launches only around three fragrances are likely to have enduring appeal.
Frost told CosmeticsDesign.com: "The '90s era of clear emotional messages is over and we are now looking for the next big thing.”
The art of perfumery
In the search for that epoch defining trend many commentators are tipping the art of perfumery.
Rochelle Bloom, the president of The Fragrance Foundation, told CosmeticsDesign.com that the feeling of luxury that fragrance should inspire has been lost in a flood of new products.
Bloom said: “The ideal would be if marketers launched fewer products but became better storytellers,
“What consumer wouldn’t be fascinated to know that Jasmine must be picked by hand before sunrise or it will lose 20 percent of its fragrance value? And that it takes 12,000 pounds of the delicate white flowers to make 2 pounds of oil?” she asked.
Frost echoed these views. He said: “Consumers are interested in how things are made and a lot can be done to educate consumers about fragrances.”
Illustrating this point is how ‘noses’ are coming out from fragrant fields and laboratories to stand in front of their creations like fashion designers. Frost said marketers are beginning to publish the names of ‘noses’ on perfume bottles.