“Some shoppers buy monthly perfume subscriptions to try several scents without leaving home before committing to buying a full-size bottle,” Levy told Happi about the fine fragrance market today. “This is an attractive solution if fragrance fans are truly indecisive.”
And they just might be—as sales are slipping slowly in the fine fragrance segment.
Total prestige fragrance sales were $4.4 billion (and essentially flat compared to last year) for the past 12 months ending July 2019, according to The NPD Group. This is due to declines in home scents, gift sets and ancillaries, according to the market research firm.
In the mass market, women’s fragrance sales fell 3.6% to $668.8 million, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) for total US multi-outlet (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 11, 2019. While perfumes and colognes/body powder slipped 4.5% to $461.4 million, women’s gift packs fell 1.6% $207.4 million. Men’s fragrance/shaving lotions dropped 7.2% to $691.2 million. Shaving lotion/cologne/talc dipped 6.2% to $485.4 million and men’s gift pack/sets fell 9.5% to $205.8 million.
According to Levy, brands continue to introduce fragrances marketed specifically for women or men, however, there is momentum with gender-neutral fragrance launches.
“This shared category speaks to men and women who enjoy wearing notes that are traditionally gender-specific—for example, florals for women and woods for men,” she said.
Some of the new Fall 2019 launches that follow this trend include Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur Eau de Parfum, Maison Margiela’s Library Eau de Toilette, and Tom Ford Ombre Leather.
Levy added that influencer marketing is penetrating further into the fragrance arena; until recently, influencers dominated makeup, hair care and nail art.
The latest launch at Estée Lauder this season expands on its Beautiful fragrance collection with Belle Love, a new scent for the modern brides. According to the company, Beautiful Belle Love reimagines the timeless oriental fragrance with a luxurious oriental gourmand.
The fragrance opens with a blend of French sage and green fig leaf accord, interlaced with Tunisian neroli. Florentine orris and Turkish rose essential infuse the scent with romantic florals. The exotic textures of almond blends with an amber accord. Madagascar vanilla and Indonesian patchouli heart then merge with the highest grade of Brazilian tonka bean absolute.
In other Lauder news, Aerin Beauty’s new Limone di Sicilia Parfum is available. Billed as a luxurious citrus floral blend inspired by Sicily’s sunlight, Limone di Sicilia is an artisanal co-distillation of bergamot, muguet de mai with lemon primofiore, Italian mandarin, Egyptian jasmine, rose centifolia, ambrox and oak moss. The new collection includes a 1.7oz and 3.4oz parfum as well as an ultra-conditioning body cream.
Grammy winner Ariana Grande has bottled the brilliance of her anthem “Thank U, Next” into the aptly-named fragrance, Thank U, Next. This highly anticipated fragrance, created in partnership with Luxe Brands, launched exclusively on Ulta.com this summer and is now in select stores.
Thank U, Next was crafted by Robertet’s Jerome Epinette, the perfumer behind Byredo and Atelier Cologne. He was inspired to develop a new olfactive territory with the Thank U, Next fragrance, as the creation disrupts the gourmand space by layering florals and a textured musk.
“Each of Ariana’s fragrances surpasses the last and Thank U, Next will be no exception. The scent, packaging and campaign are all a perfect representation of Ariana’s globally embraced message,” said Tony Bajaj, chief executive officer of Luxe Brands. “It is remarkable how Ariana connects with her fans and shares her incredible passion through everything she does. We are honored to again be partnering with such a groundbreaking artist and look forward to continued success with the launch of Thank U, Next fragrance.”
She may not have Grande’s pipes, but Paris Hilton certainly has staying power. She and Parlux recently launched Electrify, Hilton’s 25th fragrance in the past 15 years. Since debuting in 2004, Hilton’s perfume collection has more than $2 billion in retail sales and remains one of the top celebrity brands in the market today.
This floriental woody scent features a blend of scarlett apple, spring peony and fresh ozonic notes balanced with subtle Turkish rose. Hilton partnered with perfumer Yves Cassar of IFF to develop Electrify. According to Cassar, “This scent was crafted to make a statement—to achieve this I added a bouquet of floralcy to amplify the sensuality and contrasted that with addictive juicy notes and an upbeat mix of sweet coconut-vanilla and creamy woods.”
Not to be outdone, Jennifer Lopez has also launched her 25th fragrance, Promise. Designer Parfums partnered with Lopez on the launch. Promise is available exclusively at Ulta Beauty in the US, Boots and Superdrug in the UK and Liverpool in Mexico.
