There was a great article in the Flux Magazine, featuring luxury fragrances, the transformation in the market, and why niche is winning shares in some market segments. The article featured Tauer Perfumes, and two three other brands and I recommend reading it, here.
This is seriously good press and nice.
The article follows a couple of lines of thought. I would pick up one of them. The issue of growth. This morning, in the newspaper, there was another article about Europe's economy, falling into a trap of high unemployment, below potential growth, and a couple of other unfortunate no win holes. No doubt there: You can actually feel it and see it, and it is no good. (I leave the question aside whether the model of continuous growth is compatible with the real world and its limited resources) Looking at things through my little perfume focused reading help, I feel it is no good as, well, let's face it: When it comes to niche perfumes, the US is not the only main market where things happen. It is Europe where a lot of the sales action happens. Just the number of doors for niche tells you this. Let's be aware here, that designer brands are not niche. Your Bloomingdale's sales of xyz does not count as niche purchase. Sorry. Of course, there are other regions where there is a potential for niche fragrances sales growth but let's focus on Europe here.
What does this mean?
It means that the cake won't get bigger in a time where new perfumes and brands are popping up on a weekly basis. This means, on average, less for everyone. And this means: Bye bye to many. Either you do better, become innovative, provide top notch quality, amazing service and be "real" or you're out.
The "old model" (perfumer in Grasse, some $$ for packaging and bottle, 6 or more scents to start with, inspired by (pick your theme here: memories, cities,...) does not work anymore.
Is this frightening to me, running a business and having fun in this field? No, it isn't. First, I do things in a different way. And then: I love the challenge. I think there is -irony ahead!- even an inspiration energy behind all this.
I will have to head to the factory real soon, waiting for a pick-up. With me some papers and bottles: The papers are for price calculations, and a couple of other business things. The bottles are for sniffing and playing. And believe it or not: The two of them go well together.