The fastest-growing category in this seasonally driven sector, worth a total of £316m in 2004, is high-end fine fragrances.
In the two years to 2004, these scents posted growth of almost 8%, with sales of £223m - 71% of the sector. Mass-market fragrances grew by just 4.5% in the same period, but the category has scope because its customers tend to be young men, who are more willing to experiment with a range of products and have yet to form strong brand allegiances.
The men's fragrance sector is a seasonal market, with its busiest period falling in the run-up to Christmas. Women are the key purchasers in the sector, with most fragrances bought as gifts.
In 2004, the market was worth £316m, according to Mintel, a rise of 16% since 2000. By the end of this year its value is expected to have risen to £327m.
The sector encompasses high-end fine and mass-market products. In recent years, heavy discounting has resulted in the division between the categories becoming less acute, in turn making it far more likely for men to trade up to fine fragrances and designer brands.
Mass-market fragrances tend to appeal to younger men who are just starting to use such products. The category's main brands are Unilever's Lynx and Coty's Adidas franchise. In 2005, sales in this area are expected to reach £94m.
Between 2000 and 2005, the number of 15- to 24-year-old men rose by 10%, boosting the market. This age group is often targeted by market entrants because it is the time when men are most receptive to trying new products and owning items across several brands.
The rise in 15- to 24-year-old men is counterbalanced by the growth of the over-50s group, who do not tend to be big purchasers in this sector and whom, consequently, few brands target.
The market has changed considerably since the days when Brut and Old Spice were the scents of choice. In recent years the range of products has widened, although it has yet to rival the choice offered by the female fragrance market.
Most launches occur in the fine fragrance category. Last year saw the introduction of Armani Black Code, Chanel's Allure Homme Sport and Burberry Brit for Men. Fifteen limited-edition brands were also launched last year, up from five in 2003. These products tend to be put on the market in the summer when sales are slower, although Mintel believes that greater promotion is needed to further boost the market at that time of year.
Most advertising in the sector is accounted for by fine fragrances. In line with the seasonality of the market, the majority of advertising takes place in the run-up to Christmas, with 54% of fine-fragrance ads appearing in the final quarter of the year.
Launches are also usually well-supported by TV campaigns. In 2004, £14.9m was spent on fine-fragrance advertising, according to Nielsen Media Research, compared with a £2.1m spend for mass-market brands.
The amount invested in advertising fine fragrances has grown steadily over the years as the market has become more competitive. The rise in men's magazines has provided another medium, with brands also advertising in women's glossies.
In April this year Coty/Lancaster, which is owned by Reckitt Benckiser, acquired Unilever's fine-fragrance business for $800m (£452m). Unilever had been the leading player in the market, with a 20% share. The acquisition means that Coty's brands Davidoff and Joop have been joined by the Calvin Klein portfolio, which includes Eternity, Obsession and Escape, as well as by the Cerruti and Lagerfeld brands.
Unilever retained its mass-market Lynx brand, which it regularly updates with additional fragrances and backs with significant advertising support.
It has also extended the brand into men's grooming with a deodorant range.
Last year Estee Lauder's share of the market stood at 13%, although its purchase of Michael Kors means its share has since increased.
Its biggest brand in the men's market is Aramis. In 2003 it introduced Aramis Life, endorsed by tennis player Andre Agassi. It has also added Happy for Men to its range, a partner to Clinique's Happy brand for women.
In recent years Estee Lauder has also developed its designer brand portfolio, with Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger proving to be its biggest success in the men's market.
The company's other designer brands include DKNY for Men from Donna Karan, which was expanded this year with the addition of DKNY Be Delicious and Be Delicious for Men.
Other companies with notable share include Kenneth Green Associates, the UK distributor for Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake and Paul Smith fragrances; P&G with its Hugo Boss and Lacoste franchises; and L'Oreal's Prestige & Collections division, whose brands include Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren.
Men's fragrance penetration is high - almost three-quarters of men use it - but there is room to encourage more regular application; only about a third wear it every day, according to TGI.
