The French cosmetics industry, and in particular the perfumery sector, isn’t fading away. The big names in luxury continue to conquer the world with iconic scents.

Perfume, eau de toilette and cologne, fragrances continue to diversify and gain market share around the world. In this article, we’ll look at the opportunities for the French perfume industry to maintain its momentum.

The prestige of French perfumery across the world

Leading brands

When it comes to prestige and luxury, France places high in the rankings. Perfumes from the great French fashion icons Guerlain, Chanel and Dior are the best-selling brands.

Did you know… In 2018, exports of French perfumes and cosmetics exceeded the €14.5 billion mark.
Source: FEBEA (Federation of Beauty Companies)

In fact, the perfumery industry isn’t suffering from current crises; on the contrary, it seems that the demand is increasing in lockstep with the growth of population and the increased incomes. Today, in times of crisis, consumers spend relatively more money on well-being, creating a “lipstick” effect in people’s consumption. What does that mean? On the whole, in such a context, consumers attach more importance to taking care of themselves and favour consumption dedicated to their pleasure.

It must be said that the offer is also increasingly attractive, targeted and personalised. Thus, men’s cosmetics, natural and organic compositions, custom-made fragrances, etc., are entering the market with a clear goal of carving out a new market segment.

French cosmetics continue to play a leading role worldwide. Admired for their excellence, they’re innovating more than ever to respond to consumers’ new quest for well-being: on the quality and safety of formulations, the personalisation of products and an emphasis on environmental commitments” Patrick O’Quin, President of the French Federation of Beauty Companies (FEBEA).

Did you know… According to a study conducted in 2018, the luxury market forecast projected 4% to 5% growth per year by 2021, driven in part by product innovation and customisation. Source: Bath and company

The success of French perfumery on the international market

Perfumes are the biggest sensation in Western Europe. Europeans are avid consumers of beauty and daily users of perfume.

In the European Union, French exports are doing well with an increase of 4.5%. The main markets in the area are Germany and the United Kingdom, followed by Spain with +8.5% and Italy +7.2%.

To the great pleasure of brands, perfume is becoming a trend that is spreading more and more beyond the European sphere, particularly in Asia and America. Exports to Asia also continue to grow with more than 20% of French products shipped here, representing more than 2.6 billion euros:

  • Russia +17.8%.
  • China +22.7%
  • Singapore +24%.
  • North America + 6.8% exports, + 5.7% in the USA.

France, as the leading European perfume producing country, stands out because of its culture of luxury and prestige. Although the figures for France are slightly down, exports are still an excellent opportunity.

In 2017 alone, French exports of perfumes and cosmetics recorded a turnover of €13.6 billion, mainly targeting the German and American markets. There is every reason to believe that such success abroad still offers good prospects.

The international development of French fragrances: a promising future

The sources of the French cosmetics empire and a fortiori of perfumery are far from drying up. To continue its long-term growth, French perfumes can count on certain promising avenues.

Focus on online sales

Digital sales means unlimited possibilities for international distribution. Digital sales have opened up an incredible lever for the perfumery sector, the digital terrain, conducive to the deployment of a multi-channel marketing strategy and offering great opportunities to design a qualitative brand image and build a loyal community. For this reason, it is imperative to consider offering a multilingual e-commerce site and thus ensure a customer experience adapted to each consumer.

Developing sustainable perfumery

It is a fact that the population is now aware of the need for environmental preservation. Perfume brands in particular have taken note of the growing awareness of consumers and must be exemplary in their manufacturing processes. To meet this requirement, they are working to develop a “green” offer, eco-responsible from the transportation of natural raw materials to the packaging of the finished product.

Read more: 10 Best practices to develop your cosmetics brand

Targeting countries for growth

With China and Japan being the second and third largest cosmetics markets in the world respectively, Asia seems a relevant and interesting market.

There are many obstacles to exporting – including beauty product regulations, cultural adaptation, and translation – but it is worth the effort. The services of a translation agency specialising in luxury and beauty promote successful international access and the development of existing brands.

Here are the key benefits of expert translation for internationalisation of cosmetics brands: How to successfully internationalise a cosmetic brand

The future of perfumery and scented beauty products is still bright. Despite a troubled economic context, the beauty sector remains a desired line of expenditure for consumers. French charm maintains a prestigious reputation and its influence continues to grow. Ensuring the brand image of these luxury products to foreign consumers is therefore of paramount importance to perfume designers. In this sense, since 1992 the editorial communication agency Beauty Words has specialised in multilingual copywriting and translation of luxury and beauty sectors alongside renowned companies (Yves Saint Laurent and Cosmetic Valley, Rituals, Lancôme, LVMH, etc.), offering Japanese and Russian in addition to all the common European languages.

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