December 18, 2014

23 Perfume Industry Statistics That Will Amaze You

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Scent is one of the most powerful of the five senses, warning us of danger, triggering cherished memories and even helping us to find our true love, if researchers are correct. That's something the perfume industry has wasted no time in capitalizing on, and you can't walk into a department store these days without being inundated by a barrage of competing scents. Whether you wear a signature fragrance or prefer to go au naturel, we've got 23 intriguing perfume industry statistics that will make you want to stop and smell the roses.

1. The perfume industry is a serious moneymaker

If you were to put a price tag on the amount of revenue generated by the global perfume industry each year, you'd need a lot of extra zeroes. According to Mintel, its value was estimated at roughly $30 billion in 2013.

2. And it's not expected to slow down any time soon

Demand for sweet-smelling scents continues to grow and the market is expected to expand accordingly. Last year, Global Industry Analysts, Inc., released a comprehensive report on the fragrance and perfume industry, predicting that it would be worth a whopping $45.6 billion by 2018.

3. The U.S. commands a sizable share of the market

Americans don't shy away from buying up colognes, perfumes and other toiletries. In fact, North America accounts for roughly one-third of global fragrance sales. IBISWorld puts annual revenue in the U.S. alone at approximately $4 billion.

4. Asia and Europe aren't far behind

According to the International Fragrance Association of North America, Asia and Europe combined make up the largest piece of the worldwide perfume sales pie. Western Europe boasts a 28 percent share of the market while Asia comes in second with 24 percent.

5. But South America is quickly catching up

South America has become something of a hotspot for the perfume industry, with Brazil in particular leading the way in terms of growth. Mintel estimates that the market in that country will grow to $5.1 billion by 2017, and their data suggests that 84 percent of Brazilians wear perfume on a daily basis.

6. There are hundreds of brands to choose from

From high-end designer picks to bargain-priced knockoffs, there are literally thousands of perfumes to satisfy even the most discerning of noses. Consumer market research firm NPD Group put the number of women's fragrances sold in the U.S. alone at 1,160, a nearly 400 percent increase over 1997 figures.

7. Many more hit the stores each year

While there are plenty of brands that have a long-standing reputation for being classic scents, such as Chanel No. 5 and Shalimar, the perfume industry allows plenty of room for innovators. According to Euromonitor International, more than 100 new fragrances are launched each year.

8. L'Oreal holds the lion's share of the market

L'Oreal is a leader in the beauty products industry and while it's most often associated with make-up, it's actually a dominant force when it comes to perfume production and sales. Its total market share was valued at roughly 14 percent in 2013, thanks to the popularity of brands like Ralph Lauren and Lancome.

9. Celebrities are cashing in on the fragrance industry

It seems like every time you turn around there's another movie star or pop singer who's hawking a new perfume. Luckily for them, their fans are buying. Some of the celebrities who saw their sales soar the highest in 2013 include J.Lo, who raked in $42 million, and Justin Bieber with $37 million in fragrance sales. Late, great legend Elizabeth Taylor tops them all with $55 million.

10. Although they're not as popular as they used to be

While 2011 and 2012 saw an explosion of sales linked to celebrity perfumes, their popularity seems to be waning slightly. Elizabeth Arden, for example, recently reported a nearly 30 percent drop in quarterly sales, believed to be linked to a shrinking demand for its Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift fragrance lines.

11. Most perfumes sell at a big markup

If you favor high-end luxury brands over your Mom's Jean Nate, the odds are good that you're shelling out a lot more for the packaging and name than you are for the perfume itself. While cost breakdowns tend to be a closely-guarded secret in the industry, the NPD Group estimates that for a $100 bottle of perfume, the oil used to make the scent itself is valued at right around $2.

12. But that doesn't stop women from buying

While the market as a whole experienced a slight dip in 2013, sales of women's prestige fragrances actually climbed by 8 percent in the first quarter alone. Sales of high-end brands priced at $100 or more spiked by a staggering 40 percent over the same period.

13. Gift sets are still big sellers

Even though premium priced perfumes take up the largest share of the market at 22 percent, shoppers are still getting plenty of value from gift sets. According to the NPD Group, gift set purchases account for 20 percent of dollars spent on perfume, and sales jumped by 9 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 2012.

14. Florals are the most popular

Perfumes come in an array of scents but florals continue to be bestsellers, making up one-third of fragrance sales between January and March of 2013. Oriental, water and citrus-influenced fragrances are gaining ground, however, with just over 5 percent of the market.

15. Perfume is just one step in the scenting process

Perfume is designed to be a stand-alone product, but the majority of women use it conjunction with other scented goods, such as lotions, hair mists and body splashes. According to the 2014 Women's FragranceTrack Report, nearly 60 percent of women aged 16 and up wear scented personal products and fine fragrance together.

16. Women aren't the only ones who like to smell good

Scent isn't just for women; in fact, 63 percent of men aged 18 to 64 who participated in an NPD Group poll said they wear a fragrance occasionally. Another 23 percent said they always wear it and nearly half of those respondents said they stick to one specific brand.

17. Or using other scented products

The 2014 Men's FragranceTrack Report revealed that 8 out of 10 men wear some kind of scented product and many use it to complement their fragrance of choice. Forty-nine percent said they wear fine fragrance and body spray simultaneously while 42 percent said they used a scented lotion along with fragrance.

18. Men like to plan their purchases ahead of time

When it comes to things like electronics or tools, some guys are content to spend hours researching their options before pulling the trigger, and that tendency also carries over to fragrance purchases. Nearly 80 percent of men who buy cologne or perfume products plan their purchases ahead of time, according to the NPD Group.

19. Most of what they buy is for themselves

While there are plenty of men who pick up perfume as a gift for their mother or significant other, most of them are actually shopping for themselves. The 2014 Men's FragranceTrack Report showed that 60 percent of the time, men purchase a fragrance to replenish their own stockpile.

20. Older men tend to spend the most

In terms of how much men are willing to spend on fragrance, you'd think the younger guys would be the quickest to hand over the dough, but it's the older crowd that shells out the most. According to Tru Fragrance, men aged 35 to 39 spend more on fragrance than any other age group.

21. Women own more bottles than men

Variety is the spice of life, and women seem to prefer being able to mix up their scent choices more than men. Tru Fragrance found that 79 percent of women who used fragrance owned between 2 and 10 bottles, with 8 percent owning 11 or more. That's significantly more than the fifty-one percent of men who said they owned 2 to 4 bottles, and the 24 percent who keep five or more on hand.

22. The majority of fragrance users wear it daily

Putting on perfume or cologne in the morning is habit for some, just like brushing your teeth or combing your hair. Approximately 59 percent of women and 54 percent of men report using fragrance on a daily basis.

23. Perfume is a must among trendsetters

If you're all about staying on the cutting edge of the latest fashion and beauty trends, fragrance probably plays a big part in your grooming routine. Tru Fragrance reports that 90 percent of women and 81 percent of men who identify themselves as trendsetters use perfume or cologne.

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a diamond jeweler comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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