Since French explorers brought the first colognes and scented waters to North America in the early years of European settlement, the desire for fragrances has seen the market grow into a multi-billion dollar industry. Moreover, a prediction on the future size of the market based on 2014 levels suggests that the flavor and fragrance market in North America is set to exceed the 5 billion U.S. dollar mark in 2019.
Like many luxury markets in the United States, and around the world, the fragrance market is shaped by celebrity and globally-recognizable designer names. Elizabeth Taylor was the first celebrity to create her own line of beauty fragrances. The success of this commercial move has continued despite her death in 2011, with Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds commanding the largest sales dollar share of the women’s perfume market in 2015. This market presence saw Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds outsell its closest competitor, Viva La Juicy, by more than 10 million U.S. dollars in 2015.
The appeals of celebrity and luxury have helped fragrances gain a significant presence in the culture of the United States. As of March 2015, 96 percent of women in the United States stated they wore cologne and/or perfume, with 74 percent doing so daily. Such consumer behavior means that perfume and cologne retailers in the United States have a broad target market available. The luxury of having a fragrance on-hand or available to consumers at all times therefore does not necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg. The growth of online retailing now means that price competition among fragrance retailers in the United States has intensified. According to a 2015 consumer survey, 95 percent of consumers considered getting the best price as an important factor when shopping online for fragrances. Nevertheless, a portion of affluent consumers are still drawn to the appeal of exclusivity and expensive luxury when it comes to their spending habits.
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