The fragrance industry has gone from a sector that saw approximately twenty new scents a year, to a market with over eight hundred annual launches.
CosmeticsDesign.com spoke to the president of The Fragrance Foundation, Rochelle Bloom, to find out how this ‘saturation’ is affecting the market.
The consumer is confused
“Before we had twenty new fragrances a year, each with significant retailer backing, and the consumer eagerly awaited the new offering. Now nobody waits anymore,” explained Bloom.
The result is a confused consumer unable to choose between the plethora of perfumes that inhabit the marketplace. And sector growth is suffering.
As the scattergun approach to marketing fires increasing numbers of products onto the market, fragrance is losing its luxury feel, according to Bloom.
“In short, the aspirational value of fragrance has been lost.”
According to Bloom, the arrival of the celebrity scent onto the market was a mixed blessing for the industry. On the positive side it brought attention back to the fragrance industry; however it did nothing to curb the number of launches.
Rediscovering the art of perfumery
For Bloom, the answer lies in rediscovering the art of perfumery and finding a way to communicate this to the consumer.
“The ideal would be if marketers launched fewer products but became better storytellers,” she said.
“Current marketing campaigns do not inform the consumer of the elements of a fragrance,” she claims, and the unique stories behind the ingredients could also make for perfect marketing material.
“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.
In addition, telling the story behind the creation of the scents and informing the consumer about the ‘nose’ behind the fragrance, could help to revive their love of perfume.
The art of perfumery, and the careful communication of it to the consumer, is the secret behind some of the sector’s legendary products. It remains the strength of the industry today and should be talked up whenever possible, according to Bloom.