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Fine Fragrance Finds Silver Lining

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: February 2, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
Annick Goutal

Annick Goutal, the Paris-based fragrance house, grew out of the passion of its founder and namesake, and the company and its artisanal fragrances have grown into an international brand with an amazing growth curve.

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Further, Bloom believes retailers’ demand for “new” outweighs consumer demand, which suggests that a new way forward for fragrance houses would be to spend a little more time in development for products that are more captivating and have longer lives. Many retailers have, of course, found gold in celebrity fragrances, but one retailer finds a mix of Hollywood sizzle and start-up ingenuity add up to success.

As was reported in GCI magazine’s January 2009 issue, Perfumania opened 53 new stores in 2008, bringing its total to 388 locations. In 2009, the perfumery chain will unveil additional newly designed store prototypes in select U.S. malls. The expansion will feature more celebrity fragrance launches and relatively unknown fragrance brands developed by start-ups from around the globe looking for U.S. distribution.

“Fragrance is truly an international business,” says Ray Piergiorgi, COO, Perfumania Holdings, Inc. “Because of our quality sales associates, we can take these ‘unknown’ brands and sell them in our stores. These relationships are why we have the widest selection of fragrances in the U.S.”

Celebrity fragrance launches certainly capture the bulk of consumer and media attention, but it may very well be lesser known, niche brands that will keep bringing fresh ideas and repeat customers to the fragrance counter. Bloom agrees, noting that smaller, niche brands offer originality and creativity.

Annick Goutal is a good example. The Paris-based fragrance house grew out of the passion of its founder and namesake, and the company and its artisanal fragrances, now under the creative direction of daughter Camille and perfumer Isabelle Doyen, have grown into an international brand with an amazing growth curve.