How Perfume Is Helping Luxury Brands Infiltrate The Beauty Industry


Meaghan Corzine | June 28, 2018

With the global fragrance market expected to reach $70 million by 2022, more luxury fashion lines are taking their brands to uncharted territory.

It’s no secret that fashion and fragrance have a natural attraction toward each other. Building a successful business in the realm of fashion often means expanding your horizon beyond a single entity. Valentino and L’Oreal recently announced their plans to launch a new beauty and fragrance line together, and it wouldn’t be the first time luxury brands have opted to capitalize on a market that was traditionally foreign territory.

“With its unique combination of prestige and modernity, Valentino definitely will appeal to millennial consumers around the globe and ideally complements our brand portfolio," L'Oréal Deputy CEO Nicolas Hieronimus said in the company’s press release. 

Valentino began launching fragrances before making the powerhouse cosmetic deal, which begs the question: could fragrances be a gateway tactic for luxury fashion brands to expand into the beauty market? Well, it’s something that every brand should be thinking about considering the global cosmetics products market is expected to reach an astonishing $805 billion by 2023, according to Reuters

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Luxury Made Accessible

Part of the major appeal of fashion houses delving into the world of fragrances is accessibility. While your average millennial may not be able to afford a $3,000 Chanel gown, a 50 ml bottle of Chanel will only run you about $90. This is key for the client-base that craves luxury without a luxury budget.

And for luxury brands that have already gained a customer base for their fashion brands, launching perfumes may be just another way for consumers to maintain their loyalty. In some cases, the fragrances launched by fashion moguls become almost as iconic as the brands themselves. Chanel, Givenchy, and Armani all opted to launch their own fragrance lines and have seen steady success. And after debuting their first fragrance 15 years ago, Tiffany & Co launched a new perfume last year encased in its iconic Tiffany blue box. 

Image credit: Tiffany & Co

Before 2016, the last time Louis Vuitton debuted a new fragrance was in 1946, that was over 70 years ago. Top designers aren’t launching fragrances on a whim, though. It’s lucrative, and the proof is in the pudding. The global fragrance market alone is expected to reach $70 million by 2022, according to a report released by Fact.MR. Europe, in particular, is expected to attribute for $20 million of that.

Brand DNA 

This is not to say that household luxury brands are aiming for an easy route or mediocrity when formulating their signature scents, it’s quite the opposite. Referred to as “brand DNA,” iconic labels like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany have embodied their signature styles into their fragrances. 

Master perfumer Jaques Cavallier-Belletrud was tasked with creating the brand’s signature scents. He’s the same mega-mind behind iconic fragrances from L'Eau d'Issey, Dior Addict, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, and Stella by Stella McCartney. 

“The whole personality of the fragrance comes from the leather infusion,” Cavallier-Belletrud said in an interview

Image credit: Louis Vuitton

Meanwhile, Tiffany opted to take floral to a whole new level. The fragrance is influenced by an iris brooch set with demantoid garnet blossoms and sapphires, later to be extracted into the perfume to guarantee that bright, Tiffany blue scent.

“We worked closely with Tiffany to fully understand the DNA of the brand and to translate it into a successfully marketed fragrance, from the scent to the overall consumer experience,” Coty Luxury Edgar Huber told The Telegraph

Hermès, Gucci and Calvin Klein are among others who have branched out in the last couple of years. We have a sneaking suspicion they’ll be far from the last. 

Cover image credit: Louis Vuitton. 

Beauty | Fashion | Fragrance