Having declined at a double-digit rate during 2020, retail constant value sales (2021 prices) of fragrances rebounded relatively strongly in 2021 but remained below their pre-pandemic level. The two lockdowns in 2020 led to the closure of non-essential stores – including beauty specialist retailers (such as Sephora, Marionnaud, Nocibé, and Yves Rocher), brand-name stores (like Chanel and Guerlain) and department stores – significantly impacted sales of fragrances.
E-commerce surged in importance as a distribution channel for fragrances during 2020 (most notably during the end-of-year celebrations (a period which typically comprises a large part of the category’s yearly turnover), and its retail volume share continued to increase in 2021 – albeit at a much more modest pace. Beauty specialist retailers chains like Sephora, Nocibé and Marionnaud are now paying much more attention to this channel and offering such services as click & collect to consumers.
A significant number of new fragrances were launched in 2021, with many of these having been postponed from the previous year. These include men's fragrance H24 by Hermès, A Drop by Issey Miyake, Synthetic Jungle by Frédéric Malle, Twilly Eau Ginger, Phantom by Paco Rabanne, Girl de Rochas and Lion de Chanel (the latest of the exclusives from Chanel, a premium unisex).
There will be no more than very modest growth in retail constant value sales of fragrances during the forecast period as a whole. Premium fragrances will continue to significantly outperform their mass market counterparts, with a gradual revival in inbound international tourism playing a significant role in this, in addition to an anticipated post-pandemic economic rebound.
The post-pandemic period is set to be characterised by a change in the olfactory register towards less sweet and less heavy notes. A move is also underway towards increasingly concentrated and long-lasting fragrances that add value.
The sustainable development trend will continue to gain traction during the forecast period, possibly even accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, consumers are becoming aware of the fragility of the planet and the importance of shopping in an environmentally responsible manner.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Fragrances industry in France with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Fragrances research and analysis database.
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