Perfume Formulas: find them, buy them, or create them — it's up to you!

To create a great perfume you need a great formula. To create an average perfume you need a ... formula. To create even a stinky perfume you need a ... formula. Excluding packaging, the formula is the heart of your perfume. Where will you get it?

We usually think of perfume as something someone has created. Every major launch by every major fragrance marketer involves an original perfume formula that has been created by a major fragrance (F&F) house.

If you get together with a group of investors to market your own perfume, you will almost certainly employ the talents of a professional perfumer, introduced to you by a smaller, less well known fragrance house, who will create a formula for your perfume.

Whether a perfume formula is created by a major or a minor fragrance house, the formula itself will remain with the creator, not you. While you will pay to have the work done, you will never see the formula that was created on your dime. Formulas are trade secrets, carefully guarded by fragrance creators.

Now suppose you want to develop your own perfume but you are not flush with enough money to hire a professional perfumer. You want to produce your own perfume but you can't do it without a formula – or can you? A simple solution is to buy one of the many quite acceptable fragrance oils already on the market. They were made using formulas you will never see but, as you can get the oil ready made, you don't need to see the formula. For the non-creator this is the perfect solution.

Now suppose you want control over the formula. Suppose you want it in your hands so you can mix the recipe yourself to produce the oil and perhaps make a few adjustments as you go along. Here you have three possibilities. You can buy a formula from someone who is willing to sell one, perhaps a perfumer who has a formula he or she isn't intent on keeping as a trade secret Or you may get lucky and find a formula that has, for whatever reason, been posted somewhere on the internet Or you can create your own formula, if you have the skill.

Creating your own formula can be the most rewarding path but also the most challenging. You need skills: you need aroma materials to work with and, when you're finished, the fragrance you have created is not likely to be anywhere near as polished and professional as any fragrance available at the mall or in a drugstore.

This doesn't mean your fragrance can't be good. Following your own muse you may create something quite beautiful, quite compelling, and quite different than anything on the market. But it won't be quite as polished. A few rough edges will exist. Yet if people like it – a good possibility – the rough edges will be overlooked.

If creating your own perfume from scratch – from a formula you've written yourself – is your goal, an excellent starting point is the home study Perfumery Training Kit K26 from PerfumersWorld. The course includes both materials and equipment and is quite reasonably priced.

Finding a formula somewhere on the internet is another not impossible possibility. Books on perfumery with formulas exist. Written many years ago, the formulas are generic and old fashioned. Moreover, they require materials no longer obtainable due to various reasons. Formulas from this age of "all natural" perfumes can be found in Piesse. Bland by today's standards, they were drafted in an age that had not yet enjoyed the benefits of synthetic odorants.

On the other hand, if you find a modern formula such as Honey Lips Kiss Macaron Au Cassis, you will have difficulty obtaining the required odorants as some are "captives" whose distribution is tightly controlled by the patent holder – Givaudan in this case. Then, working from the idea of the formula, you are forced to find acceptable substitutes. In short, you will be required to reformulate the formula to get what you hoped for.

In my mind it all comes down to this: if you're an investor and want to market a perfume, go to a filling house or fragrance house that can hook you up with a qualified perfumer and then let that perfumer develop a perfume for you. If you don't have money but want your own perfume, work with a ready made, off the shelf fragrance and make it uniquely yours by naming it with a unique name that then becomes a trademark -- your trademark -- for your perfume.

If you want to produce a fragrance from a formula, doing all the mixing and weighing yourself, you can do it... but be warned.


Making Perfume By The Quart
Making Perfume By The Quart: A do-it-yourself project book

Many who love perfume dream of having their own -- but it can seem too complicated, too "from another world." Making Perfume By The Quart brings it down to earth for you in ten remarkably easy to understand chapters of instructions that guide you through the complete production process, from concept to finished perfume. But you make just one quart.


Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! (3rd edition)

Perfume is famous for the markup it can achieve, even for a middle market fragrance. While "everybody knows" that perfume costs next to nothing to make (not completely true) the making of it is often considered an esoteric secret. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" details how a 3-person company with no experience created their own fragrance in response to a marketing opportunity that was too good to pass up. The book explains exactly what was done to create a fragrance for that opportunity but it is far more than a history of the author's project. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" lays out every step in the process of creating your own perfume, either as a do-it-yourself project – and without the benefit of automated equipment some compromises and workarounds are required – or full bore professional production under your supervision. Either way you will be producing a quality fragrance at a remarkably low cost. Do you have a marketing opportunity that would be wildly profitable if only you could obtain your fragrance at a ridiculously low cost? "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" is the guide you need to do it.


Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name

A really great name, a special name that is just right for a particular perfume or perfume marketer (or entrepreneur with money to invest!) can be worth a ton of money. But few individuals with great ideas ever manage to cash in on those brilliant ideas. Instead they wait while others "discover" their idea, acquire legal rights to it and make all the money while they are left out in the cold without a penny having been earned for what was once THEIR idea.

If you are struggling to name your perfume and are looking for a name that will have real value, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" will help you weed out low value names and point you to names that have better marketing value plus the potential to become valuable assets in themselves.

If you have a great name you want to protect but no fragrance, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" will guide you through the simple steps you must take to acquire a legal right to that name before someone else grabs it! Best of all, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" shows you how to gain strong legal protection for your name without a lawyer and without spending more than pocket change.

Never had an idea for a product name? Never thought much about perfume? "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" may stimulate your interest in a whole new game that, when played well, can make you lots of money without your having to leave the comfort of your home office.


How To Launch Your Own Perfume Company: A Simple Business Plan

You can build a perfume business of your own using this business plan as a guide. By following its detailed strategy you learn to identify motivated groups of potential perfume buyers. Members of these groups are near the tipping point of desire for a new perfume. You don't know these people and they don't know you but you know a marketer they trust, one who does not currently sell perfume and might never think of selling perfume were it not for your approach. Here is where you step in with a professional plan, promotion, and perfume to take advantage of this ripe opportunity for mutual profit. Before your first promotion has peaked, you will already be developing a relationship with your next marketing partner. Following this plan, you will gain more and more profit with each new marketing partnership.


Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics

Now when you make your own perfume you can make it fully "commercial" meaning you will be creating a product ready for regular, continuous sales to friends, relatives, and the public! If the fragrance you've made has already won praise, why not share it with others? Some might pay you for it and want it for their web stores or retail boutiques! Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics guides you through steps that can turn your hobby project into a perfume business. Discover how close you are now and how little more you must do to take what you made with essential oils and dropper bottles into a business of your own! For an introduction to this book, watch this video.


How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume

When you name a perfume you create a valuable asset – the name itself. To sell your perfume you want the most effective name possible. But a good name can have value beyond the edge it gives your sales. In naming your fragrance you are creating a trademark and a trademark can have value independent of the product. The value of that trademark can vary. Much depends on how well, in naming your perfume, you follow the trademark "rules." How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume first helps you develop a name that will be effective in selling your perfume. It then prods you to make use of certain techniques that can turn a good name into a great trademark, strong and valuable. If you have questions about how to protect a name, How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume will answer many such as:

  • Can you protect your name yourself or do you need a lawyer?
  • Can you register a trademark without a lawyer?
  • What does it cost to register a trademark?
  • How do I enforce the rights I have established?

How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume covers both state, federal, and international protection.


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Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.