According to the market research company, sales of perfumes, eau de parfum, eau de toilette and colognes increased by 20% between January and August 2022 in France. A rate well above that of the whole of 2021 when sales had increased by 11%, cramped by successive lockdowns during the first half of the year. The increase is even more spectacular when compared to the same period in 2021.

4% increase over 2019 levels

According to The NPD Group, these figures confirm the importance of perfumes in the prestige beauty market in France, of which they are a keystone. It is also the first flagship category of the whole beauty sector to return to pre-pandemic levels, with sales up 4% in value compared to the period from January to August 2019.

While all segments contribute to these good results, consumers show a preference for more concentrated juices. Indeed, sales of eau de parfum jumped 23% compared to the same period last year and are up 12% compared to 2019.

Even more concentrated, extracts and perfumes increased by 60% compared to 2021 and by 168% if we compare sales over the same eight-month period in 2019.

These results confirm the growing interest of consumers for these type of fragrances, that are more expensive but have the reputation to last longer.

Up market moves

According to The NPD Group, consumer preferences are also shifting towards increased preferences for high-end scents and collections. For the period from January to August, retail perfume sales with a value of 100 euros and more grew by 74% compared to 2021 and by 177% compared to 2019.

These so-called "premium" fragrances accounted for 19% of total sales of fragrances in the selective channel in 2022, compared to 11% in 2019. This taste for more concentrated products and ultra-premium ranges has resulted in an increase in 5% of the average price of selective perfumes - at 68.30 euros - during the first eight months of the year, compared to the same period in 2021.

The good results of perfumes in the selective beauty market are very positive news, for brands and retailers alike. They are supported by the ever-increasing appeal of fragrances, with consumers turning to higher-quality products. Despite an uncertain economic situation and its consequences on purchasing power, perfume is part of a holistic approach to well-being in which consumers continue to invest,” said Mathilde Lion, European Beauty Expert at The NPD Group.