The U.S. Fragrance Industry: Sales Figures, Popular Fragrances & Market Changes

Source: knozhawa.com

Source: knozhawa.com

The numbers are in for the perfume industry’s sales in 2013 as a whole. I’m always interested in the financial side of the fragrance industry, especially how perfume is doing as compared to the overall beauty market. However, the most fascinating thing this time were changes that occurred in people’s perfume tastes, in the categories of perfumes that were purchased in the last year, and in who was doing the buying. I’m not hugely surprised by what men are doing in the U.S. and U.K., but I was a bit taken aback by a change in the American woman’s buying habits and tastes. I’ll cover all of that in this post, along with: the U.S. sales figures for market leaders like Estée Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Coty, and Inter Parfums, along with what those figures tell us about the overall fragrance industry in America.

Another post, Part II, will look at the broader picture by focusing on the global perfume market. The topics include: the most popular perfumes for women and men in different European countries; the role of Valentine’s Day in the UK; the 3 perfume houses that dominate the French market; a perfume Fatwa by a Grand Mufti in the Middle East (no, I’m not joking, but it was a positive edict); the industry’s astonishing projected growth; the degree of profits for L’Oreal, LVMH, IFF, and Givaudan; and the different international perfume markets in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, India, and the Middle East.

As always, I would like to emphasize that I am the furthest thing imaginable from a business expert. I often can’t make heads or tails of the specific fine point and details in financial reports. In fact, I intentionally went to law school to stay as far away as humanly possible from anything mathematical or financial in nature. Still, I hope you find some of the reports below interesting. Please note, however, that all of the articles focus on the more established and significantly larger commercial fragrance market, not the niche one.

Source: goodfon.com

Source: goodfon.com

U.S. BEAUTY & FRAGRANCE INDUSTRY:

I’d previously quoted and discussed the flat U.S. sales in the first part of 2013 in a post on the 2013 business reports for the perfume industry. To put the new figures into context, I want to start with the numbers for the beauty market as a whole. A MediaPost article quotes the NPD global market research group as saying, in part:

sales of prestige beauty products — those sold in department stores — gained 5% in 2013. But the lower-end brands sold in drugstores struggled, gaining just 1%.

Among the prestige labels, NPD reports that skincare and makeup was especially strong — both up 7% in dollar sales from the prior year — while fancy fragrances were flat. Direct-to-consumer sales grew 19%. But the more expensive products were, the better they sold. Fragrances priced $100 and higher jumped 30% in sales, and makeup priced at $60 and up climbed 28%.

Drugstore brands had a tougher go of it. […] Makeup gained 2%, while mass fragrance sales sank 6%. [Emphasis added by me.]

In short, prestige makes a difference to sales. I have to wonder how much of that was driven by niche perfumery or, to be more precise, the impact of niche perfumery on more mainstream brands (like Chanel, for example) raising their prices.

Source: marieclairvoyant.com

Source: marieclairvoyant.com

I found a CNBC article that added some interesting details. For one thing, it notes that Christmas is perhaps the biggest time for perfume sales. In fact, 45% of all such purchases usually occur between October and December. The article, which came out in November 2013, didn’t have such an optimistic view this time around. More interestingly, it quotes a Euromonitor expert on which specific perfumes were popular:

What used to be a go-to Christmas gift is no longer smelling quite as sweet.

After gaining back some of the ground lost after four years of negative sales during the economic downturn, fragrance sales are basically flat on the year, and experts predict they will continue their holding pattern during the holidays.

According to The NPD Group, 15 percent of shoppers will purchase a fragrance this holiday, which is unchanged from 2012; similarly, Euromonitor forecast that the category’s sales will tick higher by only 0.2 percent this year. […][¶]

Jo Malone fragrance via joyce.fr.

Jo Malone fragrance via joyce.fr.

Most of the growth in the prestige fragrance category—sales logged primarily in department stores—has come from pricier, niche fragrances such as Demeter Fragrance Library’s Oud, and scents from Jo Malone and Tom Ford, [Virgina Lee of Euromonitor] said.

She pointed to Bond No. 9Estée Lauder’s Modern Muse and Coty’s Marc Jacobs Honey as other fragrances she expects to perform well.

While celebrity perfumes continue to saturate the market—including scents from Rihanna, One Direction and Taylor Swift—the category’s real value growth is now being driven by an older, more sophisticated shopper who doesn’t care to smell like a pop star, Lee said. She also predicts prestige will continue to outperform mass offerings, as higher-income shoppers have the money to burn on a $250 fragrance, she said.

