Jing Daily’s latest news report titled “How Niche Fragrances are Winning Over Young Chinese Consumers” is available for purchase on our Reports page. This 25-page primer sheds light on China’s emerging niche fragrance market, one of the fastest growing premium categories with great untapped potential. Get your copy of the report here.
During the last 618 online shopping festival in June 2021, sales of niche fragrances on Tmall platforms jumped around 200% year-on-year, according to Alibaba. When it debuted in 618, Puig-owned L’Artisan Parfumeur sold over RMB 3 million ($462,200) of its popular perfume Passage d’Enfer and became the best-selling niche perfume brand. on Tmall Global.
Judging from social media posts and daigou listings, the brand had developed a small but devoted following even before joining Tmall Global in August 2020. Since Chinese consumers still cannot travel overseas , they continued to seek imported products from verified sellers. , and the appearance of a brand on Tmall Global can provide greater assurance of timely delivery of genuine products than independent sellers.
At the time of the launch of L’Artisan Parfumeur on Tmall Global, a creator by the name of Sandy-Z posted a video featuring Passage d’Enfer which went viral on the Bilibili youth platform. Sandy-Z specializes in producing content that shows her using paint to customize perfume bottles, and Passage d’Enfer has been her most-watched piece with over 306,000 views at the time of this writing. Sandy-Z’s work also highlights another avenue for building brand awareness by appealing to overlapping niche interests, such as art and design, which are popular among Chinese youth.
The Qixi Festival is one of the many romantic festivals observed in China. In addition to Western Valentine’s Day and the relatively new May 20 “520” (which sounds like “I love you” in Mandarin), Qixi, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, is the most traditional , based on a legend of two lovers who could only meet on one day of the year.
Holidays such as Qixi offer exciting opportunities for foreign perfume brands to create special offers for Chinese consumers. Following its launch on Tmall Global in April 2021, Maison Margiela’s Replica brand (which is considered niche despite being licensed by L’Oréal) launched an affordable RMB299 ($46) gift set of ten sample-size fragrances for Qixi which has become one of its best sellers during the holidays.
“Replica is an interesting scent to have done so well, but it works,” said Allie Rooke of Clean Beauty Asia. “Again, consumers are looking for neutral products that don’t have such a feminine style. They choose perfumes that are not strong and not very sweet… Perfumes with more personality.
Creating romantic Qixi Festival product associations in a creative way can also be used to attract attention. In 2019, the Japanese condom brand Okamoto released 1,000 gift sets8 combining condoms and perfumes around three flagship products: 001, 002 and 003, which attracted a lot of media and consumer attention.
Penhaligon’s, another perfume brand under Puig, entered China via Tmall Global in October 2019, and in August 2020, it topped the list of Tmall Global’s imported niche perfumes preferred by young shoppers during the Qixi Festival. Based on this initial success, Penhaligon’s expanded its marketing investment to secure a spot on Li Jiaqi’s live beauty shows in April 2021.
Purchase your copy of “How Niche Fragrances are Winning Over Young Chinese Consumers” on our Reports page.