Premium Beauty News - What is your view on the evolution of the perfume market?
Sylvaine Delacourte - I think customers feel a little lost today, with the multiplication of flankers in the selective network and the proliferation of brands in niche perfumery. If the latter used to offer a creative revival, in turn, most of what it now produces is déjà vu – or unwearable products. If it has become difficult for the public to know where to start, brands are also struggling to stand out in this saturated landscape. In fact, they need to innovate and differentiate themselves by offering this little extra, like gifts, or hosting workshops or conferences, which help raise consumer awareness through a new experience. The more you educate customers, the better they can identify quality. To me, that is where niche perfumery can play a role. It needs to recreate emotion, before reviving a name.
Premium Beauty News - What are consumer expectations today?
Sylvaine Delacourte - Just like in the food industry, the public is more and more eager to know what ingredients are used in perfumes. It is not a new phenomenon, as such, but it is intensified by the vegan movement. The advent of apps like Yuka exacerbates this trend. Given this increasingly demanding public, the industry will definitely be compelled to change formulation over the next few years. Cosmetics should be clean, in particular as regards animal well-being. Perfumes cannot escape the rule. If, tomorrow, a brand like mine wants to enrich its range with a perfumed milk, for example, it will have to be clean. We did not have to deal with this issue when I started, 22 years ago. It also highlights a certain curiosity for what lies behind the perfumery scene, especially since this sector was long surrounded with mystery. As soon as I started my blog (espritdeparfum.com), ten years ago, I chose an educational approach focused on raw materials. I am still developing it with my brand’s website. We need to communicate and educate people to the essences of perfumery as a way to renew the customer experience.
Premium Beauty News - What about distributors?
Sylvaine Delacourte - Distributors want us to be present for more closeness with the public. We need to be out there on the field: we are permanently contacted to host workshops and conferences in order to renew the customer experience. Then, ecology is another major challenge to which I already paid much attention when I created my brand in 2016. This issue has become essential to distributors: for example, they require recyclable packaging. Lastly, I would add that, generally speaking, we should now offer a service, beyond a mere product.
Premium Beauty News - How do you benefit from your experience in the industry?
Sylvaine Delacourte - I have a certain credibility, mainly with distributors, but also with the public, to a lesser extent. It is reassuring to come from one of the greatest perfume houses, like Guerlain. This experience also sharpened my perception, and being demanding is an advantage when you launch your own range.