‘Personalisation and craftsmanship’: Atelier Rebul aims to bring bespoke services to China when it expands offline
Co-CEO Nuket Filiba believes these two elements will be driving trends in the fragrance market, particularly in China.
“This is a service we offer in our heritage store in Turkey. We’re planning to bring that to China as well because that heritage and craftsmanship is very much appreciated there,” she told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.
Atelier Rebul traces its roots back to Istanbul, where French pharmacist Jean Cesar Rebul established a Parisian-styled pharmacy in 1895.
Through this venture, Rebul introduced cologne to Turkey. “We have been the authority and experts in scents since 1895,” Filiba said.
Three years ago, the company entered China through cross-border e-commerce. Filiba told us that since then, sales have been growing by around 50% every year.
Chinese consumers have responded to the brand’s storied past and fragrances like 1895, a light and refreshing citrusy perfume and one of Atelier Rebul’s signature scents.
The brand also credits its success in part to successful livestreaming collaborations with social media influencer Austin Li Jiaqi, which resulted in “thousands and thousands of dollars” in sales in just a matter of minutes, said Filiba.
The company’s next step is to break into the traditional retail market. “Atelier Rebul is becoming a well-known brand in China. We’ve been selling cross-border from Hong Kong and now we are going to enter the domestic market in 2023,” said Filiba.
Wider APAC expansion in the works
Today, the company has 51 standalone stores and more than 500 shop-in-shop locations in addition to a strong online presence. This is concentrated primarily in Europe and the Middle East.
Despite its storied past, Atelier Rebul is a relatively new label in Asia and the company is eager to introduce it to Asian beauty consumers.
“Our future focus is APAC. We just started selling in China and we have become very successful. Now we are turning our focus to APAC,” said Filiba.
This includes markets such as Japan, which it recently entered with an exclusive collection of eau de colognes that appeal more to Japanese olfactory preferences.
“The Japanese behaviour towards fragrance is very different than the rest of the world. They don't like heavy scents and it’s considered rude to wear heavy scents. So, this collection was especially developed for the Japanese market,” said Filiba.
The company is also interested in breaking into the South East Asian market. Filiba highlighted Indonesia, where it can tap into the halal beauty market. Furthermore, she believes Indonesian consumers will have an affinity for another of its signature scents, the spicy Istanbul.
“Istanbul was inspired by the spice bazaar with ingredients like saffron, clove and cinnamon. It’s more woody, oriental and spicy – and I think it would be very successful in Indonesia.”
Lastly, the company also has its eye on Singapore. “Singapore is the showcase, it's a travel corridor so we want to be there.”