Inter Parfums’ Jean Madar Has Billion-Dollar Ambitions – WWD

Inter Parfums’ Jean Madar Has Billion-Dollar Ambitions – WWD
Inter Parfums’ Jean Madar Has Billion-Dollar Ambitions – WWD

For Jean Madar, the street to $1 billion is paved in fragrance.

The chairman, chief govt officer and cofounder of Inter Parfums Inc. has led the corporate to vital progress over the previous two years, capitalizing on the growth in perfume with licenses together with Montblanc, Coach and Jimmy Choo, and snapping up a handful of latest manufacturers within the course of.

In 2020, the corporate hit $539 million in internet gross sales; 2021 noticed a soar to $879.5 million, zooming previous pre-pandemic ranges. Inter Parfums raised steerage for the 12 months to $1.08 billion following a larger-than-expected swell in the course of the vacation season, and anticipates $1.15 billion in gross sales for 2023.

The firm helps gasoline a renaissance within the perfume enterprise, because of an method that prizes creativity and olfactive originality when it comes to product growth, and a world distribution infrastructure that encompasses key channels around the globe.

The technique is working. In 2021, Montblanc, Coach, Jimmy Choo and Guess, the corporate’s 4 largest manufacturers, grew 46 %, 45 %, 61 % and 83 %, respectively, a efficiency mirrored in Inter Parfums’ share value, up 13 % prior to now 12 months to $110.68 at press time.

Inter Parfum’s progress outpaces the competitors in a class that’s hovering. For the third quarter of 2022, U.S. status scent gross sales elevated 11 % to $1.3 billion, based on the NPD Group, largely pushed by brick-and-mortar revenues. Since the pandemic, designer fragrances and higher-priced assortment fragrances have additionally been engines of progress.

“The perfume phase has seen extraordinary progress, larger than skincare and make-up. The previous 18 to 24 months have been the time for perfume, and that is going to proceed,” mentioned Madar, throughout a wide-ranging interview in his midtown Manhattan workplace. “Fragrance was once the slowest of these three, with skincare booming in China and make-up booming in Europe.”

That is not the case.

“It has by no means been at this stage,” continued Madar, who based Inter Parfums in 1982 and took it public in 1988. “It’s the primary time we’ve reached such a stage — not simply our enterprise, however the phase of the business. It’s worldwide, actually within the U.S. and in Europe, and now it’s in China.

“If we didn’t have lockdowns there, that enterprise could be booming,” mentioned the manager. “Every 12 months, now we have 100 million new clients in China, discovering the world of perfume, and now we have unbelievable manufacturers for them, like Ferragamo and Anna Sui.”

Inter Parfums


Geographically, Inter Parfums is properly diversified because of a portfolio of 24 manufacturers that permits it to enchantment to large swathes of customers around the globe. In 2021, North America accounted for $354.1 million of gross sales; Europe, $202 million; and Asia, $128 million.

Inter Parfums’ core enterprise includes 4 key manufacturers, every with $150 million to $200 million in internet gross sales yearly — Montblanc, Jimmy Choo, Coach and Guess.

While these names anchor its enterprise, a slew of rising manufacturers diversifies its portfolio throughout value factors and geographies, together with Abercrombie & Fitch, Boucheron, Dunhill, Emanuel Ungaro, Graff, Hollister, Karl Lagerfeld, Kate Spade, Lanvin, MCM, Moncler, Oscar de la Renta, Rochas, S. T. Dupont and Van Cleef and Arpels.

In October 2021, the corporate acquired the Salvatore Ferragamo perfume license, and Madar mentioned that model has already grown 45 % in its first 12 months below his purview. Most not too long ago, Inter Parfums acquired the license for Donna Karan and DKNY fragrances after the Estée Lauder Cos. wound down its designer perfume division, and picked up Lacoste after that model was spun off by Coty Inc. That deal included an 80 million euro entry charge.

Madar anticipates that DKNY will develop right into a fifth pillar for the corporate, estimating that it’ll attain $150 million in gross sales within the subsequent 12 to 24 months. “We have massive ambitions for DKNY,” he mentioned.

