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  1. #1

    Default The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    Well, The Wall Street Journal had an article yesterday about slowing growth in the designer fragrance market. As the full article requires a subscription, I'll just post a brief summary.

    They said that the culprit was too many launches (200 in the USA alone in 2006) ... consumers say that many new fragrances smell too much alike. Also, newer launches are flopping: for example, YSL discontinued Nu last year and stopped selling M7 in the US market. The WSJ also showed Chanel's Les Exclusifs line, Hermes' Hermessence line, and Armani's Prive line as ways that the fragrance industry is trying to regain prestige.

    Does anyone agree or disagree?
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    2) Aventus - Creed
    3) Flower of Immortality - By Kilian
    4) L'Humaniste - Frapin
    5) Millesime Imperial - Creed

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  2. #2

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    I agree, too many of them smell like they were created in the same labs. It's really disgusting and how I ended up on fragrance boards, looking for something I could wear. I didn't have this problem in the past.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    Interesting that they mentioned Nu, since it isn't your generic fruit-compost scent. It's probably closer to niche than many of the recent releases in terms of creativity and difference, and would likely have been better marketed at a higher level/price/presentation than it was. One of the few recent designer women's releases with real machisma.

    So here is where I become a snob in my take on the whole thing. The current mass market and designer fruit-compost scents are just a part of the whole amurrican wartime zeitgeist. It's happening in clothes what with those ubiquitous babydoll dresses and tops that feign pregnancy on any woman who is not built like a popsicle stick. it CK Escaping and it's John Mayer waiting for the world to change and not doing a damned thing about it while little kids are getting their heads blown off half way across the world.

    And the rest of the world & high society? So much overpriced Fin du Monde decadence and preening green whilst Mysore has no more sandalwood trees and Oud is all but extinct... because we might as well use it all up because it's all gonna end soon.

    Look at some of the balls-out frags that used to happen in their own Zeitgeist. Bandit 1945 says "don't f*(k with me, I survived a war and I CAN rip your parts off". Tabac Blond 1919 bobs her hair. Aromatics Elixir 1971 give the finger to fruit and floral & burns her brassiere in the process. And the list goes on.

    Don't get me wrong, I love fragrance. I love scrounging the remainders of overpriced but nice stuff that show up at TJX owned stores. I can wait for the rest to show up there or at the on-line discount stores. The get game has got stupid.

    /rant
    Last edited by jaelynn; 2nd January 2008 at 04:33 PM.
    We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give - W. Churchill

  4. #4

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    I think it's simply that the market is saturated with too many and they are saturated with cheap chemicals made by the same labs. IFF is one.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    But that asks the question "Why is the market saturated?" 5 million channels on cable, 1000 hours of music on something the size of a credit card, 20 billion or more web pages, mass "customization" (lovely oxymoron that), the triad of cults of luxe&celebrity&infantilizing, the illusion of choice that makes us demand more illusions every day. The fragrance flood is not ex nihilo. There are reasons not just a bunch of busy ants in labcoats doing too much....
    We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give - W. Churchill

  6. #6

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    This is about making money, the ingredients from the labs are cheaper, the consumer pays for it, the profit margins are wider. If there's a demand, they will meet it with supply, others will copy, the market becomes saturated. It's just business as usual.
    Last edited by beachroses; 26th December 2007 at 01:54 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    Hey, we are living the American Dream! Consumers are king - and consumers want choice. Since we vote with our pocketbooks, the Great Unwashed Masses get what they ask for!

    ...and with Commerce, art dies...

    Teddius

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    There's a steady stream of excellent fragrances being made and it will stay that way regardless of what the WSJ or anyone else says.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    "More is not always better"

  10. #10

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    I think it is a shame that there are so many good fragrances out there (not in the department stores) and so much good music (not on the radio) and most people lack the intelligence and/or initiative to find it.
    What frightens me is that these same people will elect the next American president.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    I think it is a shame that there are so many good fragrances out there (not in the department stores) and so much good music (not on the radio) and most people lack the intelligence and/or initiative to find it.
    What frightens me is that these same people will elect the next American president.
    Well put!

  12. #12

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    I don't blame them for this article one bit.
    Last edited by beachroses; 27th December 2007 at 08:54 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    This is an article that I personally saved, because I thought that it really hit the nail on the head on over-saturation. There's just so much sensory overload, and that goes for the fragrance industry as well.
    Originality has gone out the window in favor of the almighty dollar, which has resulted in countless scents that pretty much all smell the same. I can understand wanting to draw the younger crowd to the fragrance market, but what is this costing the market itself? Methinks it's time they start cutting down on those not-so-memorable releases (this ESPECIALLY goes for celebrity scents!).


