Perfume & Fragrance Trends: 28 posts

Overview of fragrance trends and popular perfumes

Top Selling Perfumes USA : Snapshot 2013

As I recently sat through a fragrance forecasting presentation, I was busy jotting down notes to share with you. Who would have guessed that American men are getting more and more into perfume? Sales of men’s fragrance have increased by 6 percent in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to last year. Of course, it might also mean that more women are buying perfume for their friends and family. But on the other hand, 40% of males between the ages of 18-65 don’t use any fragrance at all (a higher fraction than in Europe).

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Top Selling Perfumes USA : Popular Fragrances Spring 2012

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances 2011 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 France

Top Selling Masculine Fragrances 2010 USA

When it comes to women’s shopping habits, the NDP Group reports that US perfume wearers are enamored with cologne. Sales of women’s colognes, particularly from niche brands, have increased by 4% in the first three months of 2013. Sales in the florals and floral orientals families were fairly flat, while marine and oriental genres appear more popular.

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Top Selling New Fragrances Women and Men In France 2012

With the onslaught of new launches, you might wonder ends up a success and what vanishes into the perfume twilight zone populated by the 77th flanker on Very Irrésistible and minor celebrity fragrances. Every year the industry decries the fast pace of launches, and every year it goes on to produce even more. One favorite explanation is that we, the consumers, are demanding more and new things, but to me, to put it mildly, this is sheer nonsense. Blaming the consumer when the realities of making a profit in the fragrance market today have changed doesn’t make sense.

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In the past, fragrance houses devoted years to developing new fragrances, because having a potential classic guaranteed consumer loyalty and established a brand’s reputation. The launches were gradual, usually starting in France or the US and slowly moving across the world. There was no expectation that a fragrance needs to be an immediate blockbuster, knocking it out of the park within the first quarter.

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The Japanese Fragrance Conundrum : Top Selling Perfumes

I’ve never seen such well-dressed, beautifully groomed women as in Tokyo. At Harajuku or Ginza, two high-glamour areas with distinctly different vibes, you will see one impeccably coiffed beauty after another tottering in her impossibly high heels, looking as if she’s ready for a magazine cover.  Beauty is big business in Japan, where the sales of cosmetics make this country the world’s second largest market after the US. You can find entire magazines devoted to nothing but color cosmetics, with the kind of attention to detail that is downright astounding. I flip open the makeup magazine, Biteki, to find technical illustrations, sophisticated instructions and comparison charts on topics as straightforward as the application of lipstick or as complex as anti-aging skincare.

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By comparison, perfume is not represented nearly as well . Walking through the glittering halls of the Mitsukoshi or Takashimaya department stores, you won’t find the endless expanse of fragrance bars that you would see at Neiman Marcus or even Macy’s. This is not to say that there isn’t an interesting selection of both prestige and niche lines in Japan. They are available, along with detailed technical explanations on how your fragrance was made and how you are supposed to enjoy it. Have you ever received a brochure describing how to apply fragrance from your local perfume store? At Mitsukoshi, that’s exactly what would wind up in your bag, along with an exquisitely wrapped bottle.

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Spring Roses Perfume Reviews 2 : Cartier, Balenciaga, Van Cleef et Arpels

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Yesterday, when reviewing Valentino Valentina Acqua Floreale, Kenzo Amour I Love You, and Juicy Couture La La, I promised three more sheer spring roses.  The fragrances chosen today, Cartier Eau de Cartier Goutte de RoseBalenciaga L’Eau Rose, and Van Cleef et Arpels Féerie Spring Blossom set rose into a frame of woods and amber. In contrast to yesterday’s selection, this group is crisp and sharp, rather than soft and romantic.

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Cartier Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose

Quality is never an issue at Cartier, and with Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose you’re getting a well-made woody rose. The floral accord that feels rich despite being crystalline and luminous is superimposed on the dry amber base. The original Eau de Cartier is a peppery cedarwood with a wistful leafy note, and Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose retraces some of its austere form. A touch of sweetness from rose is an interesting touch. Even vanilla feels crisp and crunchy in this perfume.  Of course, you can find many great amber roses at a lower price point, such as the fabulous Yves Rocher Rose Absolu, but Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose is a worthwhile option. Continue reading →

Spring Roses Reviews 1 : Valentino, Kenzo, Juicy Couture Perfumes

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This spring is promising to be rose scented. Every other flanker, a sequel to the original big launch, seems to be reinvented in rose tinted prettiness.  From Kenzo to Cartier, every house has been thinking pink. Flankers are not known for being daring, and when I dutifully smelled through the whole lot, I felt that I was smelling the same perfume over and over again. Fruity, sparkling, instantly forgettable. In the end, I picked six fragrances that stood out, although you will see that in some cases this is an underhanded compliment.

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Why bother then? Most of these fragrances will not appeal to perfume lovers used to the opulence of florals or the tinge of animalic notes hidden among the fleshy petals. By contrast, all six rose perfumes I’ve selected are clean and dewy. Some of them are better than others, but overall, this selection contains nice options for anyone who prefers their florals fresh and sparkling, without the cloying sweetness that’s a common theme in most feminine new launches. Simple and pretty are not negative qualities, and occasionally, this is exactly what hits the spot.

Today, I’m reviewing three fragrances that pair rose with white florals: Valentino Valentina Acqua Floreale; Kenzo Amour I Love You; and Juicy Couture La La. The white florals, be it tuberose or gardenia, have a creamy sweetness that contrast well with a sheer, citrusy rose accord.

Valentino Valentina Acqua Floreale

Valentina Acqua Floreale follows in the footsteps of its older sister, Valentina. The bubble gum tuberose of the original is sheered out, made less cloying and thick. It reminded me of a milder Juicy Couture. The vibrant start of citrus and orange blossom fades to a soft, musky drydown that goes by the “sexy clean” moniker in fragrance houses. On the other hand, Valentina Acqua Floreale is so perfectly well-behaved and inoffensive that I doubt one can have a strong opinion about it. It’s radiant, sheer and coy. It would make a sophisticated fragrance for a teenage girl. While it’s not a drama queen, it’s a good quality perfume, with smooth development and decent longevity.  Continue reading →

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