Retail in Asia


How niche exactly is the niche perfume trend in Korea right now?

Niche perfume is leading the consumption trend targeting the MZ generation – a term widely used in Korea to describe the combination of Millennials and Generation Z. Due to the pandemic, the demand for perfume has increased for the past two years thanks to the “lipstick index” – previously explained in an interview with Sommelier du Parfum.

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According to Euromonitor, the Korean perfume market, which was valued at KRW 500 billion in 2015, is expected to exceed KRW 650 billion in 2023. Among which, premium perfume accounts for 90 percent of the total market, backed by the MZ generation.

Source: Liquids Perfume Bar

It is estimated that Liquids Perfume Bar, a French niche perfume select shop operated by Handsome, a fashion company under the Hyundai Department Store Group, has recorded a 60 percent increase in sales from customers between the ages of 20 and 30. With the growth potential of the niche perfume market in the future in mind, Handsome plans to expand its future Liquids Perfume Bar locations to about 10 by 2022 – compared with 5 offline locations now.

Shinsegae International is also reportedly developing a niche perfume brand of its own. With Diptyque, Byredo, and Santa Maria Novella as its mainstays, the South Korean department store giant has raised the proportion of niche perfumes to 80 percent in its imported cosmetics sales.

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As part of its bid to strengthen its competitiveness, LF (formerly known as LG Fashion) secured the domestic distribution rights of Jovoy, a French niche perfume specialty shop, debuting its product range online through LF Mall and landing on the shelves of Raum East’s physical locations in April.