Fragrance Trends: from 1991 to 2011

Although the increase in fragrance launches is obvious enough from a visit to any department store, considering the trend reveals the incredible surge in the number of perfumes marketed each year. What will 2012 be like? While many trade sources say that there are fewer launches, I do not expect that we will see a significant decrease next year.

  1991 2001 2011
Total 76 372 1200
Feminine 42 234 766
Masculine 28 99 305
Unisex 6 39 129
Limited Editions 0 32 236
Flankers 3 52 197
Celebrity 3 9 73
Niche 9 61 219
Source: Michael Edwards’s



  • Anna in Edinburgh: Those are scary numbers – and I wonder how many of the latest releases will be around in ten years time? November 29, 2011 at 11:25am Reply

  • Erin T: As sad and stunning as the 1200 number is, it’s even sadder to me that the categories that have seen the most increase since 1991 are flankers and limited editions… November 29, 2011 at 11:34am Reply

  • silverdust: Unless the 2012 releases are practically in stores, I’d look for the number of new releases to be far, far fewer than what may have been originally planned. The European collapse and coming social unrest will put the screws to all but the fabulously wealthy considering luxury items. I’d bet on planned ’12 releases to be held back until things quiet down. November 29, 2011 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Sombreuil: Yes, it does seem to reveal an awful cynicism at the heart of the industry. November 29, 2011 at 3:38pm Reply

  • Victoria: Great catch, Anna! Now, that would be a great statistic to have. November 29, 2011 at 11:36am Reply

  • Victoria: They are the cheapest to launch in terms of marketing and overall costs. Very sad, I agree. November 29, 2011 at 11:37am Reply

  • Victoria: Whatever has been already planned for 2012 (at least, the first quarter or two) is paid for and finished. Most development happens a year or more in advance. Once a company has settled on a fragrance and paid for oil, it does not make sense for them not to launch it, whatever the circumstances. What can happen, on the other hand, is for the project to be stopped midway the development process. In fact, that happens constantly, and even in the best of times, and these days, it is a very common occurrence. Very frustrating for supplier companies, whose work is not remunerated, unless the client actually buys the finished product. November 29, 2011 at 1:43pm Reply

  • sweetlife: Totally agree. And also, how fast new launches are discontinued, along with other discontinuation stats (classics, niche, etc.). November 29, 2011 at 4:14pm Reply

  • sweetlife: Thanks so much for this, V. I have a feeling it will be a very useful reference. November 29, 2011 at 4:17pm Reply

  • Victoria: I suspect that the attrition rate might be high! November 29, 2011 at 5:34pm Reply

  • Victoria: The boom in flankers is so disheartening. November 29, 2011 at 5:35pm Reply

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