Perfume players use new tricks amid fierce market

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Would you order a perfume-inspired cocktail? That's just one of a few unconventional concepts stimulating the centuries-old fragrance industry as companies seek to spice up their product offerings.

"Faced with lackluster market prospects in fragrances, several players are actively engaging in radical novel concepts in their bid to drive a fundamental change in the way fragrance players compete," Nicholas Micallef, beauty and personal care analyst at Euromonitor, said in a report this week.

Competition is cut-throat in the $30 billion global perfume industry. More than 100 new fragrances are launched each year, making it difficult for a brand to stand out, according to Euromonitor.

Here are two new emerging concepts that could revitalize the saturated market.

Cocktail collaboration

French brand Givenchy teamed up with a London hotel earlier this year to develop a line of cocktails that mirrors the L'Atelier de Givenchy perfume collection. The aim is for consumers to undergo a unique sensorial experience upon sipping the drink, relating it to the fragrance.

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"Such an undertaking conceivably sparks an alternative form of collaboration or partnering – perfume brands with public bars through the development of new concept bars, new services within and the addition of fragrance-branded cocktails to the drinks menu," Micallef said.

Not only will this niche strategy help diversify a perfume brand's product range; it will also bring in new revenue streams, Euromonitor added. However, brands will have to rely on adventurous consumers for this product to really take off.

Scent gadgetry

Google is a newcomer to the industry with its wearable "fragrance emission device." The product uses activity sensors to detect rising body odor levels. If it detects an increase in sweat, odor or body temperature, a blast of perfume or deodorizer is sprayed out.

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The tech giant received a patent for the device in February. Euromonitor believes it could command a strong consumer base, especially among smokers or employees who work long hours.

"This could stir interest among fragrance and deodorant players to partner with technology companies to develop their own branded and patented smart gadgets that potentially rival Google's, with superior efficacy in terms of protection and masking body odor, and wider choice of scent notes."

Will these work?

Ultimately, these ideas target a select consumer base due to their high price levels, Micallef pointed out, making them challenging for the mainstream market.

For example, Givenchy's cocktails are priced at 13 pounds each – well above the standard prices in London. There's no price tag on Google's device yet, but Euromonitor believes it will be difficult to mass market the gadget at affordable levels.

"Industry players would need to reconsider ways how to instill further consumer interest not only with scent per se but also how fragrance is perceived," Micallef concluded.