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Although many big brands have entered the Indian perfume market, the category is still dominated by unorganized players: Bonafide Research

Booming category of women's perfumes, increased affluences, greater social interactions, growing urge among urbane working females to stay well-groomed are some of the key drivers for the growth of perfume market in India.

The perfume market in India is expanding with consumers making a shift from body sprays towards Eau De Toilette, Eau De Cologne and Eau De Parfums on a daily basis, as well as for gifting purposes. Indians have had a deep connect with fragrances historically, as seen with the usage and symbolic significance in weddings and presence in religious places. Perfumers are sourcing extremely rare, niche ingredients and using them in even rarer composition styles to create lush fragrances. From orange blossoms, bergamot, tuberose, lotus and Bulgarian rose oil; to cedar and lavender, the ingredients are as exotic as they can get. The perfume market is promoted by organized as well as unorganized players in India. Initially, there were not many organized players in the market and the use of attar and perfumes high on alcohol content was prevalent. However, today some consumers understand what comprises a branded perfume and has travelled enough to sense international niche brands.

According to a recently published report of Bonafide Research, "India Perfume Market Overview, 2016-2022", even though big names have entered the perfume market in India, the small scale and unorganized players dominate the category. The unorganized perfume market of the country is anticipated to grow with more than 11% CAGR in the next five years. Currently, the perfume market is bustling mostly with international players that come under the organized section of the market. There are many opportunities seen by these international as well as domestic marketers in order to bring in quality and an organized brand name in the space. Domestic players like Fogg launched its range of perfumes for the Indian consumers priced at less than Rs. 500 which has left other big brands to re-think their pricing strategy for selling their perfumes in India. Price has been the biggest concern when it comes to buying a branded perfume. Ideally, Indian consumers look for perfumes that are ranged between Rs. 100 to Rs. 500 or maximum upto Rs. 1000 as major portion of the buyers are still not ready to pay something above Rs. 1000 for a personal grooming product like perfume. There are only a small percentage of consumers that understand how a niche perfume label is made and why it is priced so high. Hence, if companies plan to enter the Indian perfume market, they will have to position their products based on effective pricing strategy in order to capture the market which is largely dominated by gray products.

For deodorant category, distribution channel has played a prominent role as these products are sold via many channels like e-commerce, hyper marts, supermarkets, gift shops, pharmacy, retailers, etc. A large number of dealers and distributor are present across the country that distributes deodorant products on a wider scale that covers even rural markets now. In case of perfumes, the problem comes when players want to distribute their perfume brands all over the country. Retail shops and small supermarkets are not ready to stock these high priced branded perfumes on a mass level as consumers look for inexpensive products that fit their budget. Also, the concept of speciality store for perfume makers is relatively new and unexplored in India, as consumers get the same brand of perfume at a cheaper rate from the gray market. Thus buying from a speciality store seems pointless to them.

Major companies operating in the perfume market of India are J.K. Helene Curtis Limited, CavinKare Private Limited, Burberry India Private Limited, Coty India Beauty and Fragrance Products Pvt. Ltd. and Avon Beauty Products India Pvt. Ltd.


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