Bloomingdale’s, Sephora and Saks all listed fragrance as one of their top areas of focus for the season, with Bloomingdale’s calling out its Tory Burch fragrance exclusive; Sephora its multibranded fragrance samplers; and Saks its mini-fragrance collections and fragrance sets, including Carven and Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb. [Emphasis to names added by me.]

SPECIFIC PERFUME COMPANIES:

So, what happened when Christmas ended, the sales were tallied up, and the reports were released? Well, as noted above, NPD says that 2013 perfume sales were flat for “prestige” (ie, department store) fragrances, while drug store ones sank by 6%.

Britney's Curious perfume.

Britney’s Curious perfume.

However, some specific companies really took a hit. Elizabeth Arden, a huge corporation which distributes everything from Brittany Spears‘ many lucrative fragrances to the super-popular ones from Justin Bieber and Elizabeth Taylor, fared poorly in its second-quarter, in part because of those flat U.S. perfume sales. According to Medill Reports:

  • Net income fell 22%;
  • On an adjusted basis, quarterly earnings fell 32%; and
  •  “Quarterly sales totaled $418.1 million, a 10.6 percent drop from $467.9 million in the second quarter of 2013. Revenues from its North American business, which account for about two-thirds of total sales, fell 13.3 percent to $269.6 million from $311.1 million.”

It’s actually a pretty big deal if a company like Elizabeth Arden does poorly in the U.S., because it controls such a big portion of the market here. According to the Elizabeth Arden Wiki-Invest stock page:

The global fragrance industry has a market cap at $36.6 billion dollars. Currently Elizabeth Arden has a 15% market share from their owned and licensed brands North America compared to the 2% market share in Europe. Europe has largest fragrance market at $13 billion which is currently twice that of North America.

Photo: Bruce Weber for Bottega Veneta. Source: stylefrizz.com

Photo: Bruce Weber for Bottega Veneta. Source: stylefrizz.com

Coty didn’t do enormously well in 2013, either. The company’s fragrances generally seem to average out to the mid-level range in terms of department store offerings, as its brands include: Bottega VenetaCalvin Klein, Chopard, CerruttiMarc Jacobs, Chloé, Roberto Cavalli, Sarah Jessica Parker, BeyoncéLady Gaga, Madonna, Vivienne Westwood, Vera Wang, and Davidoff. Coty said its fiscal second-quarter earnings for 2013 dropped 33%, though much of that was from weak cosmetics sales. The fragrance sector reported a 2% loss in revenue, but the company’s revenue as a whole sank 4.1% to $1.32 billion.

For the Estée Lauder behemoth, fragrance is only a small portion of their sales. According to Trefis, 49.9% of their stock price comes from skin care, 39.5% from makeup, and only 7.5% from fragrance. The company continues to beat all quarterly estimates with a very strong performance. The full Trefis report states:

The contribution of fragrances to overall revenues has seen a consistent decline for the company, from 19% of total revenues in 2007 to 13% by 2012, driven by higher skin care product demand globally. During the same period, skin care revenue share increased from 37% to 44% by 2012. The skin care product market worldwide reached $100 billion in 2012, growing at an annualized rate of 4.1% between 2007 and 2012 while the worldwide fragrance market reached $37 billion. [1] [2] […]

However, despite its declining share, the fragrance division witnesses a strong growth rate in Q2, supported by holiday season spending on luxury fragrance products.

Source: Fragrantica.br

Source: Fragrantica.br

The fragrance division registered a 32% growth in revenues during Q2FY13 while other divisions such as skin care, hair care and make up registered growth rates of 15%, 16% and 9% respectively. Premium fragrance brands such as Jo MaloneModern Muse and Tom Ford have historically been strong drivers for divisional revenues. Furthermore, the company launched various limited edition fragrance products exclusively for the holiday season which could boost revenues. We expect another quarter of strong performance from the company’s fragrance division. [Emphasis added by me.]

