Demand for Perfume Rises as Consumers Drop Masks

  • By Choi Bo-yun

    April 20, 2022 08:38

    Demand for perfume is increasing in Korea after almost two years of mandatory masking reduced their sensory universe.

    New brands are capturing hearts of conservative Korean consumers as well, such as French brand Ormaie, vegan brand 100Bon and bespoke perfume maker Maison 21G.

    France's Diptyque has just opened a flagship store in the trendy Garosugil area of Gangnam. The 260 sq.m store is the brand's biggest shop in the world and has drawn 16,500 customers since its soft opening.

    University student Yoon Ja-young said, "I think I've been yearning for sweet scents after wearing a mask for two years." 

    A customer smells a perfume in the newly opened Diptyque flagship store in Seoul.

    According to market researcher Euromonitor, the Korean market for perfumes is expected to surpass W650 billion next year, up from W500 billion in 2015 (US$1=W1,238).

    Sales of niche brands on the online shopping mall SI Village soared 107.8 percent from last year and a whopping 1,023 percent compared to 2019.

    This may be a worldwide trend. Forbes magazine recently claimed that since loss of smell is one widely reported COVID-19 symptom, "the consumer began to think more about scents and their sense of smell. They wanted scents that could change their mood, or promote a feeling of well-being or help them relax." 

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