LONDON — Scents made a splash for A.S. Watson’s luxury division over the holidays. The Hong Kong-based firm said 19 million bottles of fragrance and 7.4 million gift sets were sold in its Marionnaud, ICI Paris XL and The Perfume Shop stores in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

This story first appeared in the January 21, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Combined, the chains count 1,600 doors in 15 European markets.

“Despite the tough economic climate across Europe, it seems that customers still wanted to splash out this Christmas,” stated a spokeswoman for A.S. Watson. “Our total sales growth in the Christmas month was plus 2 percent versus the same month in 2008. For the week of Christmas itself, we were pleased to see growth at plus 14 percent year-on-year. Nearly every customer put two or three bottles of fragrance plus a gift set in her or his shopping basket. Although skin care sales are traditionally slower during the festive season, we were also pleased to see that customers purchased a skin care product in 75 percent of total transactions.”

Among top-selling fragrance brands for women were Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel, while Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier were winners for men, according to A.S. Watson.

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