Another company with slightly more “prestige” fragrances also did well. Inter Parfums reported a 19% increase in fourth-quarter sales, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. You may not know Inter Parfum’s name, but you certainly know the perfume brands it distributes: Lanvin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Balmain, Agent Provocateur, Boucheron, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, MontblancPaul Smith, S.T. Dupont, Repetto, Alfred Dunhill, Anna Sui, Shanghai Tang, Oscar de la Renta, Gap, Brooks Brothers, bebe, and Betsey Johnson

There is clearly a vast divide in the fortunes of Elizabeth Arden and Coty, on the one side, and Estée Lauder and Inter Parfums, on the others. It comes down to the nature of the respective companies’ perfume brands, and underscores the conclusion of one market researcher: prestige sells, even in today’s economy. The NPD global research group states:

Value is important to consumers, but premium-priced offerings are thriving is US prestige beauty. Even though sales for the total prestige fragrance category were flat, fragrances priced $100 and over grew 30 percent in dollars, while face makeup priced at $60 and up increased 28 percent, and skincare for the face gained 15 percent in dollar sales (compared to 2012).

THE SHIFTING SCENT OF THE U.S. WOMAN:

Now that you have the context as a whole, I wanted to talk about one of the more interesting things I discovered. When the average American woman wants to buy a new perfume from a department store, they are increasingly choosing woody orientals! According to an NPD report entitled “The Shifting Scent of a Woman“:

While total industry dollar sales declined slightly to $2 billion in the 12 months ending December 2013, sales of woody oriental scents, the second largest fragrance family, and smaller segments grew during the same time period.

“Floral fragrances aren’t fading away, but less traditional scents are gaining more of the attention from female consumers than ever before,” said Karen Grant vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “Fragrance is a powerful tool that can exude an image and even empower an individual as an expression of personal preference. With the emergence of more artisanal scents on the market, women are welcoming the opportunity to experiment and explore different options.”

The standalone oriental, woods, citrus, and fruity fragrances are still a small portion of the market, at just 7 percent of women’s fragrance dollar sales, but they are growing at the expense of the larger segments, including the top selling fragrance family, floral. Woody oriental is the only one of the larger blended fragrance families to experience growth in 2013. Two of the top 5 women’s prestige fragrances sold in the US are part of the woody oriental fragrance family, while the other three in the top five are florals and a soft floral.

“The recognizable classics remain strong, but new players are important rising stars to watch,” said Grant. “Today, the opportunity for reinvention afforded by a novel scent coexists with the instant indulgence provided by the classics.”

In my admittedly biased opinion, I am going to credit niche perfumery as having some role in why less traditional categories of perfumery may be gaining ground with the average American women. Just as with fashion being influenced by trends that slowly trickle down from Haute Couture, so too must the more inventive fragrances put out by niche houses eventually trend the commercial perfume giants. You can see it with oud which started as a revolutionary failure with YSL’s M7 (under Tom Ford), but which has now trickled down into every conceivable type of perfume at every price point.

Source: blogs.nordstrom.com

Source: blogs.nordstrom.com

WHAT MEN ARE UP TO:

It seems American and British gentlemen really, really love their fragrances. The Yanks in particular are spending a fortune, which is why I’m including this section here and not in Part II with the rest of the global analysis. An NPD report has the figures for men’s purchases between November 2012 and October 2013:

men’s fragrance juice sales drove positive dollar performance for the overall fragrance category in the US and UK[.] Total fragrance performance was soft elsewhere in Europe, with declines across men’s and women’s offerings, primarily in the EDT segment.

“While women’s individual juices continue to be the top selling fragrance segment across the US and Europe, new launch activity has been a boost for men’s sales across most countries,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

In addition to men’s juice sales, the other positive growth segments for both the US and UK prestige* fragrance industries in the 12 months ending October 2013 were women’s juices, and both men’s and women’s fragrance gift sets. With the exception of Spain, which had declines across fragrance segments, there were segments of flat to positive performance in other European countries. Men’s gift sets were the star in France during this time period. In Italy, men’s juice and women’s gift sets held steady.

ALL IN ALL:

Although there seems to be movement in specific areas, I think if you look at the picture as a whole, you will see that the perfume industry in the U.S. continues to struggles. Sales are generally soft, not dynamic and huge. The percentages reported are always very small, moving upwards by about 2% in a lot of cases, or else dropping by 6% to 7%. If you take a bird’s-eye view, make-up and skin care do gangbusters in the U.S., but not fragrances. Even the expensive ($100+) perfumes are only selling moderately if you look at picture as a whole, as opposed to taking a narrow view of “prestige” fragrances vs. drugstore ones.