    And yes, I will agree with PurpleBird7 that there are people out there who would rather give into all the hype and the b.s. thrown at them, and the fact that these people refuse to expand their horizons (whether with fragrance, and/or music, etc. etc.) can be a rather frightening thing, especially to those with more worldly.
    But to those with limited funds, and/or other opportunities, this kind of expansion can be a very tough given that their resources might be a bit more limited than someone else's.
    But I think credit should at least be given to those who at least give something a try.
    It doesn't matter if something is department, drugstore, mainstream, or underground; if they're willing to step out of that box (even if it's baby steps) then more power to them. Just because it's not a new experience to someone else, doesn't mean that the experience does not hold value anymore. I think that acting like a know-it-all elitist who devalues any experience that is novel to the person that is experiencing it is just as bad as the person who embraces total and complete conformity. And this definitely can apply to fragrance.
    If someone is willing to let go of the inoffensive, clean scents and try something a little more off-beat than what they're used to, then more power to them.
    It's like someone who decides to turn off the t.v. in favor of romance novels, instead of their usual soap operas because they wanted to try reading for a change instead of being hypnotized day in / day out by the boob tube - it's a step in the right direction.

    Okay, I'm off my soap box now, LOL!

  14. #14

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    PurpleBird is spot on. It is sad that quality, good taste and refinement are so scarce. Real luxury in the perfume world won't be found in a department store, no matter the marketing effort. I highly recommend reading the chapter about perfume in the book De-Luxe by Dana Thomas.

    I wrote a blog post last week in which I responded to the WSJ article. You can see it here:
    http://thenonblonde.blogspot.com/200...o-sephora.html
    (it's in the last part of my post. The first two are about makeup and body products, so you may want to scroll down)

  15. #15

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    There'll always be - and actually, society demands it - more betas and gammas than alphas.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    "the triad of cults of luxe&celebrity&infantilizing, the illusion of choice that makes us demand more illusions every day"

    Jaelynn, I like your ideas. I think we need to look inward and ask ourselves... what in the world are we searching for? What are our values and how do they translate to marketing? This phenomenon is a response to us - the customer - and we need to be honest about our involvements. If we don't like what is happening, our behavior can send that message.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    I have to say this, and am sorry if I offend anyone here, in the states it is a case of gluttony and overconsumption. I am french, but have lived in the states most of my life. I worked in the retail cosmetic industry for a while, and people were always buying more and more. "What do you have new? Oh, I have to buy that." was it because these were such great fragrances, no it was the name...Dior, Bulgari, anything for the brand name. People would not even smell the scent sometimes, they would just buy the name. They would buy Paris Hilton fragrances just because they had her name on them. In Europe it is different, young girls tend to try many things, to find what is their scent. Then they become pretty faithful to one or two fragrances, usually one of which their mother or grand-mother was a devotee, i.e. #5 Chanel, or Opium. Over here the mothers, daughters, and everyone else are buying, just for the sake of "newness". Where I worked, that was one of the things they told me to push, "newness". Forget notes, sillage, staying power, etc...push whats hot and "new". Obviously I was not the employee of the month, I had to much self respect to push Brittany Spears fragrant offerings (if that is what they would be called). People are all looking to fill this emptiness inside, as was stated by others here, and the big boy marketers are there with a fix. Unfortunately it lowers the overall standard. Which is why I pray that Creed will remain family owned (a huge look of disgust at the house of Guerlain) and keep providing the most wonderful compositions imaginable. And I am sorry to say, most of the fragrance trend in the world is directed by the USA. Case in point, Dior released Dolce Vita, which did wonderful all over the world, but horribly in the states. J'adore did well in the rest of the world, but did phenomenally well over here in the states. What did they do after that, well Dior decided that everything they create afterwards should follow a similar composition. Which is why Dior releases all have sparkling floral notes, but very few interesting darker ones. Even their make-up line is being geared for the American market. As long as the dollars keep pouring in, the mediocre scents will keep pouring out.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The WSJ Says: Too Many Launches

    Brielle 87 makes some good points. I've had the opposite life, an American who's lived much of her life in Europe. I notice, sadly, that many European teens are beginning to do the same thing Brielle talks about, and they avoid what their older family members wear/wore and go for the "new thing", which is usually a cheap fruity floral. The main youth fragrances here are still pretty nice, like Light Blue, and Kenzo Amour, Nina is OK, and of course, the 100 Angel clones. But overall, older men and women in Europe smell much better and more interesting then the young ones! I think it's globalisation/standardisation through global mass marketing- things are becoming cheaper and more generic all over the world.

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