Fragrance sales are growing strong and are poised for successful Mother’s Day sales. Fragrance sales within prestige department stores during the first quarter (Jan. – March) of 2012 reached $501.2 million, a gain of +11% versus prior year, according to NPD Beauty. Units also posted a growth, up +7% with close to 8.0 million units sold. Women’s fragrances experienced a +11% growth in dollars for first quarter sales. Almost every brand among the top 10 women’s fragrance brands posted growth, with four that experienced gains stronger than the category performance of +11%. The fragrance bar continues to have a significant impact on the overall women’s performance as it accounted for 83% of 1Q 2012 sales. Fragrance bar brands include designer, celebrity, and other brands that may not have the same sales representation like brands also sold at cosmetic counters on a regular basis. In addition, gift sets in the first quarter 2012 represented 22% of women’s fragrances and saw an increase of +16% in dollars and a +19% in units.
“The sweet smell of fragrance…Fragrance is back as a favorite category in prestige beauty. After years of lackluster sales and declining product usage, we are seeing a shift in consumer sentiment. Why? The answers are many, not least of which is the range of options available which is helping to fire up this rekindled interest in the category. Whatever a woman’s preference, there is a scent for her in the bouquet – from classics to new, from European to American, from widely popular brands to niche favorites, from high-end to moderately priced – there is something for everyone. If fragrance continues to ride the current momentum, 2012 promises to be the best year on record,” said Karen Grant, vice president and global industry analyst, The NPD Group.