Fine fragrance is a holiday gift staple. Without fail, marketers roll out new launches each Autumn in order to take advantage of the one time of the year consumers actually feel like spending, regardless of the economy.
According to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group, Inc., sales of prestige fragrances in 2011 experienced the strongest dollar and unit performance in 15 years, coming in at $2.8 billion, which marked growth of 11%, while units grew 7%. Fragrances priced at a premium of $100 and above helped to propel growth for the category with unit gains of 45% versus 2010, and fragrance launches were up 21% overall, driven by women’s launches, which grew by 33%. Celebrity brands, specifically women’s, were the winners in 2011 with gains of 57%.
According to Euromonitor International, sales of fragrances increased by 8% in 2011. Sales of fragrances declined in 2009 due to the economic downturn, as consumers of all economic levels restricted gift-giving and self-purchasing. With an improving economy, high-income consumers felt comfortable spending on themselves and on others once more. As a result they returned to purchasing discretionary items such as fragrances. In turn, total sales of fragrances (prestige and mass) increased by 8% in 2011, to reach $5.8
New launches this Fall include two new celebrity scents, a category that is still going strong. Singer Nicki Minaj launched her first fragrance, Pink Friday, in partnership with Elizabeth Arden. The scent mixes playful and sultry notes of juicy fruits, creamy vanilla and sensual musks to create “an exhilarating scent that ignites beyond the senses.”
Meanwhile, Elixir, the newest scent from international singing star Shakira, pays homage to the classic elixir bottles of the past, but with a contemporary feel. Top notes are described as “Luminous Floral” and “Exotic Spicy” and include Neroli, White Pepper and White Flower. The “Velvety Fruity” heart is comprised of Freesia, Peony and Apricot Skin. The “Woody Oriental” base includes White Cedar Wood, Amber, Benzoin, Sugar Cane and Musk.
Mercedes-Benz by Mercedes-Benz is a new woody, spicy fragrance for men. It introduces a naturally sophisticated essence combination instilled with refinement and personality. The head note, a fresh burst of citrus and bergamot give way to a warm heart of violet leaf absolute, bourbon pepper, nutmeg and galbanum. The woody base mixes essences of Virginia cedar, vetiver and patchouli giving the fragrance its contrasts, nobility and masculinity. The line consists of Eau de Toilette sprays and an After Shave spray.
French skincare and cosmetics firm Nuxe launched Prodigieux Le Parfum. The new fragrance for women captures the aroma of the brand’s popular Huile Prodigieuse multi-use dry oil. Prodigieux Le Parfum was developed by perfumer Serge Majouillier; notes include bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, rose, gardenia, magnolia, mineral accord, vanilla and coconut milk. It sports Rexam’s ultra low profile XD11 pump.
Bond No. 9’s new EDP, Manhattan, falls into the oriental gourmand category and is rich in spices. Top notes include nutmeg, saffron, coriander seeds and peach. The heart notes continue with sweet honeycomb mingled with black plum, chocolate and gingerbread accord. Moroccan jasmine, the sole flower at the center of the scent, evokes the aura of peaches or ripe bananas. The drydown features sandalwood, balsamic patchouli, vanilla and musk. The bottle is a network of laser-etched Bond No. 9 tokens, rendered in red, shimmering against a midnight blue New York sky.
Custom fragrance development company Tru Fragrance launched the first branded fragrances from Francesca’s Collections, one of the fastest-growing women’s fashion retailers in the U.S. Francesca’s Collections Signature is inspired by the intricate patterns of the native tile work, rugs, tapestries, pottery and architecture found in Morocco, featuring top notes of fresh bergamot and orange segments; mid notes of sensual jasmine; and exotic rose and base notes of white patchouli, vetiver and creamy vanilla. Francesca’s Collections Indigo Waters captures the essence of the vibrant sun and crisp blue waters of the Caribbean coastline. The fruity floral blend unfolds with notes of bergamot, grapefruit and freesia, followed by jasmine, rose and violet, and setting with patchouli, musk, amber and blonde woods.