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“This isn’t a quick fix situation,” says Karyn Khoury, senior vice president at Estée Lauder, discussing the fine fragrance industry’s declining sales. “It took us many years to get to the situation we’re in. It’s not going to be a matter of months before we fix it, but I believe that we can and will fix it.” In 2009, the industry launched fewer scents than it did in 2008, breaking a long streak of exponential growth. To Khoury’s thinking, this is a positive result of the financial crisis of the last 18 months. “The consumer has been overwhelmed with the number of launches, the amount of choice, and in some cases the lack of differentiation,” she says. This excess of new scents has coincided with a decline in the number of consumers buying fragrance.
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