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The success of the fragrance and perfume industry is such that it is no longer relegated to small personal use bottles on the shelves of pharmacies and makeup stores; captured within health and beauty deals and vouchers, and turning confined spaces into a heady mix of floral and musky notes from the combination of every individual’s own unique “scent”. The fact is, fragrance is now something that we have come to expect, every time we walk into a spa or the home of a loved one, a particular store or even our car. Each of these locations have their own scent, and those scents are largely made up of perfumed products which are designed to entice us and make us feel a certain way.
For those looking to upgrade and update their scent, fragrance vouchers and designer perfume deals are a godsend – giving you the option of trying out new styles of fragrance which may or may not suit your lifestyle, but which you will not be sure of until you get them home and start spraying them about your person. Because, like it or not, perfume – especially the designer variety – is expensive, and so any possible saving that buyers can get will only seek to improve sales figures and numbers.
The history of fragrance and perfume
Perfume was an industry born many centuries ago, with incense being burned in Egypt at the burial ceremonies of important individuals.
Since then, the industry has grown from strength to strength, becoming a multi-billion dollar business opportunity for a number of regions across the world which source, produce and sell all manner of scented goods and fragrances for personal and commercial use.
Retailers who stock fragrance
Though we often associate health and beauty and makeup stores with perfume and fragrance, many retailers stock and sell their own brands of fragrance – particularly fashion brands who use their power in the market to try to upsell to their target customers. Some examples of these fashion-led perfume brands include Zara, H&M, New Look and Victoria’s Secret, all of whom spray their perfumes liberally around the shop floor in an attempt to entice buyers to ask about and inevitably purchase the scent that fills the air.
Much of this style of fragrance marketing and selling is not driven by any extensive research into the most popular scents, and thus these perfumes are not designed to make huge profits. Most importantly, they are not the fragrances which customers are looking to invest in using those coveted health and beauty vouchers and seasonal discounts.
Most of the iconic and most popular brands of fragrance on the market are stocked in both department stores and health and beauty retail stores, with the most high end and designer fragrances often being pushed and showcased by dedicated staff members who are hired specifically to hand out tester strips and draw buyers in. This is a particularly prominent practice in the USA, where large department store retailers will hire actors to dress up in costumes relevant to the brand of fragrance that they are being hired to showcase, attracting attention as they walk around with a bottle of the perfume or fragrance and offer to spray it onto tester strips for any interested passing shoppers.
To look at some examples of retailers who are stocking popular fragrances, these include:
- John Lewis
- Saks Fifth Avenue
It is worth noting that all of these retailers are department style retailers in that they are home to and stock a multitude of different brands, with some exclusively offering designer and high end fragrances while others offer a wider range of both designer and more affordable scents. This will likely be dependent on their customer base and average shopper.
Popular fragrance brands
The most popular perfume brands meanwhile are often those which are attributed to and created by fashion or beauty designers – using the success of the designer brand name as a key marketing ploy in pushing the sales of their perfume and in justifying their high ticket prices.
Did you know that perfume is a multi-billion dollar industry, and that women’s fragrance accounts for almost 25% more of the total figure when compared with men’s fragrance sales?
Much of the power of the most popular perfume brands comes from the power of scent as one of our five key senses – with psychologists commonly speaking about the importance and impact of scent and how recognisable smells can instantly take us back to memories we might otherwise have forgotten. As such, despite designers and perfume brands constantly updating their ranges and adding new scents to their perfume repertoire, it is rare for a perfume brand to completely get rid of a previous scent if it was once popular and sold well – primarily due to the fact that, unlike fashion, the longevity and lifespan of a popular fragrance is more timeless than a fashion trend.
Some of the most successful brands in the perfume sector include:
- Paco Rabanne
- Calvin Klein
- Dolce & Gabanna
Moving on from the designer perfume brands, we then have those which celebrate popularity and sales based largely on the face behind the scent – celebrity perfumes. Despite celebrity perfumes once only really being popular with younger buyers and children, for example the Britney Spears perfume set which was coveted by pre-teens and drove a huge spike in sales for all health and beauty stores which stocked the range, celebrity perfumes have become more sophisticated both in their scents, their packaging, and their marketing.
A great example is David Beckham, who is now as famous for his perfume brand and clothing line as he is for his football career. By placing himself in the advert for his own brand of perfume, Beckham is able to create that winning formula of a brand with a great ambassador which makes men look and think “I want that”. And, unlike fashion, fragrance is something which suits any man regardless of who he is.
