The sales of cosmetic products are rising in China, especially online! Indeed, the consumers, especially the young ones, pay more and more attention to their health and are more interested in cosmetics.

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Why the perfumes’ market is booming in China

The perfumes attract more and more Chinese people. Bill Brace, vice-president of the development operations of the global market of P&G Prestige said that the market for perfumes experienced difficulties to develop in China because of the historical lake of perfumes in the Chinese empire. We thus notice an increase in this market.

Indeed, the study office Euromonitor has currently published a report showing an increase of 12% of the perfumes’ sales in China in 2011, against an increase of 8% in 2010. Bill Brace is especially interested in the youngest Chinese consumers. He thinks it is very important to study the utilization of perfumes in the education.

Cosmetics but especially perfumes are more and more daily used by the Chinese. Those young consumers tend to associate perfume with “reasonable luxury”. They seem to be able to buy this type of luxury product and create value for them.


Encouraging Sign of growth


A new trend of Chinese people participates in the growth of the perfumes’ market: the donation. Indeed, Chinese people offer more and more perfumes as gifts. Lui Meng Chow of Mintel says that it is frequent that a man buys a perfume to offer to his wife. On the contrary, women are used to buying perfumes for their own consumption. A donation is a good way to influence consumers to use the perfumes regularly.

However, the use of perfumes is just starting. Indeed, Philippe Paris Paparella, a perfume’s expert, based on Shanghai for Symrise, an international major who produces flavors and perfumes, highlights that cosmetics were in fact illegal during the Cultural Revolution.

Perfumes are not part of the Chinese habits. That’s why the personal or emotional attachment that we find in Occident, where there are lots of people which remind their perfume because it was held by their mother or grandmother, does not have any impact.

The solution for Paris-Paparella would be to create, today, an attachment in young people.

This lack of history implies a big delay to catch for the perfumes’ market in China. The company Mintel has the project to reach almost 750 millions of dollars in terms of sales in China.  This number regroups expenses that are 20 times inferior to the US market and 60 times inferior to the UK market.

P&G notices a real potential concerning the market of young Chinese consumers. Today, less than 1% of the Chinese population use perfumes in comparison with 60% in Occidental Europe or in the US. The motivation of P&G is the potential and the enormous space that represents the Chinese market as Japan and Korea ones.

The Chinese predilections tend toward international luxury trends like Chanel, Dior and Lancôme elected, in 2011, as the most popular brands of perfumes. The smell of the perfume stays in the second position.

Chinese consumers prefer the slight perfumes. In the flagship perfumes, we can see the Davidoff perfume for men, Cool Water. Prada, her, fights with her “Eau de Parfum Prada” because of the strong smell. The light version, Prada Tendre, was more appreciated by the consumers.


Perfume for men in China


Perfume for men tends to increase in the next few years.  Masculine perfumes would have increased by 20% between 2008 and 2011, contrary to the feminine ones that have increased by 10% according to Mintel.


In China, the word perfume is often associated with feminine connotations (according to men consumers). Nevertheless, the popularity of many Japanese and Korean famous people through the media, admit the masculine perception.



We notice that young masculine consumers forget their conservative traditions and prefer the individual expression through this concept.

This trend implied lots of companies to launch specific brands for men (toiletries) despite the feminine connotation.

The history of perfume in China means that an educational marketing campaign is a key to success.

Consumers stay curious about perfumes.

Concerning perfume companies, we advise them to use all the communication means (public relations, stores pieces of advice, online…) in order to maximize the visibility of their brands and satisfy the consumers’ desire.


Marketing China