Demand for fragrances in Malaysia was impacted by the home seclusion trend as a result of the lockdown in March 2020, with consumers having fewer reasons to apply fragrances as they rarely left their homes for a number of months. Fewer occasions to wear fragrances due to social distancing, remote working and a lack of gifting opportunities therefore negatively impacted overall demand during the year.
Due to increasing price sensitivity in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, fragrances not only saw some trading down to mass from premium variants, but also a switch from mass fragrances to body sprays under deodorants. The latter are increasingly marketed as multi-purpose and are more affordable to lower-income consumers.
Fragrances remained a fairly fragmented competitive landscape in 2020, led by Estée Lauder Cos Inc (Aramis) in value share terms due to its strength in the premium segment ahead of Wipro Unza (M) Sdn Bhd which retained its leadership of mass fragrances, a category that continued to gain ground from premium fragrances during the year due to rising price sensitivity. The player offers a portfolio encompassing both men’s and women’s fragrances including Dashing, Romano, and Enchanteur which offer an entry-point to young consumers who would normally want to try trading up from deodorant sprays due to the greater affordability that these products offer.
Fragrances is set to record stronger demand over the forecast period, with 2021 likely to experience stronger volume growth driven by the mass segment as restrictions are gradually relaxed and Malaysians gradually return to the workplace or socialising. On the other hand, premium fragrances is predicted to see further declines as a result of lingering price sensitivity and ongoing trading down trends, especially amongst aspirational consumers who may traditionally purchase these products when they are offered at discounted prices online.
While department stores, beauty specialist retailers, fragrance specialists and direct selling are likely to remain the major distribution channels for fragrances in Malaysia over the forecast period, e-commerce has the potential to further penetrate the category after it recorded double-digit current value growth during the pandemic, due to the closure of specialist offline stores. In addition to offering convenience due to home delivery options, the channel is likely to increasingly attract local price-sensitive consumers with a wide selection of products at competitive prices.
Watsons is particularly known for importing smaller international brands across beauty and personal care to Malaysia to attract consumers who are looking for something different from what they would normally find in mainstream outlets. This strategy is also present within fragrances where the retailer is likely to continue to find niche brands including La Rive and women’s fragrance Bordeux by Emper Perfumes.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Fragrances industry in Malaysia 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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