Another great example is Kim Kardashian who has taken her huge influence and turned it into a perfume brand which invites other women to join her on her journey of female empowerment and strength. Like many celebrity endorsers, Kim Kardashian has also been the face of and raised the profile of many other brands of perfume, though her mainstream marketing is now purely targeted at the launch and advertising of her own product lines.
Ecommerce in the perfume market
When it comes to looking at the perfume market in particular, ecommerce becomes a little more challenging – though no less effective for brands with renowned designer names or high end endorsements from adored and trusted celebrities and influencers.
The fact is, how do you possibly advertise the scent of a perfume, or let customers know if it is what they want, when they can’t smell it? This is where marketing, product descriptions, and scent notes come in – and is also why fragrance and perfume pop-ups are so popular in large shopping districts and events around the world, with creators and small brands taking any opportunity they can to get their perfume under the noses of their target audience.
Vouchers and deals, as well as shopping events and gift cards, are all excellent techniques and tools for the perfume industry and can really boost sales, but only if the brand can first prove its worth to the target audience. One of the most prominent and easiest ways of doing this is through influencer posts and adverts, with brands paying upwards of £1,000 for a package of posts from their chosen influencer or social media star.
And when you think about it, most perfume brands in the mainstream media world are using recognisable faces and names in order to drive sales and increase the buyer trust in their products. Some of the most popular and notable examples in the industry include:
- Nicole Kidman advertising Chanel
- Charlize Theron advertising Dior
- Brad Pitt advertising Chanel
- Julia Roberts advertising Lancome
- Robert Pattinson advertising Dior
- Keira Knightley advertising Chanel
In looking at this list, it immediately becomes clear which sector of perfume brands are able to afford the high end endorsements of celebrities on video ads and televised commercials – but the ecommerce technique and the concept remains the same whether you pay an A-list celebrity or a social media influencer. Buyers trust the products which their favourite celebrities are happy to back – and this is crucial to the success of the perfume industry and its growth.
Popular products within the fragrance industry
Contrary to popular belief, the fragrance industry does not start and end on the shelves of health and beauty stores which sell delectable scents for personal use. Perfume is in fact a business much wider than personal fragrance, with these types of perfume serving just one part of the market.
Room perfume is another huge sector, with many homeware stores operating and selling their own room and home fragrances primarily based on the scents which they use to fill their stores. A popular example is The White Company, which is famed for its clean and pure decorating and shop floor style which is surrounded by a lightly floral scent. By spraying that scent around the store, the brand is doing all the advertising it needs to do from the comfort of its own retail space – leading to great sales for those who want to capture the power of the atmosphere in store and bring it into their own home.
Another example is spa fragrances, which are often owned and created by spa companies and used to create the relaxing scent which we associate with luxurious days out and afternoons spent in towelled robes and slippers. Creating a room perfume which can be upsold at the end of a spa day as a form of souvenir creates an experience which the customer will remember every time they spray the perfume in their own home – acting as both a fond reminder for them, and perhaps a drive to book another spa day to enjoy sometime in the future.
Other popular products within the perfume industry include:
- Car perfumes designed to conceal and cover up any new car or musty car smells
- Perfumed bags and products designed to hand in wardrobes and sit in drawers
By slotting into other markets such as the homeware market and the fashion market, the perfume industry is able to further widen its reach and create waves across other sectors, with the intention of drawing buyers back towards the original fragrance – particularly if they pick up a fragrance bag or car perfume that they love.
The future of the fragrance industry
32% of consumers in popular USA health and beauty retailer Sephora, said that they were strongly influenced and driven to buy a fragrance or perfume by a promotion or deal that was currently on.
This kind of statistic proves that the fragrance industry is one which is supported by vouchers and great deals as much as it is by celebrity faces and endorsements. The perfume market is renowned as one which comes with hefty price tags, and so finding ways of meeting the needs and budgets of a wide range of buyers is something that brands need vouchers and deals to achieve – as well as the power of gift cards and the concept of gifting products as an extra within their ranges.
Three out of four women say that they wear perfume on a daily basis, proving that the demand for the growth of the industry is there. It all comes down to the retailers and to the brands to ensure that they use marketing and customer facing opportunities to get their fragrances and scents out there. What this means is adapting to provide things like:
- Fragrance gift sets
- Affordable fragrance as well as high end and highly priced perfumes
- Travel sized perfumes to reach and tap into the travel market
- Long lasting fragrance scents which will last a full day
- Sustainable packaging which looks great but also has a positive environmental impact
- Perfume scents which are seasonal and relevant to current trends