Accademia del Profumo's president Luciano Bertinelli, presenting upcoming initiatives.

Accademia del Profumo, the association of cosmetics companies promoting the history of perfume, culture and art, shared last week its annual award finalists and main activities for next year, along with some data on the industry’s current situation.

According to Cosmetica Italia — the Italian association of cosmetic companies — the alcohol perfumery products have registered positive results in 2015, up 2.6 percent compared to the previous year, totaling 1.04 billion euros, or $1.11 billion at current exchange. In particular, niche fragrances represented 12.5 percent, equal to 130 million euros, or $139 million, on the whole category, which is symbolic of the growing perception consumers have towards these products.

In 2015, perfume shops have been the second biggest selling channel in Italy after the great distribution, totaling 1.96 billion euros, or $2.1 billion. Alcohol perfumery goods are still the best-selling category in perfume shops (38 percent), followed by skin-care products for the face (20 percent) and face makeup (9 percent).

As explained by Cosmetica Italia study center’s supervisor Gian Andrea Positano, 2016 has been very fruitful for new launches. “In the first 10 months, there have been 183 fragrances launched in Italy,” said Positano, underscoring how this marked a 4.6 percent increase compared to 2015. “Over 90 percent of these [launches] were new products,” he explained, adding that the remaining part is divided into scents with renovated packaging (7.2 percent) and relaunches of existing fragrances (0.5 percent). This data spotlights the hard competition in the industry, according to Positano. “In particular, we notice an increase in women’s scents (up 28.1 percent), with 128 new fragrances,” he said, underscoring how only 41 unisex essences were launched in Italy this year, while 618 have debuted in the rest of the world.

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Luciano Bertinelli, president of Accademia del Profumo, presented the finalists of the association’s annual award, which will be assigned on May 3.

“The recognition assigned every year…wants to honor the innovation and the creative offer of the new scents launched in Italy,” said Bertinelli. The categories involved and divided into men’s and women’s groups are best scent of the year; best olfactory creation; best Made in Italy fragrance; best packaging, and best communication. In addition to these, the non-gender best scent of a big company and best scent of artistic perfumery have been introduced for the first time to honor the top creations by companies with an extended business and great distribution and scent-focused firms with maximum 300 selling points, respectively.

The finalists for the best scent in the women’s category are Bulgari’s Rose Goldea; Chanel No. 5 L’Eau; Chloé Fleur de Parfum; Dior’s Poison Girl; Hugo Boss’ The Scent for Her; Michael Kors Wonderlust; Narciso Rodriguez’s Narciso Eau de Parfum Poudrée; Prada La Femme; Salvatore Ferragamo’s Signorina Misteriosa; Yves Saint Laurent’s Mon Paris. The men’s counterpart feature Bulgari Man Black Orient; Cartier’s L’Envol; Collistar’s Vetiver Forte; Giorgio Armani Code Profumo, Prada L’Homme; Roberto Cavalli Uomo; Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo; Trussardi Uomo The Red.

Bertinelli and the association are promoting a National Day of Perfume, expected to debut on March 21, as a symbolic day in conjunction with the vernal equinox. The event aims to create a bridge between consumers and the industry’s professionals through workshops, lectures, and in-store events in select retailers, among others, and the Accademia is also working on involving different institutions.

Another goal is to continue the traveling olfactory itinerary. Previously held in Milan and Florence, drawing over 1,300 visitors, the format will be replicated in 2017 in the historic botanical gardens of Padua and Rome, running June 16-18 and Sept. 21-24, respectively.

In 2017, the Italian association will also collaborate with Cosmoprof for it’s 50th edition to realize “The Perfume Factory,” an installation showcasing the entire supply chain of a fragrance production, which will be held in the fair’s new Cosmoprime area, running March 16-19.

To celebrate Cosmoprof’s milestone, Accademia del Profumo produced a special, limited-edition scent, called “50.” Coordinated by the nose Luca Maffei, all the most prominent fragrance houses contributed to the creation of the essence, including IFF, Firmenich, Drom, Symrise, among others. Bertinelli emphasized how important it was to gather these different companies, while Maffei stressed how this was an unprecedented team work. Available in 10,000 pieces, the scent is a classic, unisex cologne featuring Florentine iris, Sicilian yellow tangerine and ginger, among other Italian ingredients.

Rose, patchouli and exotic themes emerged as the main trends in perfumery in 2016, according to Beautystreams, an American Paris-based company focusing on trend analysis. Another trend was adding perfumes in jewelry. Examples include Armida Touch’s bracelets or Scento’s necklaces. In 2017, the trend is “eco-luxury,” in reference to all the luxury products realized with organic and ecological ingredients, emphasizing sustainability as a real must.