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EXCLUSIVE: Puig and Tmall Team to Raise Awareness of Fragrance in China

Puig’s Scent Visualizer is launching on the Chinese e-commerce platform.

PARIS – Puig and Tmall have teamed together with China’s fragrance consumers in mind.

The Spanish beauty and fashion company is officially launching its Scent Visualizer on the Chinese e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba Group. The technology allows people to “see” fragrance using a database of 1,400 photographs of raw olfactive materials found in perfumery. That is expected to help people find new fragrances, as the market is poised for strong ongoing growth.

Today, only 5 percent of people in China wear fragrance, according to the BCG 2022 report cited in a joint Puig and Tmall release. The groups said Tmall has identified fragrance — and particularly niche fragrance — as a strategic growth opportunity.

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The Scent Visualizer, in which a large image corresponds to a dominant ingredient and an ingredient on a black background is intense, is anchored to WikiParfum. That’s a digital brand-agnostic fragrance shopping and gifting tool that gives personalized recommendations from a selection of 21,500 scents.

The Chinese fragrance market is due to keep picking up pace. Between 2015 and 2020, it posted a compound annual growth rate of almost 15 percent. During the next five years, the increase is expected to exceed 22 percent, or three times the rate of the global fragrance market, according to the Kantar and Eternal Fragrance Report 2021.

Educating consumers is an important part of building the fragrance market in China, according to Puig and Tmall.

Tmall has piloted the Scent Visualizer, including 25 well-known international brands, for seven weeks. The results show that “just by adding a simple picture for each perfume, brands’ online gross merchandize volume (GMV) increased by 5 percent on average,” Puig and Tmall said.

Further, both the conversion rate and average transaction value were improved, “as consumers made purchase decisions more quickly when they could ‘read’ the scent and were willing to pay more to appreciate the precious ingredients when those were displayed in a clear and coherent way across brands they like,” said Puig.

To develop WikiParfum, Puig collaborated with “Fragrances of the World,” the largest independent guide to fragrance classification, which was created in 1984 by perfume authority and historian Michael Edwards.

Tmall in the near term plans to launch the Fragrance Finder, a Scent Visualizer-powered tool to help choose specific fragrance brands and products, based on people’s ingredient, perfumer or mood preferences.

“We are happy to share our expertise and digital ecosystem of technologies to introduce more shoppers to the pleasures of fragrance,” said Camila Tomas, Puig’s global innovation and new technologies vice president, in the statement.

“We have specially adapted the fragrance descriptions and visualizations to the Chinese consumer, by working hand-in-hand with Tmall, which has a very impressive consumer-centric and perfume-expert team,” she continued. “We expect this first phase to be the beginning of a long-term collaboration, which will elevate the fragrance category for China’s fragrance lovers.”

“As China’s fragrance market continues to grow, there is a tremendous interest from Chinese consumers in finding out about new fragrances, as well as buying their favorite scents,” said Bao Ling, fragrance category director at Tmall.