Similarly, the Ferragamo acquisition hasn’t simply added gross sales. It additionally led to Inter Parfums opening its first workplaces in Florence, Italy, with a headcount of round 50 staff. “We employed extra individuals, and we predict we will have extra Italian manufacturers as a result of we now have that presence and manufacturing in Italy,” mentioned Madar.

Analysts agree that Madar’s diversification technique has been a profitable one. “In addition to the market setting, the corporate has been profitable in including totally different manufacturers to their portfolio. That’s helped them develop at a sooner fee,” mentioned Hamed Khorsand, analyst and founding father of BWS Financial. “They’ve proven their capacity to focus straight on the precise model, promote it properly, distribute it properly, and create new scents the client likes. They’ve additionally proven their capacity to get the gross sales of a model to enhance.”

Retailers laud Inter Parfums’ deal with storytelling. “Inter Parfums continues to capitalize on its place as a mid-sized magnificence firm. This place offers them agility in our partnership for each product innovation and new advertising techniques and that is all pushed by shopper insights and information,” mentioned Jennifer Capuano, vp of fragrances at Macy’s Inc. “Anchored by the pillar manufacturers, Coach and Jimmy Choo, the Inter Parfums crew has centered on storytelling and animation in our shops.”

Madar applies a hands-on method to product growth, irrespective of the scale of the enterprise. “Our job is to customise every creation. We can’t take one bottle and say it’ll work for everybody,” he mentioned. “Everything is custom-made, we don’t recycle concepts. If we don’t like a growth, we’ll throw it within the rubbish and begin once more. If we’re not prepared, we delay a launch.”

The firm focuses on 4 key tenets for a profitable launch, though, because the CEO laughs, “it additionally takes just a little little bit of luck.”

“What works throughout the portfolio is the right equation between the model, the packaging, the juice and the promoting,” Madar mentioned. “Sometimes the model is of very excessive curiosity, and typically much less. It’s our job to make it occur.”

Licensors applaud that method. “[Madar] is deeply concerned in all issues that go on in our enterprise; it feels very very similar to a small firm, regardless of the very fact it’s under no circumstances a small firm,” mentioned Alex Bolen, chief govt officer of Oscar de la Renta, of his relationship with Inter Parfums. “Jean is in virtually all the conferences I attend, each as a inventive matter and a enterprise matter. He brings a really distinctive method that’s each creative and industrial, and he has a really sturdy opinion on the event of fragrances.”

The reasoning behind that model of collaboration, Madar mentioned, is easy. “Think of us like a kitchen: we let the style homes into the kitchen to work with us. This makes the distinction between us and the very giant worldwide corporations,” he continued. “We work collectively, and we welcome [the brands in], as a result of who is aware of higher than them who they’re? Our measurement permits us to do this.”

Inter Parfum’s measurement additionally permits it to be agile and responsive. “They’re beating our inside plans for gross sales, and it’s actually, actually early stage,” mentioned Morris Goldfarb, chairman and CEO of G-III. “They’ve acquired aggressive adjustments deliberate for this coming 12 months with Karl Lagerfeld, with the Met Gala being in his honor, and a movie deliberate for the next 12 months.

“Inter Parfums is dedicated to as aggressive of promoting as we’re,” mentioned Goldfarb.

The advertising piece is vital, on condition that G-III’s perfume enterprise additionally offers its manufacturers international attain. “From an financial viewpoint, it’s our largest license, nevertheless it’s a broad vary of venues that make a model related,” he mentioned. “We’re far more international due to the interface with perfume in customers’ minds and visible contact, whether or not it’s duty-free shops or elsewhere on this planet.”

Spinning manufacturers into its international flywheel of distribution can be key to its progress during the last two years.

“They perceive what it means for distribution of perfume the world over, and that there’s variations in Europe versus malls within the U.S. Our China and Asia markets for perfume are simply blowing up,” mentioned Todd Kahn, CEO and model president of Coach. “Every single one in all our fragrances has been profitable. They have actually grown our enterprise for magnificence and for us, it’s an extension of the approach to life that Coach is… you don’t really feel any distinction between the licensor and licensee, they’re a part of the household, and so they’re extremely educated in regards to the magnificence enterprise globally.”

