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Fragrance Sales Climb in US, UK, But Fall Off in Other Euro Countries

Posted: November 25, 2013

The NPD Group reports that men’s fragrance juice sales drove positive dollar performance for the overall fragrance category in the U.S. and U.K. between November 2012 and October 2013. Total fragrance performance was soft elsewhere in Europe, with declines across men’s and women’s offerings, primarily in the EDT segment.

For the time period, the U.S. fragrance sales were up 2% versus November 2011 and October 2012, for $3 billion, and U.K. sales were also up 2% to £1.2 billion, but other countries dropped—France was down 1% to €1.9 billion, Italy was down 2% to €787 million, and Spain was down 5% to €672 million.

“While women’s individual juices continue to be the top-selling fragrance segment across the U.S. and Europe, new launch activity has been a boost for men’s sales across most countries,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

For fragrance performance sales by segment for the time period November 2012 to October 2013 (versus November 2011 to October 2012), women's juices increased 2% in the U.S. and in in the U.K., but dropped by -1% in France, -2% for Italy and -5% for Spain; for men's juices, sales jumped by 5% in both the U.S. and the U.K., but dropped -2% for France and -3% for Spain, while Italy was flat; for women's fragrance gift sets, the U.S. sales increased 1% while U.K. sales increased 5%, and France dropped -1%, Spain dropped -5% and Italy was flat; while for men's fragrance gift sets, U.S. sales were up 1%, U.K. sales were up 2% and French sales were up 5%, but Italy dropped -6% and Spain decreased -5%.

In addition to men’s juice sales, the other positive growth segments for both the U.S. and U.K. prestige fragrance industries in the 12 months ending October 2013 were women’s juices, and both men’s and women’s fragrance gift sets. With the exception of Spain, which had declines across fragrance segments, there were segments of flat to positive performance in other European countries. Men’s gift sets were the star in France during this time period. In Italy, men’s juice and women’s gift sets held steady.

“Along with the desire to treat oneself, there is a value component that comes into play for consumers with the purchase of either fragrance gift sets or individual juices. A gift set provides consumers with a variety of formats with which to enjoy their favorite scents, and the recent popularity of larger size juices offers the ability to invest in a new or existing favorite while spending less per ounce,” said Grant. “A formula involving the right balance of value and scent appeal will help re-energize the fragrance category for women as it is currently doing for men.”