Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top 3 Best-Selling Fragrances for 2011 (France)

Perusing the best-selling fragrances of any country presents its own interest to the careful watcher of the market; not only a measure of successful top-to-bottom design, but also a shaper of the trends to come, the best-selling status (and back& forth) of perfumes indicates the changing of the zeitgeist.

France is traditionally considered the birthplace of modern perfume fashions (I'm not saying birthplace of perfume in general, as that honor belongs to Egypt and Cyprus) and often foreigners view the French public as inherently more sophisticated than anyone else. Recent data from the acclaimed, specialized NPD group, a monitor of market shares of popular fragrances, presents interesting data:
Dior's J'Adore tops the list of feminine fragrances sales for 2011, surpassing for the second year sales of classic Chanel No.5. J'Adore by Dior has shown a 17% rise in its sales, thus taking a 4% share of the total fragrance sales in France.  Chanel No.5 itself has shows a rise of 1.8% in the past year (taking the total 3.6% of the market), leaving this time behind Angel by Thierry Mugler (who had surpassed No.5 numerous times in the past) with 3.2% of the market share.
The total fragrance sales market in France has risen at 3.5%.

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Top Selling Fragrances for Men 2011 (USA),  Top 10 Best-selling Masculine Fragrances in France , Past ascribed gender: Best masculine fragrances for women, best feminine fragrances for men


  1. Eleonore17:40

    Quelle horreur!!!:-) J'Adore n° 1? Have we gone mad? or maybe it's the sales to the tourists? The name of Dior rings a bell in anyone's memory and I've seen lots of people buying Dior perfumes or scarfs as gifts in French airports rather than other less famous brands...

  2. Crikey! I am not sure what I expected to be No 1, but it wasn't that!

  3. E,

    I don't think we should ascribe the high sales just to tourists. French people in the street DO wear J'Adore. In droves, I might add. ;-)
    (As they do Angel; curiously No.5 you don't smell much)

  4. V,

    but why???
    Is it because we believe the French to be more sophisticated than they are? To have so much more choice at their fingertips, therefore to opt for the difficult, the rare, the esoteric?

    They're not wildly different than most in general scent tastes. What's wildly popular in the US or the UK is quite popular in France too; we live in a global economy. What's very different is how the French devote a specific part of their budget for "produits alcoolises" (i.e. perfumes, eaux de Cologne) and that part of the budget is significantly higher than their UK counterpart. Typically they have at least 4-5 perfumes on their dresser.

  5. PBlaha18:49

    I didnt count with that either, good for LVHM i guess......maybe its because i cannot tell J'adore apart from other fragrances around right now. Though, i remember it smelling very good when it came out, but i think it might be different now.

    I visited Paris shortly before christmas (not a good idea btw) and i swear i smelled Insolence on literally every corner. This and Coco Mademoiselle, which i thought is No. 1.....

  6. P,

    I was astounded NOT to see Coco Mlle in the top3 spots as well. Though I understand it's even more popular across the pond.

    J'Adore is changed and not for the best. But the L'Absolu version is really good! Much richer, tawnier, mellower...just better.

  7. I'm thinking it's the "Promise her anything, but give her Arpege" effect. In my attempt to corner the market on vintage extrait, it became apparent that there is an ocean of unopened, vintage Arpege out there, probably given by husbands who couldn't keep a promise to wives who had no interest in perfume. So many people might be buying the top three as gifts, which will sit unopened in closets for 50 years, eventually to become vintage treasures much overbid on eBay. Love, or something quite like it, makes the world go 'round.

  8. P,

    I think when it came out (in edp) it was quite great, actually. It fell into mediocrity some years later, for some unclear reason, but then they issued L'Absolu which is simply great. It's a bit like spitting on a consumer's face though, presenting the upscale, more expensive version as so much better than the updated regular one. Isn't it?

    Isolence is pretty popular, true. I happen to find it a good sign. Coco Mlle, not so much (on the good sign, not the popularity, LOL)

  9. M,

    that may be the most apt justification for the placement of No.5 in top-whatever lists in regard to sales. You have an excellent point there!
    I see it being a best-seller, but not smell it on the streets with the same frequency (though here I do smell it and not on only mature women, but 30s as well).

  10. What does 1.2 millions mean ? One milion and 200 hundred ? or 12 millions ? In any case it is too small a number, it is impossible to be that small, no matter who petty french people might be ! :) Something is wrong with this number, I think...

  11. Rosabell,

    1.2 millions is 1 million and 200000 euros. I don't really think it's that small an amount, surely? For perfume?
    From what I know the French raid the parapharmacie, where cheaper products can be found. The grand magasins also cater for scents that don't break the bank. We should also exclude specific age groups when calculating general populations, such as babies or the really old and that leaves us with less people as potential buyers than anticipated.

    That might do the trick regarding calculations, perhaps.

    At any rate, thanks for stopping by and commenting and hope you like it around here. :-)

  12. I'm not trying to prove my point but 1 million and 2 hundred thousand euros is a ridiculous small number. I work in sales and this is absolutely nothing when we talk a market of 60 million people.
    So, here is the link to a research study about 2010 in France and the fragrance market: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/1954530/fragrances_in_france

    -The French fragrances market generated total revenues of $2.8 billion in 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.8% for the period spanning 2006-2010.

    -Female fragrances sales proved the most lucrative for the French fragrances market in 2010, generating total revenues of $1.9 billion, equivalent to 67.2% of the market's overall value.

    So, if 2011 was better than 2010, than we talk even more. A billion is 1 million multiplied by 1000. Now we talk real numbers and real market value.

    Maybe, just maybe you could double check and, if case be, correct the info delivered. Because 1,2 million is nothing in sale, trust me. If it were like this, anyone could easily boorrow 2 million euros/dollars from a bank and cover everything, from spendings to profit, get Arnault down and make everyone play by his rule ! :)

  13. Rosabelle,

    all right, I'm willing to accept that it should be so. My info said one thing, yours says another. Makes sense what you say, so let it be known that it must have been in the billions rather than millions.

    And in case I appear totally math-challenged I kinda think I knew 1 billion is 1000 millions. Or was that a trillion I was thinking all along?



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