Premium Beauty News – In 2021, Argeville joins the closed circle of century-old companies. Today, it is an internationally renowned company that embodies the success of French perfumery and Provençal know-how.
Xavier Ardizio – Argeville employs 310 people worldwide and achieves a turnover of 60 million euros thanks to three activities: Perfumery, which represents more than 80% of our sales, natural ingredients and food flavourings.
90% of our sales are to international customers. Asia is our fastest growing market. We are present in China, Thailand and Vietnam. We opened a production site in Bangkok in 2019, allowing us to serve our regional customers with greater agility. There is a real interest in perfumery and Made in France ingredients.
We employ about thirty people in Dubai where we opened a creation center in 2012. The Middle East represents 30% of our activity, it is also a platform for access to African markets where we anticipate significant growth in the years to come, with local players in full development. With this in mind, we will open an office in Johannesburg next July. We are also present in South America, with a commercial office and a small laboratory in Bogota, Colombia.
Premium Beauty News – This international presence provides a global vision of the perfume market. What are the main challenges for the future?
Xavier Ardizio – What we are seeing everywhere is a growing demand for natural ingredients. Consumers want quality fragrances, derived as much as possible from nature.
To meet these expectations, we can draw on our heritage. When it was created, Argeville specialized in the cultivation of perfume plants in the Grasse region. More recently, we invested in an extraction site located in La Laupie, in the Drôme, to make it our center of expertise in natural products.
We have also set up partnerships with French producers of perfume plants to promote the development of short circuits and secure our supply chain. But whatever the origin of the ingredients, controlling sourcing has become a strategic issue in perfumery. It makes it possible to guarantee supplies, ensure the traceability of products and control their quality. All over the world, our perfumers are prescribers in the choice of grades we buy. To get the best options, we need to work closely with our growers.
Premium Beauty News – Isn’t this emphasis on natural products harming innovation?
Xavier Ardizio – Absolutely not. There is much to do in this area, which is far from being fully explored. We are constantly looking for new materials and new qualities. We are working on new, more efficient and more sustainable extraction methods.
Environmental issues also force us to be inventive. Our R&D therefore devotes a lot of energy to reducing the use of solvents, finding new formulation methods and reducing transport costs.
Premium Beauty News – The world of perfumery is an incredibly competitive arena. What are Argeville’s advantages in this sector today?
Xavier Ardizio – Argeville is an independent family business. Our clients are large family SMEs that look like us, they are won over by our reputation as a century-old company in the Grasse basin, our accessibility and our agility. These are companies in line with our values: Excellence, humility, audacity and pleasure!
Our expertise in natural ingredients and our mastery of the supply chain complete our list of strengths.
Finally, we are one of the rare companies to have 360° expertise and to be able to offer a complete service for the creation of perfume lines via our sister company 1st.Mood, based in Valbonne.
Premium Beauty News – How do you see the future of the perfume market?
Xavier Ardizio – The formulation will continue to evolve towards more naturalness and sustainability. It is an unstoppable trend. At the same time, new markets will emerge, particularly in Asia and Africa. People who previously did not have access to fragrance will develop an interest in these products, and growth will continue globally.
We are therefore continuing our investments. At the industrial level, our Mougins site will move to Grasse in a brand new factory, which will house a new automated weighing robot. Work should begin in September 2022 and be completed in April 2024. It involves an investment of around 25 million euros. On the commercial side, we intend to expand our international network: the opening of our South African office is the first step towards other projects which should materialize in 2023!