Estée Lauder buys hip perfume brand Le Labo

The niche perfume label has been snapped up, part of a wider boom in hip cosmetics.  

It looks like Le Labo will be jumping into bed with Estée Lauder after the cosmetics giant signed an agreement to by the high-end fragrance and lifestyle brand, with a full deal set to be agreed on next month. 

Founded in 2006 by Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi, Le Labo now has its own stores in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo and Hong Kong, with additional counters around the world. The brand has sustained the early buzz surrounding its scents with lines of body care, candles, and limited edition fragrances called “City Exclusives” available in select boutiques.

The company will join a portfolio of high-end Estée Lauder companies including MAC, Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown and Jo Malone.

It’s part of a wider interest in niche scents that has seen the growth of the market over the past few years. In 2012, market research experts NPD Group noted 19% yearly growth in the ‘Jewelry Niche Fragrance’ category compared with 7% growth for classic ‘Designer’ scents.

We think you can expect to see plenty of new openings and product lines as the industry’s big hitters get in on the action. Previous acqusitions in the beauty and fragrance arena include Aesop’s 2013 sale to Brazilian company Natura Cosméticos. Market research group Kline also recently suggested in a blog post that brands including Demalogica and Dr. Bronner’s could be the subject of big bids as the market heats up.