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Parfums de Marly on a Steep Growth Trajectory

Sales growth at the niche French perfumery brand has largely been driven by the U.S. market and the success of its Delina fragrance franchise.

PARIS — Parfums de Marly, the prestige French perfumery brand nodding to 18th-century France, has multiplied its sales 2.6 times in three years, thanks largely to its business in the U.S. and the success of its Delina fragrance franchise.

“Now the U.S. is about 35 percent of our turnover and growing really fast,” said Julien Sausset, chief executive officer of the brand, which he said is a good fit for that market in terms of storytelling and quality of the juices.

The privately held fragrance label was started in 2009 by Julien Sprecher and is inspired by Louis XV, his passion for horses and the Marly castle dedicated to their wellbeing. Sprecher, who owns the brand with another partner and is its chairman and creative director, conceives all of the fragrances.

The Delina scent, launched in 2017, put Parfums de Marly on the map of feminine fragrances.

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Delina La Rosée
Delina La Rosée Courtesy of Parfums de Marly

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“When Delina was released, it had a bit of a slow start, but it is now a must-have everywhere in the niche market,” said Sausset, of the fragrance that’s subsequently been expanded into a franchise with other scents and ancillaries, such as a body cream and hair mist.

A recent entrant into Parfums de Marly’s portfolio includes Delina La Rosée, targeting younger consumers, plus Pegasus Exclusive and Greenley.

There are now 28 Parfums de Marly fragrances, of which 20 are for men.

“We’re really alternating between very niche products, meant for a very niche target audience of specialists, and juices that are a little bit more open to the public,” said Sausset, adding that duality has proven to be a successful strategy.

So, too, has the brand’s ability to balance tradition and modernity, and the broadening of Parfums de Marly’s geographic reach, he said.

It entered the U.S. in 2018, and is now sold in Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, with a distribution totaling about 100 department store doors there. Globally, Parfums de Marly is in 1,000 points of sale in 80 countries.

Since April 2020, the brand has run its own subsidiary in the U.K., and more recently, it launched in Asia — starting with South Korea and China, with distributors Bluebell and Eternal, respectively.

As of November, the U.S. became Parfums de Marly’s number-one market, followed by Europe, with record growth in Germany. The U.K. is the brand’s second-largest European country, followed by Russia and France.

It has three owned freestanding stores: in New York’s Meatpacking District, on Rue Cambon in Paris and in Dubai Mall. Still, Parfums de Marly’s development strategy remains focused on a department store model.

Its business has been growing about 40 percent on an annual basis over the past two years. Parfums de Marly executives wouldn’t discuss sales, but industry sources estimate the brand generated more than 130 million euros in retail revenues in 2020.

In the digital space, it has notched up 89,600 Instagram followers and saw its online business accelerate during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, through, sales multiplied fourfold, closing the year at 2 million euros.

Overall, Parfums de Marly saw a dip in business in April and May 2020, but otherwise has been back on a growth track.

Opening the Asian market is a major focus of the brand today. More fragrances will be added to its portfolio, including a new men’s scent, and there’s fine-tuning of the company’s social responsibility strategy. Part of that will entail new, more eco-friendly packaging and supporting the renovation of some historic monuments in France.

“For the coming year, we’re betting on a plus-40 percent growth,” said Sausset, adding the U.S. and Asia have enormous potential.

Also in 2021, the brand will open 10 points of sale in some major cities of Mainland China, where it’s just launched on Tmall.

For more, see:

Parfums de Marly Refreshes Retail Units, Plots New Markets

Harvey Nichols to Redesign Its Fragrance Offering, With the Fragrance Room

The Fragrance Foundation Reveals Fragrance Day Plans