Philippe Ughetto, President of The Fragrance Foundation France

Philippe Ughetto, President of The Fragrance Foundation France

Strongly attached to her perfume, sceptical towards new launches, and mainly attracted by the fragrance, here is the typical picture of the French perfume consumer according to the study conducted among nearly 2,000 French women on the web by CCL Benchmark Institute.

Strong and daily relationship

First observation, the penetration rate is quite high: over 90% of French women perfume themselves every morning, and 34% several times a day. The vast majority of French women (90%) are regular consumers who use two or three fragrances and buy perfume once a quarter to once every six months, with an average annual budget of between 100 and 250 euros.

Furthermore, women have a strong affective relationship with products that are firstly perceived as pleasure purchases (76% of women) but involving their own identity.

Purchasing criteria

The scent is mentioned as the very first purchasing criterion for choosing a perfume (94% of women) before the brand and the name of a perfume. The fragrance’s ambassador is ranked far behind. Such statements were received with some scepticism by a part of the professionals gathered for the presentation of the results. Indeed, several of them considered they were in contradictory with market experience. However, other experts pointed that the success of Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire, could be seen as a demonstration that style and the emotions are keys to success.

Actually, although they mobilize a massive share of advertising spending, only few launches succeed in reaching the top 100 sales.

French women also express severe judgements on new launches, 41% considering the offer as excessive, with rather negative comments about the lack of originality of new fragrances.

On-line purchases

According to the study, 60% of the French women have bought their latest perfume in a specialised retailer; only five per cent have bought it from the Internet. However, infrequent consumers are twice as numerous as the others to have bought their latest perfume on the Internet (looking for the best price, and because their purchase is not generally spontaneous).

"The role of the Fragrance Foundation France also consists in taking time to think about new challenges, and the tools that are available to move forward, and, contrary to a received idea, the fragrance industry generates few studies, and even fewer neutral studies not related to a brand. That’s why this is an unprecedented study," said Philippe Ughetto, President of The Fragrance Foundation France.