The Future of Fragrance in Russia

Будущее благоухания в России: the Future of Fragrance in Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world, spanning Europe and Asia. Its population of nearly 143 million (ranking 9th in the world) currently boasts an average salary of $540 per month, an eightfold-plus increase since 1999. Some estimates predict that Russia will have the world’s ninth largest economy in 2008. Today, the country represents 14% of the European beauty market (excluding cosmetics), lead by fragrance and personal care (source: Euromonitor). The segment is anticipating annual growth of 12%.

“A Taste of Russia,” an exhibition at Symrise’s Scent & Care location in Clichy-la-Garenne, France, seeks to provide insights into this resurgent market and fragrance’s future in it. Russian consumers are swayed by pride of Russian goods, such as scents from classic house Novaya Zarya, yet also are receptive to Western brands. Among scent notes of particular popularity in Russia are apple, peach, fresh, woody, fruity and floral. Furthermore, the exhibit asserts that seasonal, aromatherapy, luxury and natural/organic products will increase in popularity.

Of the top 30 fine fragrance brands on the Russian market, 25 are European, including 16 French scents and seven Italian fragrances. For women, floral-fruity scents are traditionally popular, while chypre and floriental fragrances are just emerging. Consumers tend to prefer citrus notes for the freshness they impart, while fruity notes are a “must.” Conversely, women tend to dislike rich, opulent, classical and excessively heavy scents.

Russian men, meanwhile, are open to many scents. The top fragrance types in this segment are fougere, woody and citrus. There is virtually no demand for oriental or chypre scents, though there is interest in jasmine and orange blossom fragrances.

The Russian market, Symrise’s exhibit concludes, is the “new Eldorado for international brands.” Boasting a combination of double-digit beauty market growth and an inherent desire for fragrance and luxury, the opportunities for the perfume industry are vast.

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