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Niche Fragrance Brand Amouage Expands Into the U.S.

The Oman-based company is set to open with brick-and-mortar partners through 2023.

Luxury ultra-niche fragrance house Amouage is expanding into U.S. retailers.

The brand has plans to launch at retail stores across the U.S. through 2023, including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, where select, top-selling fragrances will be available. In June, the brand founded its direct subsidiary in the U.S. called Amouage Americas, which has an office in New York. They have also signed distributor agreements with key markets globally including China. 

Retail is nothing new for the Oman-based brand founded in 1983 by Sayyid Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, a member of the Omani royal family. Amouage has 12 stand-alone stores and is available in around 1,000 department stores, airports and perfumeries across 80 countries. Amouage’s line includes more than 50 perfumes, as well as bath and body products and home scents. The brand’s top sellers for women include Honour, Dia, Epic, Love Tuberose and Love Blossom. Men’s most popular scents include Interlude Black Iris, Reflection, Interlude, Epic and Jubilation XXV. Amouage also offers several unisex scents of which the bestsellers are Rose Incense, Opus V, Opus XI, Opus VII and Opus VI. 

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In addition to the brand’s expansion into the U.S., Amouage is working to innovate in the fragrance industry. For example, exploring higher oil concentrations and longer aging time. The brand’s sold-out scent Interlude 53 has an oil concentration of 53 percent and ages for six months in the brand’s Muscat factory. It costs $480.

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Amouage chief executive officer Marco Parsiegla noted sustainability is a major pillar of the company, and its vertical integration model has allowed it to minimize its footprint. 

“We actually own the process vertically,” said Parsiegla. “We are not outsourcing filling to somebody. We actually brought everything back to Oman, back to our maison where everything is happening.” Amouage’s Muscat-based factory is open for visitors to experience ingredient maceration, bottling, packaging and more. 

The brand evokes Arabian culture, noted chief experience officer Renaud Salmon. The name “Amouage” is a mash-up of the French word for love, “amour,” and the Arabic word for “waves.” Salmon explained Amouage reflects “the wave of love.” The Swarovski-studded bottle design features a curvature on each side mimicking a wave and the emblem employs rock roses, both a nod to Amouage’s Omani roots. 

“The project of the house was actually started to bring the tradition and the culture of fragrance making and wearing from the region to the world,” said Parsiegla. 

The scents are created using traditional Middle Eastern ingredients, primarily ambergris, rock roses and frankincense; it is said the frankincense in Oman is the best in the world. 

Amouage executives declined to discuss sales, but industry sources estimate Amouage’s global sales will be $150 million in 2021, making it one of the largest players in the ultra-niche fragrance segment. The brand expects the U.S. to make up one-third of its business in the future.

During July, Amouage launched on and brick-and-mortar stores at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. The brand has several store openings scheduled through 2023 as part of its retail expansion plan. 

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