Despite the murky environment in the Chinese beauty market, the perfume and fragrance sector is still attracting much attention. In 2022, over 20 niche perfume brands took part in the 618 shopping festival for the first time and achieved great results, most increasing by over 60% in sales. Some brands, such as Penhaligon's, Byredo, and L’Artisan, known as niche perfume brands last year, have become well-known among Chinese consumers. In the meantime, consumers still keep looking for niche perfumes that can make them unique.
Although the Chinese perfume market size is not large for now, it has been accelerating growth recently. According to Euromonitor, the compound growth rate of China’s perfume market between 2015 and 2020 was 14.9%, and was expected to reach 22.5% in the next five years. By 2025, the retail sales of China’s perfume market will be 30 billion yuan. In contrast, the compound growth rate of the global perfume market in the next five years is about 7%, implying that the Chinese market’s growth rate will be about three times that of the global market.
As for distribution channels, department stores remained the most popular one, accounting for 55% of the market share. Unlike other beauty products, perfume brands sell experiences to shoppers together with selling products, which makes offline channels essential. Therefore, many high-end perfume and fragrance brands made their debut in China by opening boutique stores in the most prosperous commercial districts and department stores to display their brand positions.
On the other hand, more perfume shoppers, especially young consumers, are willing to purchase perfumes online today. They tend to read an enormous number of review posts about perfumes online and make buying decisions based on other people’s experiences. Therefore, e-commerce’s market share rose year by year and reached 26% in 2020.
Chinese consumers also have preferences for fragrance notes and concentration. Floral and fruity are mainstream notes among Chinese consumers. In recent years, woody and citrus notes is attracting more popularity and are now widely accepted. As more consumers want to explore rare fragrances, the acceptance of some niche notes such as water and green also improved. As for perfume concentration, Chinese consumers prefer EDT and EDP.