Fragrances in Western Europe

September 2020

Fragrances in Western Europe remained the largest regional market globally, albeit recording the lowest growth of all the regions. Excessive promotions and strong pressure on beauty specialist retailers in the fight against e-commerce competition hamper current value growth. In order to fight consumer fatigue and market trivialisation, companies have been searching for new solutions such as launching new series of individual scents, focusing on niche, ultra-exclusive proposals.

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Key findings

Western Europe remains the top regional market but among the slowest in CAGR terms over 2014-2019

Western Europe remained the largest market over 2014-2019, with sales of USD13.9 billion in 2019. However, the market registered one of the slowest CAGRs among all the regions, due to slower economic growth and delayed recovery after an earlier Eurozone crisis.

Premium is under the spotlight

The size of the premium fragrances market is three times larger than mass and it has also been growing faster. Western European consumers strongly favour premium products and traditional Western scents. Strong innovation, the glamorous image of premium fragrances, increased annual disposable income and intense advertising overall drive the positive performance of premium fragrances.

Mass and celebrity fragrances struggle

The lower prices of some premium fragrances had a domino effect and caused a price repositioning in other segments. Selective fragrances were cheaper, so the prices of semi-selective brands had to decrease as well.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its implications

Fragrances is one of the worst-hit categories in the beauty industry due to social distancing, lockdowns and retail closures. Fragrances is seen as a ‘’can-wait’’ category.

A desire for experience

Reinterpreting classic packaging, engaging consumers on social networks through digital marketing as well as branded boutiques and specialised stores, known as selective distribution, remain of paramount importance to the customer experience. This trend helps to foster volume sales of fragrances.

Growing demand for niche set to drive growth

Due to high saturation of fragrances in Western Europe, players are searching for new solutions to maintain growth. Over the forecast period, more niche and individual brands are likely to be launched.

Key findings
Western Europe remains largest market, despite the slowest growth
Temporary dip versus brighter future
Germany is the largest, but one of the least dynamic
Premium still has the power
Largest markets with negative results shape the dynamic
Sluggish results due to price pressure and maturity
Diverse distribution across countries
E-commerce is growing across the board
Multinational players dominate fragrances
Leaders remain unchanged
Consolidation continues…
... close competition between international brands
COVID-19 brings disruptions
Amid slump due to COVID-19 there is potential for personalised products
Soft drivers a key narrative in forecasts...
… but socioeconomic trends are also important
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Belgium: Market context
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Denmark: Market context
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Finland: Market context
Finland: Competitive and retail landscape
France: Market context
France: Competitive and retail landscape
Germany: Market context
Germany: Competitive and retail landscape
Greece: Market context
Greece: Competitive and retail landscape
Ireland: Market context
Ireland: Competitive and retail landscape
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Italy: Competitive and retail landscape
Netherlands: Market context
Netherlands: Competitive and retail landscape
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Norway: Competitive and retail landscape
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Portugal: Competitive and retail landscape
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Spain: Competitive and retail landscape
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Sweden: Competitive and retail landscape
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Switzerland: Competitive and retail landscape
Turkey: Market context
Turkey: Competitive and retail landscape
UK: Market context
UK: Market context
Growth decomposition explained

Beauty and Personal Care

This is the aggregation of baby and child-specific products, bath & shower, deodorants, hair care, colour cosmetics, men's grooming, oral hygiene, fragrances, skin care, depilatories and sun care. Black market sales and travel retail are excluded.

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