Moreover, men are not very adventurous when it comes to experimenting with scents, according to NOP, which found that 41% of men stick with one brand. It also suggests that men are not impressed by celebrity endorsements, advertising or launches. However, as women are key purchasers, this may not worry manufacturers too much.
The market is likely to benefit from the trend for men to show more interest in their appearance. Fine fragrances are also becoming more accessible as discounting drives down prices and consumers are more willing to trade up.
Mintel predicts that between 2005 and 2010, the market will increase by 19% to reach a value of £390m - the equivalent of 12% growth in real terms. Almost three-quarters of the market will be accounted for by fine fragrances, which are forecast to reach a value of £284m in 2010.
MEN'S FRAGRANCE BRANDS BY SALES AND MARKET SHARE 2004 2002 02-04 pounds m % pounds m % % chng 1 Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male 18 8 13 6 38.5 2 Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey 16 7 11 5 45.5 3 Calvin Klein Eternity 14 6 13 6 -7.7 4 Hugo 12 5 10 5 20.0 5 Aramis Classic 9 4 10 5 -10.0 6 Boss 9 4 6 3 50.0 7 Kouros 9 4 12 6 -25.0 8 Joop! Homme 9 4 8 4 12.5 9 Polo Ralph Lauren 9 4 10 5 -10.0 10 Boss in Motion 7 3 n/a n/a n/a 11 Davidoff Cool Water 4 2 4 2 n/a Other 107 49 110 53 -2.7 Total 223 100 207 100 7.7 Source: Mintel MEN'S FRAGRANCE MANUFACTURERS BY SALES AND MARKET SHARE 2004 2002 02-04 pounds m % pounds m % % chng 1 Unilever 63 20 59 20 6.8 2 Estee Lauder 41 13 38 13 7.9 3 Kenneth Green Associates 32 10 24 8 33.3 4 L'Oreal Prestige & Collections 28 9 27 9 3.7 5 Procter & Gamble 25 8 15 5 66.7 6 Yves Saint Laurent 22 7 21 7 4.8 7 Paco Rabanne 16 5 15 5 6.7 Other fine 32 10 38 13 -15.8 Other mass 57 18 59 20 -3.4 Total 316 100 296 100 6.8 Source: Mintel MEN'S FRAGRANCE SALES BY SECTOR 2004 2002 02-04 pounds m % pounds m % % chng 1 Fine/Premium 223 71 207 70 7.7 2 Mass 93 29 89 30 4.5 Total 316 100 296 100 6.8 Source: Mintel
ANALYST COMMENT - GWENAEL JOSEPH, UK MARKET ANALYST, UROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL
The UK market for men's fine fragrances has been performing well, with an average annual growth rate of more than 5% in the past three years.
Growth in the market relies in part on the 'metrosexual' trend, with men spending more time and money on their appearance, and indulging in traditionally feminine personal-care routines. This has been encouraged by cosmetics brands, which have launched a variety of innovative products.
Fragrances do not rely solely on the rise of metrosexuals. The use of scent, be it in perfume, aftershave, or body spray, is engrained in the British male daily routine.
The purchasing power of men in their teens and 20s has increased in recent years and they are trading up from body sprays to fine fragrances. Manufacturers have played their part by launching 'masstige' fragrances, such as Procter & Gamble's Boss, at affordable prices.
However, British men still use fragrances far less than their European counterparts, and manufacturers are looking for ways of expanding this market.
They have therefore embarked on the celebrity-scent trend, which has already proved its effectiveness in the female fragrance market with stars such as Jennifer Lopez. In the male market, these icons tend to be pop stars and sportsmen, such as Enrique Iglesias for Hilfiger's True Star, and David Beckham for Coty's Instinct.
Despite huge potential for growth, the celebrity trend has its limitations.
First there is the danger of a loss in public favour for the star, which could affect sales. And second, celebrities tend to appeal to younger segments of the market and leave older, more affluent, consumers in the cold.