Meanwhile, at Lancôme, the biggest launch of the year is happening with Lancôme Idôle eau de Parfum. This feminine fragrance for a new generation is embodied by the new face of the brand—actress, singer, and fashion authority Zendaya. A new musky chypre floral fragrance, the scent was created by three female perfumers: Shyamala Maisondieu, Adriana Medina and Nadège Le Garlantezec. A sustainably sourced Isparta rose petal essence from Turkey exclusively made for Lancôme brings the fragrance to life, along with a centifolia rose grown in France. Notes of bergamot shine among accords of pear and jasmine, according to the company.
To continue Lancôme’s commitment of sustainability, Idôle is accompanied by a refill station at Lancôme counters called “La Recharge” to refill an empty bottle in a very intuitive way. The charging station will be available at Lancôme counters nationwide.
New & Noteworthy
Since 1828, Guerlain has been leaving a lasting impression with world-class fragrance compositions that stand the test of time. Now, the latest addition to Guerlain’s Art of Materials Fragrance Collection is Embruns d’Ylang eau de parfum. Showcasing the brand’s rich fragrance know-how with next level craftsmanship and innovation, the L’Art la Matiere collection is a true testament to the brand’s commitment and status as a leader in the niche fragrance category, said the company. Embruns d’Ylang introduces a combination of woody and salty notes and features the exotic ylang ylang flower, sourced by Guerlain’s master perfumer Thierry Wasser, from the Comoros archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
According to the company, Wasser is one of the few perfumers to have travelled to the Comoros in recent years to source ylang ylang and he developed the most exquisite flower essence, a reflection of the brand’s commitment to exploring and preserving the world’s finest raw materials.
Badgley Mischka, an iconic American design house, recently unveiled its second fragrance, Badgley Mischka Forest Noir eau de parfum. Developed in collaboration with TPR Holdings LLC, this new fragrance captures an elegant fruity floral that is a natural whimsical essence of the brand. Enchantment envelopes the senses with Forest Noir, as a fresh burst of sparkling citron, pear and mandarin unfolds into a radiant floral bouquet of night blooming jasmine, Bulgarian rose and hyacinth. The modern combination also features dewy moss, patchouli and vanilla absolute. Badgley Mischka’s Forest Noir Eau de Parfum was developed by Michelle Defina of IFF.
Also new from TPR Holdings is Elie Tahari’s Elie Tahari Night, the second fragrance in the designer’s collection. This floral amber was created by master perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Nicole Mancini of Givaudan. Top notes include bergamot and orange with a touch of saffron that creates a subtle citrus opening. At the heart is the unique presence of a beautiful rose complemented by fig and iris. Rich patchouli and amber rounds out the fragrance.
Nars Cosmetics’ first-ever signature fragrance, Audacious, launched this summer just in time to celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary this year. Designed as an abstract study of contrasts, top notes of white frangipani and smoke of incense harmonize with tiare flower and sandalwood. The smoky floral fragrance was developed by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. A series of related videos also appear on Instagram/narsissist.
This fall in Los Angeles, Chanel and actress Margot Robbie hosted a dinner at the iconic Chateau Marmont Hotel in celebration of the new Gabrielle Chanel Essence fragrance and advertising campaign. Actors, musicians and influencers enjoyed cocktails by the pool followed by an intimate candlelit dinner. Designed by Chanel’s in-house perfume creator Olivier Polge, the new olfactory variation is said to show a more vibrant and opulent side.
For the Guys
Dolce&Gabbana Beauty debuted K by Dolce&Gabbana, a new fragrance for men. Said to celebrate a new era of masculinity, it captures the essence of a man in his element, a man who is the king of his everyday life, according to the company. Instantly conjuring the Italian countryside and the Mediterranean midday sun, its warm enveloping embrace evokes the fresh earthy scent of wooded Tuscan hills. Dolce&Gabbana has also partnered with Italian influencer Mariano Di Vaio to launch K, a fragrance targeting modern men who are the “king of everyday life.”
Also launching this fall is Jimmy Choo Urban Hero. For this new adventure, Choo cast renowned street artist Jules Dedet, aka L’Atlas as the face for the scent’s campaign. The woody aromatic eau de parfum was inspired by the urban environment and combines notes of lemon caviar, black pepper, rosewood and a leather accord.
Novel & Indie
Crabtree & Evelyn is reigniting the ethos of its founder, nature enthusiast Cyrus Harvey. The new brand identity is underpinned by one message: “Born Curious. Grown Wild.” The first collection under the new brand ID is Evelyn Rose, an unexpected take on a rose-scented collection that invites the consumer to reject the ordinary, embrace the thorns and unleash their unique nature.
This collection will be closely followed by the brand’s first genderless offering, called Crabtree. These new products will sit alongside The Cult Collection, a curated collection of Crabtree & Evelyn icons enhanced under the new brand vision.
Another innovation this season is French fragrance brand Diptyque. Its new wearable fragrance collection includes a pin, bracelet and scented stickers. The centerpiece of the trio is the brooch.
