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Fragrances in Latin America

April 2017

Latin America is a core region for fragrance despite its developing status, worth more than North America in 2015 at USD$10.7 billion. Demand clearly exists but economic turbulence has been to the detriment of the category’s identity, as purchases were dictated by the times and circumstance and not by consumer choice. Improving retail infrastructure will lessen reliance on direct selling, which will lower barriers to entry and improve accessibility and variety, as well as premium’s plight.

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Solid market potential but yet to be realised

The fragrances market in Latin America is sizeable and prosperous, despite substantial macro-economic challenges. With fragrances fulfilling a multitude of roles in the lives of consumers, from gateway luxury purchase, to aspirational, to acting as an economical pick me up or gift, the category has sometimes benefited from its own pitfalls, but is yet to find its rightful permanent place in the everyday routines of the masses outside urban centres, alongside hair and skin regimes.

Mass-centric market a consequence of direct selling’s ubiquity

Mass accounted for 83% of the fragrances market in 2015, largely a consequence of price preference in Brazil, but also a direct result of a lack of competition and of product variety, or at least accessible product variety. Direct selling is the cause of this, as the leading distributor of fragrances in the LATAM region, which in most countries in the region takes more than half of value sales. Most direct sellers are positioned in the mass or masstige segment, giving consumers little choice in product or brands.

Health and beauty specialists helping to make the landscape fragmented

With a view to the future, the retail landscape will change. The emergence of beauty specialists and expansion into smaller urban centres will increase consumer awareness and choice, and will stimulate competition, providing a way in for international and niche players. Whilst this will inevitably open up the floor for the premium segment, it will be a long hard slog to convince consumers of the added value in a non-performance product.

Premium’s time in the spotlight is coming

That does not mean to say that premium will not gain ground. In fact, most forecast drivers, both soft and hard, will be of benefit to these luxury goods, including increasing GDP per capita, higher unit prices and rising consumer awareness. Ultimately, these indicators will pave the way for a 6% CAGR for premium fragrances between 2015 and 2020, compared with a 3% CAGR for mass fragrances.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Putting Latin America into context
Pace set to pick up but no signs of return to boom years
Argentina breaks through as the underdog
Mass eclipses but premium is on the up
Consumers eschew mass in Mexico
Market is underpinned by three fundamental geographies
Fragrance dominated by direct sellers
Speciality stores could benefit from knock-on footfall

Leading Companies and Brands

Fragmentation occurs with new distribution channels
Direct sellers losing where luxury is winning
Domestic players remain largely localised
Exposure to Brazil fortuitous for now


Mexico and Argentina jostle for second place
Staycations, men and millennials to aid premium’s plight
Headwinds and tailwinds to blow from all directions
Channel shifts benefit premium more over mass

Country Snapshots

Argentina: Market context
Argentina: Competitive and retail landscape
Bolivia: Market context
Bolivia: Competitive and retail landscape
Brazil: Market context
Brazil: Competitive and retail landscape
Chile: Market context
Chile: Competitive and retail landscape
Colombia: Market context
Colombia: Competitive and retail landscape
Costa Rica: Market context
Costa Rica: Competitive and retail landscape
Dominican Republic: Market context
Dominican Republic: Competitive and retail landscape
Ecuador: Market context
Ecuador: Competitive and retail landscape
Guatemala: Market context
Guatemala: Competitive and retail landscape
Mexico: Market context
Mexico: Competitive and retail landscape
Peru: Market context
Peru: Competitive and retail landscape
Uruguay: Market context
Uruguay: Competitive and retail landscape
Venezuela: Market context
Venezuela: Competitive and retail landscape

Appendix: Industry Forecast Model

About Euromonitor International’s Industry Forecast Model
Soft drivers and the Industry Forecast Model
Growth decomposition explained
Significance and applications for growth decomposition
Key applications for Industry Forecast Models


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