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London Glam: Companies Eye Innovation and Growing Markets

By: Jane Evison
Posted: November 8, 2007, from the November 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

Following the launch of 11 new seaweed and coastal plant derivatives at this year’s in-cosmetics exhibition, marine ingredient supplier Biotechmarine invited GCI magazine to visit its headquarters in Brittany, France. Biotechmarine international sales manager, Eric Lefevre, and CEO, Xavier Briand, hosted a tour of the area where the seaweed is harvested, and presented a history of seaweed cultivation and use, including thalassotherapy (the medical use of seawater), followed by a walkthrough of Biotechmarine’s production site and laboratories, where the seaweed is transformed into the latest cosmetic active ingredients. The company’s new Bioplant line consists of two ranges focused on skin and hair care, and ingredients include extracts from rock samphire, sea kale and sea lavender.

At its creative headquarters in Paris, fragrance company Symrise continually hosts exhibitions exploring different aspects of the fragrance industry. Over the summer, it hosted “A Taste of Russia,” allowing GCI magazine and other visitors to experience Russia “in all its extremes and paradoxes.” A multimedia display explored Russia’s fundamental cultural trends and market prospects, providing insight into consumer trends, market products, fragrance potential and a showcase of up-and-coming Russian designers.

The exhibit, at Symrise’s Scent & Care location in Clichy-la-Garenne, France, further seeks to provide insights into Russia’s resurgent market and fragrance’s future in it. Russian consumers are swayed by pride in Russian goods, such as scents from classic house Novaya Zarya, yet are also receptive to Western brands. Among scent notes of particular popularity in Russia are apple, peach, fresh, woody, fruity and floral. Furthermore, the exhibit asserts that seasonal, aromatherapy, luxury and natural/organic products will increase in popularity.

Of the top 30 fine fragrance brands on the Russian market, 25 are European, including 16 French scents and seven Italian fragrances. For women, floral fruity scents are traditionally popular, while chypre and floriental fragrances are just emerging. Consumers tend to prefer citrus notes for the freshness they impart, while fruity notes are a “must.” Conversely, women tend to dislike rich, opulent, classical and excessively heavy scents. Russian men, meanwhile, are open to many scents. The top fragrance types in this segment are fougere, woody and citrus. There is virtually no demand for oriental or chypre scents, though there is interest in jasmine and orange blossom fragrances.

Russia represents 14% of the European beauty market (excluding cosmetics), led by fragrance and personal care, according to Euromonitor International, and annual growth of 12% is expected.

Marketing and Beauty