"Familiarity breeds contempt" goes an old saying, but in what has to do with fragrance it looks like what people are choosing to wear (and buy for gifts) depends quite a bit on familiarity, both in terms of known and well-liked accords, as well as compositions which have received positive feedback. This is the real reason behind perfume best-sellers, I'm sure, and this is why I have dedicated a specific corner of the Perfume Shrine project to these best-selling perfumes lists (more of which you can see per country and per year on the right hand column of this blog).
For the first half of 2016 the situation is without great ripples, cementing the thought that the mainstream division is going ahead on what is essentially the cajoling of a sweet tooth and of a steady, somewhat sterile, notion of masculinity. Without further ado, here are the results.
La Vie Est Belle by Lancome is the top best-selling perfume in Europe, as well as the third best-selling globally, behind Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel and J'Adore by Christian Dior. [Compare and contrast with perfume best-sellers in France for 2015 on this link].
It's interesting to note that according to the social media barometer NetBase the French are especially responsive to the brands of Christian Dior, Adidas and Chanel, so this result accounts for more than bargained for.
Bleu de Chanel is the best-selling global performer in masculine fragrances, behind Acqua di Gio by Armani (surely a case study for its sheer duration) and One Million by Paco Rabanne. [For French results of previous years, please see this list]
Still the big conglomerate companies are the first to admit that without the spectacular rise in niche fragrances, many of which they're acquiring, the perfume sector would be doomed to a decline that mainstream sales wouldn't quite make up for it.