And remember, the definition of “prestige” here revolves around department store perfumes, not niche. Given the nature of a niche or artisanal company, and the fact that it is privately owned with no need to report to shareholders, I think it would be virtually impossible to find data on how that sector of the industry is doing. The individual companies are certainly not going to report it. I also can’t see niche distributors like Luckyscent, Osswald, First in Fragrance, or Essenza Nobile releasing sales figures by perfume house.

Still, I think it’s always interesting to know how the industry as a whole is doing. To that end, Part II will focus on the global picture, from market titans like LVMH and Givaudan, to popular perfumes and sales in individual countries such as the U.K., France, Germany, The NetherlandsItaly, Spain, India, and the Middle East.

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26 thoughts on “The U.S. Fragrance Industry: Sales Figures, Popular Fragrances & Market Changes

  1. Very interesting stats! I’m actually quite surprised by the increase in Woody Orientals…although the two fragrances I find to smell less “woody oriental” and more fruity/floral than spicy, and revolting (sorry…I just detest both scents personally. Mademoiselle smells screechy and nauseating to my nose, and Flowerbomb smells nothing like flowers – more like Cottoncandybomb to me). But, it’s a step in the right direction I guess haha. Just keep edging people closer to some REAL orientals! 🙂

    • Ha! I detest both as well, Devon. 😀 In fact, I’d never think of Flowerbomb as a “woody oriental.” I mentally categorize it as “diabetes in a bottle.” 😀 So, like you, I was rather startled by what they chose to classify as a “woody oriental” in terms of the new shifting tastes, but, like you, I think it’s a step in the right direction.

      It’s like, “Okay, at least women are THINKING that they’re trying a new genre of perfume, and liking something that is not a ‘clean, fresh’ scent. So, it’s a start!” Anything — ANY bloody THING — to get people moving away from the “Clean” scents with their calone, aquatics, soapy laundry notes, and that ghastly white musk.

      • Great article Kafka. The researcher in me loves it when you do the business side and the history bits and pieces as well – of course the perfume reviews are great too. I concur with the ‘diabetes in a bottle’ above and had a giggle. A NZ friend came over for the summer and sprayed Flowerbomb incessantly much to my dismay. We had a trip to Paris and I tried with much energy to get her to try a range of different perfumes to sway her from her signature scent. But alas to no avail and one of the only other perfumes she liked was Ma Vie est Belle which falls into exactly the same genre for me. I believe this is a huge seller in France.

        Looking forward to Part 2!

        • Heh at the “Ma Vie est Belle” choice as her alternative. Oh God. I laughed quite a bit at that, for reasons that should become plain when you read Part II on the Global Industry, including which fragrances are popular in which European countries.

          • Flowerbomb- well, I think the “bomb” is certainly accurate… Absolutely revolting, sickeningly-sweet. The Lancôme Belle is so similar to me that it triggers a gag reflex! A true nose hair singe-er!!!
            Since I found your wonderful blog, and began to REALLY begin my education of fragrance, there’s really no reason to go sniffing at the local mall. I had to go to our small, local Macy’s Dept. Store this evening, and I felt like the young lady who falls in love with an older guy over summer vacation. When school resumes in September, she realizes that all of her old friends are still playing childhood games, and she is light-years ahead of them. There’s no returning for her, and she only hopes that the group of friends grows to catch up with her! Or, she may just choose another group of like-minded friends!! 😉
            Very interesting to see our beloved world of fragrance from another view. Looking forward to part 2!

          • I agree on the “bomb” aspect to Flowerbomb, but the general perfumista seems to love it! I think you’re very right that once you’ve tried niche fragrances, it is extremely difficult to see commercial or designer scents in the same way. Niche is really worlds apart, a whole other dimension when it’s done well, though naturally, there are always a few clunkers and stinkers that louse things up. lol.

  2. Completely fascinating. Thanks for the information. I’m surprised that there is any growth at all with the economy being as it is. I’m not surprised that the drug store sales have had the most modest grown considering their market purchasers. Funny about the change in female perfumes (increase in woody fragrances) I wonder if this is becoming more prominent as fragrance is becoming more unisex and as such, we’ll see less traditional and more modern “for all” fragrances. CK One sounds so revolutionary years ago. Now, does anyone care??!

