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Fueling the Market—Fragrance Observations

By: Amy Marks-McGee
Posted: November 5, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Somewhat surprisingly, celebrity fragrances, which seemed to be a fad a decade ago, are now an established segment of the fine fragrance market. The power of celebrities is alarming. The public has an insatiable appetite for new celebrity fragrances, and continues to welcome these launches. For example, Beyoncé Knowles’ first fragrance, Heat from Coty, launched in February 2010, and, according to Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren, the Macy’s chain sold $3 million between February and March. During the one hour Beyoncé was in store signing autographs, the retailer sold 72,000 bottles. Mary J. Blige and Carol’s Daughter created My Life perfume, and a sales program aired on HSN July 31, 2010. According to Peoplestylewatch.com, “It became the network’s biggest-ever single-day fragrance launch, with over 60,000 units sold over six hours.”

Upcoming fall women’s celebrity introductions include Rihanna Route 22, Katy Perry Purr, Sean John Empress, and Queen Latifah’s Queen of Hearts. Even the men’s market follows the trend with celebrity launches. Antonio Banderas released his seventh scent The Secret, McGraw Silver by Tim McGraw is the country signer’s third scent and Bruce Willis is the newest player to join the trend (though the scent is not available in North or South America). In addition, rapper Kanye West inked a deal with Parlux, and a fragrance is expected in 2011.

Final Observations

With so much of the same on store shelves and fragrances that smell alike, brand owners need to distinguish their brands in the competitive landscape and resonate with consumers. Brands and fragrance suppliers will continue to educate the consumer and fuel the fine fragrance market with new ingredients, innovative packaging and applications, up-and-coming celebrity figures, and technology to engage consumers, capture their attention and, ultimately, gain market share.

Amy Marks-McGee is the founder of Trendincite LLC, a consulting firm that helps clients cull through, distill and translate pertinent trend information into tangible products. Trendincite specializes in identifying and analyzing trends and recognizing patterns across a variety of industries in order to be proactive instead of reactive to the changing consumer. The company’s core values are to engage all five senses, capture inspiration from unexpected places and make the creative process enjoyable. trendincite@aol.com; 1-888-561-1229