Research estimates that the perfume and fragrance industry alone will be worth approximately $38.8 billion by 2017 (King, 2013).
So why did Louis Vuitton take nearly 30 years to get back into perfumery?
Last week, the luxury brand launched its first ever perfume collection since the LVMH merger in 1987. The range consists of 7 perfumes Rose Des Vents, Turbulences, Dans Le Peau, Apogée, Contre Moi, Matière Noire and Mille Feux all priced at around £168 ($223) per 100ml bottle. The move is not only an expansion of the labels beauty collection but is also an addition of products priced in this lower range; a category that has since only included key chains and very small leather goods priced between £170 and £250. The Business of Fashion reports that the brand hopes the perfume line will attract middle-income shoppers amid a time when research suggest that the luxury market will be “stuck in a holding pattern [of minimal growth] for the foreseeable future (Bain & Company); a pattern which has been attributed to slow tourism throughout the Americas and Europe.
Despite this troubling outlook, perfume has been more resilient to the industry downturn, with global sales estimated to have risen 2.9 percent to about 15 billion euros last year (Reuters). However, Louis Vuitton has been cautious to produce more affordable products ranges in an effort to avoid Tommy Hilfiger’s late 90’s problem – that being, when a luxury label is everywhere its credibility flat lines. Since 2012, Louis Vuitton has solidified its luxury status by producing expansive handbags in limited numbers (Fortune) so this new venture is sure to be nothing but profitable.
Another factor contributing to the collection's certain success? Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud - world famous perfumier who has created scents for the likes of Lancome, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Bulgari and Alexander McQueen. Speaking about his process of producing 90 fragrances and reducing them to a final seven, Cavallier-Belletrud notes that “there is no common thread connecting them as such… except I wanted them to create a very emotional reaction”.
31-year-old French bombshell and part time Bond girl Léa Seydoux will be the face behind the new fragrance collection. The ads, shot at the majestic Lone Creek Falls near Sabie in Mpumalanga are due to be realised in October magazine issues and the Sept. 15 editions of daily newspapers around the globe (WWD). Louis Vuitton will also have five pop-up units in the works, in Paris, London, Seoul and Dubai, to showcase its return to the perfumery business.
Will you be grabbing a bottle? Tell us below!