    • I think niche must have had a small “trickle down” effect onto the more commercial mainstream scents, and is definitely having a small impact in terms of tastes skewing a little less traditional. In the U.S., at least. As you’ll see in Part II, internationally, “unisex” is often the tiniest and smallest category in terms of market share by genre, whereas the traditional “female” scents can take up to 60% of the sales. What’s interesting is that — no matter how minuscule the portion of unisex fragrances sold in some countries — it is the area with the most projected growth for the future.

      For the U.S., I think it’s going to take a long time for things to fully skew away from the “fresh, clean” scents that things like Acqua di Gio and CK One represent, but at least more women seem OPEN to the idea of trying something less typical or conventional. (That said, Flowerbomb seems like the most conventional thing around, as well as the other fragrance the research group mentioned. I can’t imagine that being less traditional at ALL. To me, it’s an excessively feminine and sweet floral, so I was rather bewildered by their classification. However, as I wrote to Devon up above, at least it’s a start in terms of mindsets!”

  3. Thank you for the research and links. I learnt many things including that Bruce Weber shot the Bottega Veneta woman’s campaign. Interesting that Beautiful from the 80’s is still happening. I bought that for a girlfriend at Uni the minute it came out. Awaiting Part 2, especially the non-US and non-UK market information.

  4. Thank you for this very informative and interesting post. I must admit, I groaned aloud at seeing the hideous Coco M in the No. 1 slot – but I guess that many people can’t be wrong (ha!) I’m looking forward to part deux 🙂

    • I’m so glad it didn’t bore you silly! That’s always a danger with posts covering financial details, or am I simply projecting my own numbers phobia onto you? 😉 😀 Joking aside, I’m happy you found it interesting. 🙂

  5. Pingback: The Global Fragrance Industry: World Markets, Popular Fragrances & Sales Figures | Kafkaesque

  6. Dearest Kafka
    Fascinating.
    Like you I find the figures on men’ s growing purchasing power in the UK and US very interesting. But I’m even more taken aback by how unlike the European market the US is. First of all we have a question of scale. Looking at that table for 12/13 it seems to indicate US sales for $3bn as opposed to around $2.6bn for France, $2bn UK, $1bn for Italy. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the size of the European market is, as you rightly point out elsewhere, hugely bigger than the US. Secondly the disproportionate influence of Elizabeth Arden! If they really are taking out 15% of that $3bn, it leaves the market about the size of France for the rest of the players to fight it out!
    As ever there is a slight note of caution with stats, especially in a sector cloaked so heavily in secrecy, but these are very revealing if even partially true.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I’m so glad you found it interesting and revealing my dear. And yes, Elizabeth Arden’s influence does seem to be huge. Alas, I suspect Britney Spears has a lot to do with that. If only I were joking, but the girl actually sells more perfume than a good number of proper perfume houses put together! :\

