What do world-famous French brands such as Chanel, Vuitton, L’Oréal, Dior and Hermès all have in common? These big names in the fragrance and cosmetics industry use Normandy’s signature expertise to create wonder and export French chic worldwide.

From raw materials to the end product

Waltersperger, maître verrier de la Vallée de la Bresle

France is a country known for its elegance and is top of the table in the fragrance and cosmetics industry. It’s the biggest exporter of beauty products in the world, ahead of America, with a 15% share of the market! Major groups such as L’Oréal, LVMH and Chanel work alongside several regional and Normandy companies in the industry. 

The Cosmetic Valley, the world’s biggest business cluster for fragrance and cosmetics listed 210 companies all over Normandy. Formulation, wrapping, bottle making, packaging, logistics: the entire value chain for the fragrance and cosmetics industry is here. It is home to leading figures (Jacomo Productions, Johnson & Johnson, CCI production, PKB etc.) and countless brands (Algotherm, Laino, Boucheron, Lampes Berger, MontBlanc, Van Cleef & Arpels etc.).

Areas of excellence in Normandy

Normandy stands out for several signature specialities:

Cosmetic safety

Vital to the entire industry. The Cosmetomics@Normandie platform has been helping manufacturers to conduct product safety assessments from design and manufacture since 2017. Similarly, the industry also works with the Carnot I2C network of 8 chemical laboratories and up to 500 researchers.

Packaging

Packaging is essential in luxury. The fragrance and cosmetics industry can rely on the leading luxury bottle making cluster in Normandy: La Glass Vallée. Most of its 50 companies, including several glass experts, are based in the Bresle Valley and Dieppe in Seine-Maritime. They account for 75% of global production of perfume containers, carafes and bottles (spirits). Up to a million bottles a day!

Anne Soullez

Logistics

80% of the toiletries made in France are exported around the world, primarily from Le Havre port. Normandy’s logistics play a vital role in the success of the industry. The Cosmetic Valley and Mobis de Neoma Business School research centre launched the collaborative LIPACO-SEINE project (Smart Logistics for Fragrance and Cosmetics) to help the supply chain go digital and improve its performance.

The luxury fragrance and cosmetics industry in Normandy

  • 250 companies
  • 20,000 jobs
  • 7 billion euros in turnover
  • 75% of global production of luxury bottles

Innovation, key to performance

You can’t just satisfy the demands of clients looking for perfection in the luxury sector. You have to dazzle them and make their wildest dreams come true. Chanel wanted a featherweight and almost invisible bottle for its latest fragrance, Gabrielle. In the meantime, Paco Rabanne was looking for a robot-shaped bottle. Pochet du Courval, a company renowned for its almost crystal-like glass, pulled off both technical challenges with aplomb.

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Do you need assistance?

The economic development agency of the region, AD Normandie, offers personalised support for setting up your business in Normandy. A team of experts assists you with the administrative procedures for the development of your project as well as investments.

 

Discover the support for the cosmetics industry by AD Normandie

Environment: companies committed to a radical change

From selecting raw materials to production and distribution, beauty companies are committed to radical change to reduce their carbon footprint and protect biodiversity.

The “3Rs” (reduce, reuse and recycle) initiative has become central to the process. You can refill, buy in bulk or return some toiletries. Businesses also want to add value with waste buy using easier-to-recycle mono-materials. Product packaging should be recyclable, compostable and reusable. Formats and designs have been adapted.

Chemicals have also been being replaced by bio-based ingredients for years. Water has become a key issue in the beauty industry too. Some formulas have been phasing it out to become anhydrous (solid, stick or powder) or rinse-free.

Thomas Strange

An understanding and access to so-called "low-carbon" technology are just as important to the industry.

Companies are striving for energy conservation (replacing energy-guzzling equipment, energy assessments, new methods etc.). Two of the leading luxury bottle making companies, Pochet du Courval and Verescence, have invested in electric ovens to decarbonise their work in the Bresle Valley.

