China will soon be the 2nd global perfume market,”

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Japanese group Takasago, the perfume composition leader in Asia, provides brands with consumer knowledge, an olfactory expertise, and a broad palette of ingredients to help them understand today’s China, which is widely considered as the new perfume Eldorado. Sylvain Eyraud, Global Marketing & Communication Director Fine Fragrance, and Mathilde Girardon, Marketing Manager, unveiled the codes and specific expectations of this market in an exclusive interview with Premium Beauty News.

Although it took the Chinese market quite long to embrace the perfume culture, today’s young generation keeps showing a partiality for this luxury product by imposing new expectations. The most legitimate L’Atelier Chine offered by Maison Takasago is aimed to share the knowledge needed about this market recognized as having a very strong potential for the future of perfumery.

As a hundred-year-old Japanese company and market leader in Asia, we endeavour to develop our expertise in all Asian markets, in particular the Chinese. What is the Chinese consumer like today? What are beauty drivers there? What are the olfactory preferences? What are the ingredients with the strongest potential? How can brands go beyond the olfactory clichés according to which China is fond of easy, little sophisticated floral fragrances in order to invent tomorrow’s signatures? It is the first time we have also shared our palette of local, ‘made in China’ ingredients, from the most beautiful natural scents to outstanding collections for a real olfactory journey. All this is essential to invent tomorrow’s greatest signatures and gain ground on the Chinese market,” explains Sylvain Eyraud.

Promising figures

By 2030, China will most probably have become the second global perfume market,” adds Sylvain Eyraud. This statement is based on an in-house study results that predict beautiful days for perfumes in this country. Asia – mainly Japan, Korea, and China – represented 13% of the global premium perfume market in 2020. In this region, China is the most promising country in this critical year, with a 15% growth. Furthermore, Takasago’s study also unveils prospective hypotheses about the evolution of this market from 2020 to 2024, and from 2024 to 2030: it reveals how China should get from the 6th to the 2nd rank on the global market.

On the one hand, there are quite stable mature markets, and on the other, a Chinese market with a remarkable growth potential due to the young generation being open to perfumes. The next five years will set the tone, but what we build today will serve as a basis for tomorrow’s successes,” explains Mathilde Girardon.

Specificities to be taken into account

In a country whose economy is one of the few that ended the year 2020 with a positive growth rate, and where the gross disposable income has doubled since 2010, the situation is highly favourable to the consumption of luxury products, in particular perfumes. Driven by the Millennials generation, this economy is opening to new national specificities brands need to adapt to: a huge craze for digital technologies with a very strong influence of KOLs, the search for new experiences, a will to reconcile men and their environment based on a relationship with ancestral Nature, but above all, the search for a new form of patriotism.

Everything you see in the Western world about the return to local consumption is also true in China. People have this sense of belonging (Chinese Pride) which can be observed in the way they consume, but also in their emotional or cultural references. Their relationship with nature is crucial, although there is still a difference in terms of sustainable maturity between this market and more mature markets, like the US and France,” says Sylvain Eyraud.

This patriotic consumption is conveyed by a marked attraction to products Crafted in China, rather than Made in China, which are already present in the perfume segment with well-established brands, like Scent Library, Boitown, ReClassified, Herborist, and O D’Hora, but also by a recognition of olfactory ingredients derived from the country’s herbalist culture. Some ingredients have a particular echo in China, like green and black tea, Ganoderma, jasmine, gingko, ginger, ginseng, bamboo, arnica, and carnation.

China boasts countless treasures: flowers, spices, tea, fruit…,” promises the Takasago team.

Inspiring smells

The group wanted to share 25 unique olfactory treasures with a strong emotional power. The Chrysanthemum Flower, the imperial symbol of longevity in China, Da Hong Pao, a real national treasure, Iris, Magnolia, the plum tree flower, which embodies inner beauty, the jackfruit fruit, Buddha’s hand, Sichuan pepper, star anise, Ganoderma and ginseng, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine, and lastly, the smell of black ink inspired from calligraphy. Each of these smells is associated with its local symbols.

If fresh and fruity scents still account for the majority of sales, bolder fragrances, in particular niche perfumes, already follow this trend.

These consumers are ready to be taken by surprise. But to actually surprise them, brands need to understand them, and not just copy what is done in the Western world, so they can better invent the great signatures of tomorrow,” concludes Sylvain Eyraud.

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