  7. Dearest Kafka
    Just as illuminating and intriguing as part 1.
    Putting aside some of the rather excitable growth predictions of people whose raison d’etre it is to talk up growth, there some definite trends in here, but, in The Dandy’s humble opinion, whilst mountains may be moving the process might not be as rapid as we imagine.
    Western Europe and North America appear to be flat markets, the surprising thing for me is that the Eurozone hasn’t declined much more sharply in the recent past. However. I don’t think that it’s necessarily the case that Europe as a whole is scent saturated as of yet. There continue to be significant North / South and West / East disparities in wealth and consumption across the continent and a long way to go yet before people living in Baltic, Eastern and Balkan states enjoy a standard of living comparable to France or Germany. These aren’t the huge markets represented by India, China and South America, but in the case of an economic turn around they are culturally and geographically easy wins for the future, and we are talking about hundreds of millions of people when Western-facing Turkey is included in the equation.
    I’m with you 100% China will be a very tough nut to crack for scent. Japan has ‘enjoyed’ Western culture and affluence for decades but hasn’t succumbed to the charms of perfume, why necessarily will the equally as ‘stink’ averse Chinese fall in love with fragrance? Likewise the complex network of cultures and states across south east Asia many with different religions and traditions that might bar the march of aromas.
    The middle East, or specifically the Gulf will be very important to a segment of the market: haute or high prestige. In fact it already sustains much of the output in this segment either domestically or by the big houses. I am much less convinced that it will be a major driver for volume prestige for two reasons. The first you point out: there is no great taste for even the Harvey Nicks of this world in Dubai! by extension mid to designer market perfumes are not de riguer The second is that we are still talking about relatively small population numbers, the gulf states (excluding Iraq, still riven by conflict and Iran and Saudi Arabia, both still subject to religious restrictions on Western perfume) are not populous nations and culturally resistant to many of the traditional marketing tricks of the big perfumeurs and retailers. I would be very surprised if this is an area of focus for massive growth for the big houses outside of their no doubt mind-bogglingly lucrative exclusive ranges, as the numbers just aren’t there.
    You allude to Russia, I would be very, very interested to see more data on Russia and its sphere of influence in the Caucuses. Oil has made this part of the world very rich too and attitudes to religion are generally more relaxed, populations bigger…
    Latin America. Yes, I’ve no doubt it will happen. But not as quickly as people suspect. Those heralding the emergence of Brazil as an economic superpower would be as well to look back on predictions for Argentina, Mexico, Chile and others over the last century. Demographics dictate that there will be ultimately be a much bigger market here, but it’s far from a forgone conclusion as the descent of Mexico into near chaos despite its membership of NAFTA proves.
    India. India is a mystery. A law unto itself. It has more computer science graduates than Scandinavia has people yet try and find a railway ticketing office with a working PC! In all seriousness, a country that is only now taking tentative steps to opening up food retailing to international interests is one where all bets are off.
    So, The Dandy’s view: Europe isn’t quite dead yet, the Middle East now owns ‘haute perfumerie’ but doesn;t have the people to drive the mainstream, the Far East will prove elusive, Latin America will take a long time to conquer and India is a mystery. If I was a betting man Russia and the countries that once formed part of its sprawling empire are where the money;s to be made.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I actually think there is a chance that the number predictions of $46 Billion may be on the conservative side. From what I’ve gathered from the research groups in question, they generally seem to be quite conservative and focused on the pure figures. It’s not like some financial Wall Street hedge-fund or merchant bank with an incentive to drum up excitement. Euromonitor and the like would lose their credibility if they went after hype or tried to drum things up for the benefit of bankers. Plus, if they don’t give conservative estimates, they would fall flat on their face when the actual numbers came in below. It was something I was thinking about this morning. I would bet the $46 billion estimate is on the conservative side just to be safe.

      Re. the Middle East, you’re quite right that it will depend on the specific region, but I think ALLLLLLLLLLLLL regions have a culture that fully integrates perfume into their daily lives. It happens across the board, regardless of socio-economic status or demographics. Report after report makes that part clear, as does my own time spent in the Middle East. That said, you’re absolutely right that they will not necessarily be purchasing Western products, except at the very top tier of the socio-economic pyramid. And all the reasons why, all the factors that you give, are extremely astute. The local population generally will be purchasing their own local manufacturers, whether it is the Arabian Oud, Adjmal, or the rest, and they will eschew Guerlain’s super-expensive Middle Eastern exclusives unless they are the very wealthiest segment of society.

      I wanted to talk about Russia but: 1) this was already ridiculously long as it is; and 2) the language is a barrier. All Euromonitor reports are very cursory in the free synopsis that they let you see, so the more useful, readable, detailed data (like the lists of popular perfumes, or what women/men think about perfumery, etc.) would come from newspaper reports and the like. I don’t trust Google Translate for something like that. It would be far too easy for it to screw up the nuances or real meaning of what is going on, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable in relying on something I couldn’t determine for myself. I took Russian eons and eons ago in university, but only briefly, and not in a way that left any knowledge whatsoever after all this time. LOL. So, putting that together with the fact that this piece was already so long that I thought I would totally lose readers, I thought it best to leave Russia for another occasion.

      • Dearest Kafka
        I agree, Russia, and those diverse countries along its flanks are probably as impenetrable in the literature as they can sometimes be in real life and certainly worthy of separate investigation.
        Another intriguing point about Euromonitor and their like: as so little of what they produce is in the public domain I wonder how much proper peer review and look back on the integrity of their work actually goes on….
        Last quick point, for I know my comments have been excessively lengthy, but there’s also an issue here about transparency in the industry… I can’t think of another sector where, as a result of complex shareholding, cross ownership, massive personal and family interests, there is less pressure on companies to produce accurate sales, turnover, profit figures and enunciate clear marketing and business strategies.
        It boggles the mind to think that Chanel, L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Dior, Guerlain and all the subsidiary brands of these behemoths are still in the hands of handful of families and individuals (taking into consideration voting rights). I wonder if we will ever truly know what goes on behind these closed doors and whether growth plans flourish or wither on the vine…
        Great pair of pieces.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

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