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SIMPPAR salon de matières premières

I was visiting the Simppar fair for raw materials in Paris for a day. This salon takes places every two years and is a colorful gathering of who is who in raw materials and (some) perfumers. The more industry, the less you will see the perfumers there. And the bigger the raw materials house, the less interest there is to talk to guys like me.

I visited to talk to a couple of existing suppliers of mine, providing me directly or indirectly with naturals, specialities mostly. Like a special vetiver extract that I get from Biolandes, or my apricot oil that I get from Robertet. Biolandes provides wonderful quality and smelling some of their novelties is so inspiring. Like this totally amazing Iris. Or the out of this world Rhum  extract that I smelled at Robertet. Just wow! This is one of the reasons why I am going to visit this fair: it is inspiration pure.

Another reason: It is nice to bump into colleagues and friends and chat. There, it feels great to confirm that I am not the only one who sees that all niche is dead. I mean: Niche in the way that is generally used, covering stuff from Amouage to Malle etc. that -like my colleagues confirm- always was industry. Industry niche to be precise. Hence, the recent Lauder acquisitions (Lauder has no interest in buying small independent brands. They buy what is in a couple of hundred doors already. And those being bought out need Lauder to grow because they do not grow anymore). Anyhow: so you discuss, and get it confirmed again that in Germany the perfume market is turned upside down, a lot of perfumeries are suffering beyond believe because of discount etailers. (One problem: The Germans have this "Geiz ist geil" attitude.)

Perfumistas cheerfully show their Amouage bottles bought online at 50% off, which is what the perfumery around the corner paid for it, wholesales, and nobody wants to think about what this actually means.

My interpretation: Whatever brand you see discounted regularly at 50% is on its way down, not having control over their sales channels, inventory coming back from markets like the middle east, and losing all credibility in perfumeries.

Anyhow: This is actually not my business. But the bottomline of it all: It is always great to meet colleagues who are independent like myself and who find inspiration in raw materials and who share the same vision of things ahead. Nice.

4 thoughts on “SIMPPAR salon de matières premières”

  • The industrial niche scene is very stagnant, nothing much interesting to see there. Rhum extract sounds great though, hopefully you will find a use for it some day. :-) BTW, I love the colours/graphics of the new cards you show in the photo above, looks very nice!

    Regarding the discount situation, in addition to the scenario you describe, I have seen for the past couple of years another phenomenon of US customers buying from German websites like Essenza Nobile and Aus Liebe zum Duft because it is significantly cheaper, even with high shipment fees, to buy perfumes there rather than Luckyscent or Twisted Lily or Aedes for example. The dollar is strong against the euro, european prices are lower, and there is no tax.

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  • Good morning, Tara!
    It took me a while to answer....I think that the discount situation is just the beginning. The "market" is blown up on a level that is not sustainable anymore and the consumer is lost and does not know anymore what is real (quality) and what is not. In the end this is all good. For me....

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  • I was discussing this with another perfume friend yesterday. We both agreed that pricing is crazy, value is not there for most "niche". I told her my solution is to only follow select perfumers who are committed to value and juice created with heart: for example you, Vero Kern, Liz Moores. The rest has become noise to me. I don't see it being sustainable in the long run as I know many others who feel the same. Too many releases, too low quality, no soul - just a big money grab attempt.

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    • Yes, Tara, I know your strategy. I refer to the period we are in as the "end game". And the race to the bottom. It is getting crowded there, at the bottom..... I will tell Vero. She will be happy to hear that. And yes: The rest is noise. Most of it most of the time...

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