Premium Beauty News - In 2021, Argeville joined the closed circle of hundred-year-old companies. Today, it is an internationally renowned company that embodies the success of French perfumery and Provençal know-how.
Xavier Ardizio - Argeville employs 310 people worldwide and has a turnover of 60 million euros thanks to three activities: Perfumery, which represents more than 80% of our sales, natural ingredients, and food flavourings.
90% of our sales are to international customers. Asia is our fastest-growing market. We are present in China, Thailand and Vietnam. We opened a production site in Bangkok in 2019, which allows us to serve our regional customers with greater agility. There is a real interest in perfumery and Made in France ingredients.
We employ some 30 people in Dubai where we opened a creative centre in 2012. The Middle East represents 30% of our business, it is also a platform for accessing African markets where we anticipate significant growth in the coming years, with local players in full development. With this in mind, we will be opening an office in Johannesburg next July. We are also present in South America, with a sales office and a small laboratory in Bogota, Colombia.
Premium Beauty News - This international presence allows you to have a global vision of the perfume market. What are the main challenges for the future?
Xavier Ardizio - What we observe everywhere is a growing demand for natural ingredients. Consumers want quality perfumes, derived as much as possible from nature.
To meet these expectations, we can draw on our heritage. When Argeville was founded, it specialised in the cultivation of perfume plants from the Grasse region. More recently, we have invested in an extraction site located in La Laupie, in the Drôme area, to make it our centre of expertise for natural products.
We have also set up partnerships with French producers of perfume plants to foster the development of short circuits and secure our supply chain. But whatever the ingredients’ origin, mastering sourcing has become a strategic issue in perfumery. It allows guaranteeing supplies, ensuring the product traceability and controlling their quality. Throughout the world, our perfumers are prescribers in the choice of the grades we buy. To obtain the best options, we have to work in close partnership with our producers.
Premium Beauty News - Isn’t this emphasis on natural products detrimental to innovation?
Xavier Ardizio - Absolutely not. There is a lot to do in this field, which is very far from having been fully explored. We are constantly looking for new materials and new qualities. We are working on new, more efficient and more sustainable extraction methods.
Environmental issues also compel us to be inventive. Our R&D is therefore devoting a lot of energy to reducing the use of solvents, finding new formulation methods and reducing transport costs.
Premium Beauty News - The world of perfumery is an incredibly competitive arena. What are Argeville’s assets in this sector today?
Xavier Ardizio - Argeville is an independent family business. Our customers are large family-run SMEs that are like us, they are attracted by our reputation as a century-old company in the Grasse area, our accessibility and our agility. They are companies in tune with our values: Excellence, humility, audacity and pleasure!
Our expertise in natural ingredients and our mastery of the supply chain round off our list of strong points.
Finally, we are one of the few companies with 360° expertise and with the capability to offer a complete service for the creation of fragrance lines via our sister company 1st.Mood, based in Valbonne.
Premium Beauty News - How do you see the future of the perfume market?
Xavier Ardizio - Formulation will continue to evolve towards more naturalness and sustainability. This is an unstoppable trend. At the same time, new markets will emerge, particularly in Asia and Africa. People who did not have access to perfume before will develop an interest in these products, and growth will continue globally.
We are therefore carrying on with our investments. At the industrial level, our Mougins site will move to Grasse in a brand new factory, which will be home to a new automated weighing robot. Works are scheduled to start in September 2022 and be completed in April 2024. This is an investment of around 25 million euros. On the commercial side, we intend to expand our international network: the opening of our South African office is the first step toward other projects that should come to fruition in 2023!