‘Niche is the new luxury’: Aura Prestige eyes ‘big time’ growth on the back of niche fragrance boom in SEA

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Aura Prestige is aiming to further expand its footprint in SEA. [Aura Prestige]
Aura Prestige is aiming to further expand its footprint in SEA. [Aura Prestige]

Related tags Niche fragrance brands Perfume Fragrance retail SEA

South East Asian beauty distributor and retailer Aura Prestige is aiming to further expand its footprint in markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, as demand for luxury niche fragrances intensifies in the region.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia​, general manager Edouard Dorize said the company saw a lot of growth potential for luxury niche fragrances in SEA.

“We are still very, very much at the beginning. In Asia, in general, niche fragrances are less than 10% of the overall beauty category. There’s plenty of room to grow big time.”

The Aura Prestige Group is a beauty distributor and retailer operating in South East Asia. Based in Singapore, the company specialises in the distribution of luxury fragrances, including niche brands such as Maison Margiela, Juliette Has a Gun, and Molinard.

In 2019, the company unveiled Amaris, a luxury multi-brand fragrance retailer in Singapore. Since then, it has expanded to two more locations in the city-state.

Most recently, the company launched a new retail concept at Singapore’s Takashimaya department store. The Niche Fragrance Concept Store by Aura Prestige houses four fragrance brands, Atelier Cologne, Ex Nihilo, Parfums de Marly and Roja Parfums.

In addition to Singapore, the company also operates stores in Malaysia and Indonesia. Dorize said that its rapid expansion was in line with the boom in luxury fragrance.

“Niche is the new luxury. These brands are true to their identity. They have unique storytelling and offer unique scents through a very selective distribution. They also have a very strong brand experience. For these brands to come into market and remain relevant, they have to be extremely creative, and this is what makes them unique.”

In Singapore alone, the company observed an uptick in interest in luxury niche fragrances just as initial lockdowns were lifted.

“There was a big wave of people wanting to buy niche. It’s hard to explain why, maybe it's because a lot of people spent time on social media, especially on TikTok, which today has very strong influencers for fragrance,”​ said Dorize.

“With perfumes, its not that easy to buy online. When the time came and people could go out to malls and restaurants, we saw a spike like never before.”

According to Dorize, upon reopening in 2020, its sales doubled compared to 2019 and the growth has not stopped.

“We’ve been growing steadily, around 15% on average, and that’s all on the growth of the niche category. It’s very encouraging. It’s something we are focusing on big time. We’re growing in a healthy way, and we want to keep on growing.”

The company is eager to continue its expansions in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. It is also casting its eyes on new markets such as Vietnam.

“We’ve had a lot of Vietnamese consumers coming to our shops. And we even see people reselling products they’ve bought from us online. From this, we see there’s a demand, but there’s not really anyone there to offer the experience and the brands they want,” ​said Dorize.

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