Major events for the beauty & cosmetics industry in Normandy

  • Consumer Environment & Safety Conference
    June
    This scientific conference is hosted by the Cosmetic Valley every two years to showcase innovations that keep people and the environment safe within the cosmetics industry. The next event will be in 2025.
  • Cosmetic 360
    October
    The international innovation trade fair for the fragrance and cosmetics industry sees over 200 exhibitors and 5000 visitors flock to the week-long annual event in Paris from all over the world.
  • La Nuit du Verre
    November
    La Glass Vallée (in Normandy or Hauts-de-France) hosts the annual event bringing companies together for round tables discussing important subjects in the glass industry (decarbonisation, innovation, energy transformation etc.).

Jobs in beauty and cosmetics in Normandy

All the companies in the fragrance and cosmetics industry are hiring in Normandy. And they want people to fill every position! The market is getting more and more crowded, so manufacturers have to both meet customer demand and adhere to stricter regulations.

With this in mind, some profiles are more in demand:

  • Research and innovation: sensory engineer, accounting manager, packaging project manager etc.
  • R&D and production: process technician, industrial scale-up management, packaging assembly line development manager etc.
  • Production: production manager, operator/fitter, line worker etc.
  • Quality, safety, environment: sustainable development manager or director.
  • Compliance: regulatory affairs manager.

The bottle sector is also looking for new talent: model makers, founders, mould makers, glass makers, sorters, finishers and decorators, craftsmen, plastic workers etc.

Where can you train to work in fragrance and cosmetics in Normandy?

The fragrance and cosmetics industry requires specific technical and scientific skills. The Cosmetic Valley business cluster and region are working alongside manufacturers and in partnership with training establishments. Their aim is to help young adults, employees and jobseekers to gain skills with real added value.

Cutting-edge training establishments

  • The Groupe IMT in Val-de-Reuil
    The IMT Group has over 40 years of experience and is the leading training centre for trades in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, cosmetics and nutrition industry.
    The IMT Group has a network of 5 teaching platforms at the pharmaceuticals and cosmetics cluster in Val-de-Reuil. These resources are equipped with recent machinery so future operators, technicians and engineers can update their skills in a professional environment. The platforms are unique in Europe and comply with good manufacturing practice regulations.
    Courses available: Line operator in industrial pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, Technical operator in industrial pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, Technician in industrial pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, Engineer in industrial pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
  • Packaging and Wrapping Bachelor Course (BUT) with eco-design and industrialisation at IUT d’Évreux
    A 3-year packaging course for middle management (eco-design and design of packaging, materials, production, supply chain etc.).
  • Master’s in Chemistry specialising in aromas, fragrances, cosmetics (ARPAC) at Université du Havre
    A higher education course in chemical, chemical physics and sensory analysis with specific training in aromas, fragrances, cosmetics. The Master’s course produces highly-specialised graduates who are soon operational.
  • Master’s in Chemistry at Université de Rouen
    It covers health, fragrance, cosmetics, materials and analysis to train scientific managers in essential research and innovation strategies.
  • Saverglass glass and design colleges
    Saverglass is the world expert in making, customising and decorating premium glass bottles in Le Havre. With no training courses in the glass industry, the company decided to open its own glass college in 1999.  It also opened a design college more recently.
    They train the group’s new recruits at its sites around the world.
  • VISEO
    La Glass Vallée’s partner trains 200 people in the glass industry at its workshop/school: glass sorting, quality control, packaging, glass design. Viseo also trains industry professionals and jobseekers.

News in the cosmetics and luxury in Normandy

La Glass Vallée: an industry of excellence in Normandy

La Glass Vallée is the world leader in luxury bottleware and accounts for over 70% of global production of glass bottles for fragrances, spirits, cosmetics, medicine and toiletries. This industry of excellence brings centuries of expertise together in the Bresle Valley, on the border with Normandy and the Hauts-de-France. Let’s take a deep dive into glass…

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