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The Real Deal - The Power Of Top Designer Perfumes
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The Real Deal - The Power Of Top Designer Perfumes

Couture clothing is not the main source of income for leading fashion houses, even though thousands of hours are dedicated to creating a runway collection. A couture show can tally up to £2 million, which the UK Daily Mail reported was the cost for Dior’s 60th birthday collection, held at the Palace of Versailles. Fashion houses such as Dior, Armani and Valentino utilize these events to build up brand recognition and gain worldwide publicity, which in turn propels demand and attention to their ready to wear, accessories such as bags and sunglasses, beauty products and fragrances.

The top designer perfumes from fashion houses such as Chanel and Prada don’t come cheap but they are a luxury item that most people are still prepared to put their hands in their pockets for. Designer clothing and accessories like a Hermes Birkin bag or a Balenciaga jacket may be out of most peoples financial reach, so fashionistas have been known to succumb to buying replicas to keep up with the trends, Yet consumers are more likely to purchase the real thing when it comes to fragrance. Fakes just don’t seem to make the cut.

in 2010 Leffingwell & Associates estimated that the fragrance industry ‘was remarkably successful with some of the largest year-to-year gains in recent years’, estimating an approximate 10% growth from 2009. Yet, Chanel is the only fashion designer to have its own perfume factory; many of the top designer perfumes have their fragrances made under license by large perfume and beauty corporations. The designer fragrance industry is so profitable that the French Government reported that a bottle of Chanel No 5 is sold every 30 seconds and sales are calculated to be over US$100 million annually.

Coco Chanel was the first fashion designer to produce a perfume, Chanel No.5, 1921. It took only a few years for other French designers to follow suit in producing their own perfume lines, Jean Patou released ‘Amour Amour’ in 1925 and the House of Lanvin launched ‘My Sin’ in 1927. Today, virtually every fashion designer has their own fragrance including Issey Miyake, Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Donna Karen, Oscar de la Renta, Pucci, Valentino and Vera Wang, to name just a few of the top designer perfumes.

Traditionally fragrances were signatures to either the fashion or the perfume houses and new releases were spasmodic as users of the fragrances had a brand loyalty. The signature fragrances became synonymous not only to the producers but also to the wearer of the perfume. As the fragrance market became more lucrative, designers inevitably applied the laws of fashion releasing fragrances seasonally with limited editions. The new releases enabled companies to keep up with trends, consumers need for change and the boast of sales during peak buying periods.

There are seemingly countless new perfumes and as the profits of making the top designer perfumes rolls in, new designers are expected to join the list. While they say that every woman has to have a ‘little black dress’ many would argue that it is the sweet smell of perfume that is the now the essential luxury.


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