Partly a factor of the economy, I am sure. But I also blame the industry themselves. They have over-industrialized an emotion-driven industry, saturating the market with hundreds of very similar celebuscents and shutting out a large portion of the consumer base.
Pleasures did well in the early 90s, and then we had years and years of sharp, "bright" florals. Then, Theirry Mugler went mad and took a different course with Angel, and now the perfume counters are clogged with gourmands. As someone who likes neither fragrance family for my own use, I can attest that there is pretty much nothing in the mainstream market that contains neither sharp florals nor vanilla and chocolate. Basenoters like me care enough to special order niche frags and bid on bottles of antique perfume on ebay, but the average person probably just skips buying perfume altogether.
Curiously enough, we are starting to see laundry products marketed as perfumes once were. People still want to experience the sensuality of scent. The fragrance industry is letting them down. If there were a wide range of fine perfumes that were readily available, do you really think we'd be seeing ads like the one I saw in Real Simple this month? It shows a man sensuously sniffing a woman's dress, and the ad copy suggests using a fabric softener in order to seduce your man. You know, kind of like perfume used to do?