Indeed, Madar’s radar is finely tuned relating to choosing up new licenses. “What we search for to start with is title recognition, however that alone just isn’t sufficient,” he mentioned. “Coca Cola is possibly essentially the most acknowledged title, however does it imply individuals would love a perfume from them? There additionally needs to be desirability.”

While Madar is optimistic that the perfume class will keep its momentum within the 12 months forward, he’s additionally treading rigorously when it comes to new licenses. “The price of launching a brand new perfume as we speak is astronomical — tens of thousands and thousands [of dollars]. We need to watch out,” he mentioned. “You want to review and study that the product you’re coming with is correct vis-à-vis the distribution, the model.”

And regardless of seeing e-commerce gross sales multiply tenfold in the course of the pandemic, he’s most bullish on brick-and-mortar. “I consider in brick-and-mortar as a result of it’s an expertise, and we’ve put a lot effort into creating this theater,” he mentioned. “Even when you will have nice digital belongings for e-commerce, the bodily contact in retailer is essential. It’s again and it’s again sturdy, and we gained’t improve the quantity of doorways.”

Price factors have additionally elevated. “For fragrances a few years in the past, it was troublesome to go above $100. Now, for a bigger measurement, below $100 could be an exception,” Madar mentioned. “It’s not solely due to inflation, it’s due to positioning, and now we have to watch out to not lose clients, so we add smaller sizes with democratic costs. For Graff, $50 wouldn’t make a distinction to the patron, however for Guess, $10 would make a giant distinction.”

As with different classes in magnificence, clients are extra educated than ever. “I used to be at Macy’s, checking on the brand new launch of Oscar de la Renta, and a buyer requested me the place the lavender within the juice got here from,” mentioned Madar, noting the identical dynamic exists within the Middle East and Europe. “These are questions that we’ve by no means had earlier than.”

Despite altering market dynamics, success nonetheless boils all the way down to the fundamentals which have enabled the corporate to thrive: olfactive originality. “Philippe [Benacin], my accomplice, and I agreed we gained’t do worldwide testing on our fragrances. We don’t wish to create by committee,” mentioned Madar.

“People need the distinction — they wish to be totally different. We’re going to choose the perfume that has extra character, extra signature, that possibly is tougher,” he continued. “Maybe some persons are like, ‘Oh my God, I hate it!’, however that’s a very good signal. The stakes are increased, and it’s very harmful to remain within the consolation zone.”

All-Star Lineup

For the 9 months ending Sept. 30, 2022, Inter-Parfums’ 4 high manufacturers comprised 63 % of general enterprise. Here, a breakdown of every one.


Montblanc Legend Eau de Toilette

Percentage of general enterprise: 19%

2022 Jan.-Sept. gross sales (est.): $147.4 million

2021 Annual Net Sales: $168.2 million

Top performing pillar: Legend Eau de Toilette

On Deck for 2023: Montblanc Explorer extension

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo I Want Choo Eau de Parfum

Percentage of general enterprise: 18%

2022 Jan.-Sept. gross sales (est.): $139.7 million

2021 Annual Net Sales: $154.9 million

Top performing pillar: I Want Choo Eau de Parfum, Man Aqua

On Deck for 2023: Jimmy Choo Signature extension


Coach Floral Eau de Parfum

Percentage of general enterprise: 15%

2022 Jan.-Sept. gross sales (est.): $116.4 million

2021 Annual Net Sales: $136.8 million

Top Performing Pillars: Coach Floral Eau de Parfum, Coach for Men Eau de Toilette

On Deck for 2023: Coach Man extension


Guess Uomo Eau de Toilette

Photo courtesy of Inter Parfums, Inc.

Percentage of general enterprise: 11%

2022 Jan.-Sept. gross sales (est.): $85.4 million

2021 Annual Net Sales: $101.9 million

Top Performing Pillar: Bella Vita Eau de Parfum, Uomo Eau de Toilette

On Deck for 2023: Uomo extension

Recommended For You

About the Author: Jessica