In a presentation given at the Escomar Fragrance 2007 event, held in Paris last month, Euromonitor's cosmetic market expert Diana Dodson said that there will continue to be a conflict between local scent preferences and the spread of international trends during the course of 2008. With a global value of $30.5bn (€21bn), the fragrance industry is set to benefit from significant growth from new and emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. However, it will also be these markets that will have the most pronounced differences between local preferences and international trends. Latin America highlight trend The prime example of this is Latin America, where leading markets such as Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia are continuing to grow at well above industry averages. Dodson pointed out that this region is in fact the only global market where local mass fragrances predominate - accounting for 85 per cent of the total sales in the region. She explains that this is as a result of high import tariffs on foreign brands combined with the fact that local brands such as Natura and O Boticario offer lighter, fresher styles of fragrance, better suited to the south American climate. Baby fragrance It is also the only region where there are significant sales of baby fragrances, which in Brazil alone account for $165m worth of sales every year, whereas in other parts of the world such products are virtually unheard of. Until now, that is, as luxury fragrance providers Burberry and Bulgari are currently launching baby fragrances in the US and UK, picking up from the evolution of the trend in South America. However, at the same time as local manufacturers are developing products that cater for specific cultural tastes, global fragrance trends are spreading, creating a more homogenized market. Dodson uses the Asia Pacific market as an example of how international and local trends are developing simultaneously, pointing to the fact that fragrance sales are growing rapidly in the region and in a homogenized fashion despite the fact that there is a cultural aversion to masking body odours with strong scents. Homongensiation vs cultural traits Despite the fact that global markets are showing signs of homongenisation, Dodson believes that manufacturers are increasingly tapping into the idea that they can market fragrances on the strengths of local cultural traits. "They can instead create brands tailored to a particular local market or ethnic group," she said, a theory she underlines with the example of Disney launching a Pirates of the Caribbean fragrance aimed at US Hispanc boys aged 4-11. All the evidence points to the fact that during the year ahead a two-pronged strategy will continue to prevail, as fragrance manufacturers roll out products on an international basis alongside products that are catering to both cultural differences and specific niches.