The Wall Street Journal has an article today on the doldrums of the perfume business. Apparently sales are down, the launch of new fragrance lines are up and many are predicting that the sky is falling on this lucrative business. The article posits that more than 200 new scents came out in 2007 and shelf space and more importantly consumer mind/nose share is limited for all of these new brands. One customer at Sephora told the Wall Street Journal writer that all the new scents are simply too similar. One of the possible answers to this problem may be that luxury designers will take their brands upscale and charge higher prices.
While that sounds counterintuitive for a flagging industry, it may be the answer that can save scents like Cinema (from YSL) and Hermessence (from Hermes).