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EXCLUSIVE: Firmenich Partners With Beauty Retailer Harmay in China

Each group is to leverage its respective capabilities to bolster developments of new fragrance brands, concepts, experiences and models.

PARIS — Swiss fragrance and flavors supplier Firmenich is delving deeper into China, with a new partnership with Chinese beauty retailer Harmay.

The groups plan to work together to jointly develop the fine fragrance category in China by leveraging their respective capabilities to bolster the development of new fragrance brands, concepts, experiences and models, according to Firmenich.

Harmay was founded in 2008 as a Chinese beauty e-tailer from TaoBao. More recently it has begun opening offline stores, too, in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. Those stores sell premium beauty, skin care, fragrance and lifestyle products, and have a warehouse vibe and a strong art component, garnering a strong following among Generation Z consumers.

“As the world leader in fine fragrance, Firmenich is focused on leading the transformation of this industry and creating trends to future-proof the business,” said Ilaria Resta, president, global perfumery, at Firmenich. “After more than 30 years of successful operations in China, this partnership with Harmay serves as a significant enhancement to our capabilities in China and fortifies our ambitions as the partner of choice in the Chinese market.”

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“China is projected to be the new frontier of the global fine fragrance market, with many local brands emerging and a significant increasing usage among consumers, especially with Gen Z,” said Jason Ju, a cofounder of Harmony.

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And that market is burgeoning. Over the next five years Mintel predicts China’s fragrance industry will grow at a compound annual rate of 17 percent, with market sales reaching 15.44 billion renminbi, or $2.43 billion, by 2025.

“We are honored to play a key role in propelling this growth with the synergies between Harmay and Firmenich,” continued Ju. “We hope this inspires even greater innovations and creations for the industry.”

“Thanks to this strategic partnership with Harmay we are joining forces to incubate brands of tomorrow and leverage our mutual capabilities in consumer insights, digital, creativity and art of perfumery,” said Olivier Viejo, head of fine fragrance at Firmenich China. “This will pave the way for more growth in the fine fragrance industry both within China and globally.”

Firmenich in 2019 established an atelier in China that offered a business model specifically giving access to fine fragrance capabilities in one place for local and international customers. Then in September 2021, the supplier debuted its new Studio Guangzhou, which enables it to deliver a diverse range of benefits to a wider consumer base.

For more, see:

Firmenich Growing Renewable Ingredients Production Capacity

Firmenich Sales Pick Up Pace in Second Half

Ilaria Resta Talks the Future of Fragrance