A piece of jewelry in gilded metal, harking to the wooden birds that once inhabited the House’s original boutique, the perfumed ornament was inspired by Renaissance pomanders scented jewelry. A pre-perfumed ceramic disc that generates lingering fragrance is simply slipped into the center of the brooch.
Indie beauty brand DefineMe is collaborating with Disney to launch a range of perfumes inspired by various Disney princesses. The first to launch is the Ariel fragrance in celebration of The Little Mermaid’s 30th anniversary.
“We were beyond thrilled to collaborate with Disney this past year,” said Jennifer McKay-Newton, CEO and creative director of DefineMe. “Having grown up with and loving all things Disney, the opportunity to create something so special such as a fragrance inspired by their Disney Princess characters is truly exciting for not only our brand, but me personally.”
DefineMe drew its inspiration from the sea as well as Ariel’s natural sense of adventure and curiosity when deciding upon ingredients and notes. The beachy scent starts with a splash of citrusy neroli and bergamot, flowing into jasmine and lilac, then crashing with a blend of tonka bean, coconut and driftwood, according to the company.
Meanwhile, Roots Rose Radish is a new all-natural perfume line created by certified herbalist and midwife Christian Toscano. These perfumes come packaged in seashells. Each scent has a base of jojoba oil and beeswax to release ylang ylang and grapefruit or cedarwood myrrh and clove.
From Goddess Garden Organics, known for reef-safe sunscreens, facial care and aromatherapy, comes a solid scent. The company expanded its wearable accessories line with the addition of two new fragrant aromatherapy bracelets, Strength and Chakra, out just in time for the holiday season.
The new aromatherapy bracelets have the added bonus of mood-enhancing stones, according to the firm. Porous lava rocks capture and carry the scent of pure essential oil blends, while genuine stones offer energetic properties.
The stones and oils work in tandem to enhance one’s mood, while the symbolic charm and color patterns reinforce intentions and make each bracelet on-trend and stylish.
Global outreach is expanding in fine fragrance. For example, French luxury house Chanel is opening a flagship store for its fragrance and beauty lines on Tmall and Tmall Luxury Pavilion, Alibaba Group’s dedicated platform for luxury and premium brands. The stores will be the only official online shopping channels in China outside of Chanel’s own online store.
In a press release, Chanel noted that the new store “once again pushes the limits of luxurious and meaningful shopping experiences,” creating a space where “clients can enjoy shopping while discovering about the brand’s heritage, as well as new, innovative product ranges.”
Chanel is introducing a suite of services on Tmall to bring the same premium experience that customers can enjoy in brick-and-mortar stores, from real-time consultation by online beauty advisors to free shipping for all purchases in the store.
Consumers can also sign up to join the brand’s membership program, allowing them to receive the same privileges as offline members, such as being the first to sample new products and
attend exclusive offline events.
Chanel is among the latest to launch its beauty lines on Tmall; prestige labels such as Tom Ford Beauty, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Givenchy, YSL Beauté and La Mer are already there. Their arrival is part of Alibaba’s plan to bring another 1,000 beauty-focused virtual stores to Tmall platforms this year.
In other news, Inter Parfums, Inc. and Oscar de la Renta LLC are together for the long haul. The pair recently amended an agreement extending their partnership through Dec. 31, 2031, with an additional five-year extension option through Dec. 31, 2036. The original license agreement, signed in 2013, would have expired on Dec. 31, 2025.
Guess also has new scents scheduled for the next decade and then some. Last year, Inter Parfums Inc. entered into an exclusive 15-year worldwide license agreement with Guess? Inc. to create, develop and distribute fragrances under the Guess brand.
And, let’s not forget the biggest three letters of the year—CBD!
“There is a new conversation regarding the cannabis trend as it’s a growing category in skin care and supplements,” Levy told Happi. “Cannabis or hemp notes are included in some fragrances but not necessarily the ‘top’ headliner note.”
No doubt that CBD is here, but is it here to stay? Stay tuned.
• Elizabeth Arden’s signature Red Door fragrance is turning 30. Since its introduction in 1989, Red Door fragrance has become a visual and fragrant symbol of the brand’s heritage.
The fragrance’s color refers to when Elizabeth Arden famously painted the door of her 5th Avenue salon red to boldly symbolize her presence and make her mark. To commemorate the fragrance’s 30th birthday, Elizabeth Arden has partnered with one of the fashion industry’s most in-demand illustrators, Jeanette Getrost, on an anniversary campaign paying homage to the past three decades of Red Door and looking forward to its future. With clients such as Coach, Estée Lauder and Project Runway, it comes as no surprise that Getrost was named one of the industry’s most in-demand illustrators by Vogue Magazine in September 2015.
The artist’s illustrations prominently feature the color red, Elizabeth Arden’s hallmark hue that built an empire, bringing this classic to life with a contemporary appeal, said the company.