The new perfume: thoughts and preparations for a small, limited launch

I've been documenting the sometimes boring details of developing a new perfume, how starting with aroma materials in dropper bottles, the drops are weighed out into grams, grams are converted into percents and those percents give me my production formula. I've made a small production batch from this formula and if you want to see what I've done, go to this web page. I won't bore you here.

Now that I've produced the finished fragrance I'll wait a month before I bottle it. But while the fragrance is aging – blending the components into a harmonious whole – I'll be busy with other activities this launch will require.

I've started writing an ad for my new perfume. I've got the main picture already and I want to superimpose a bottle of my new perfume on that picture. But before I can do that I have to select a bottle and "produce" that bottle with fragrance and label. Sometimes I'll dummy up a bottle for photography if the fragrance isn't ready yet. In this case I won't do that because I want the color of the fragrance to be right, not just something I've imagined. So I'll hold off on the bottle photo until my fragrance is fully blended and shows its true color.

I've mentioned before that my market is the people who visit my online shop, PGLightyears.com. That is a small market, too small to expect much in the way of sales and profits. As to why I'm not planning a more aggressive launch, let's talk a bit.

An aggressive launch – which you would want – requires both a sales push and logistical backup. Your sales push would involve setting up distribution. This could involve getting retail stores to carry your fragrance and then working your tail off to send them buyers. Distribution alone won't work. And it is the marketer's – not the retailer's – job to generate desire for the fragrance and sales. The retailer just offers an opportunity for people to obtain your fragrance. They aren't going to sell it for you. All this involves phone calls, travel, personal meetings, networking and anything else that you can think of to make it happen.

How about online? Other people's websites and social media? It's the same problem but even more complicated. You have to entice the site owners to offer your perfume and then send them good traffic. What about the shipping? That will come back to you. You can't expect social media people to stock and ship your fragrance. If they take orders those orders will go to you for fulfillment and, based on my experience, there can be delays in forwarding those orders to you (after all, they already have payment in full and may not be so eager to pass on your share to you) so, by the time you get these orders, your customers may be a bit grumpy and less favorably inclined toward your fragrance than they were initially.

Working with other websites and social media people, you also have the problem of refunds. If you have to refund an order for any reason, will you be able to claw back the refund amount from the person who took the order and pocketed their profit?

Logistics is a big pain. When I had a warehouse with a crew to process and ship orders, the more orders we got, the happier I was. (At the time, these were not orders for perfume.) But as I scaled back my involvement, shipping became a chore for a reduced staff. For a while it worked but supervising people takes a lot of focus. Now I don't want the headaches of managing a staff while developing fragrances and writing about them. But what about you?

If you are going to sell perfume you have to be prepared to ship it yourself or arrange with some service to ship it for you. And "shipping" isn't just shipping. It's also customer service, and a plan to take care of lost orders or returns or just dissatisfied customers. Even when your operation is running smoothly this can be a far more expensive and time consuming than you might imagine, even when almost all of your customers are honest and generally pleased with what they get from you.

I hope this helps explain why I am not aggressively pushing sales of my fragrances. I want to create but I don't want the responsibilities of building an organization again. But YOU have to push if you want to sell your fragrance. It won't sell itself. So you have to do all those things that I once did. Ultimately you'll find it's a rewarding experience, even if, at times, it can be stressful.

For supplies used in the development of this fragrance, visit the Vendors section of this website.

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

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Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin

Steffen Arctander's Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin was first published in 1960 and is the classic, authoritative reference for natural products used in perfumes, scents, flavorings, foods, and medicine throughout the world. Part One defines and describes processing methods used to extract or refine the products into usable form; Part Two includes more than 500 monographs on the natural raw materials used to produce perfumes, flavorings, etc. Appendices include a classification of important materials by their scent, and worldwide production figures for major products. Fully indexed, the book also includes 62 pages of photographs, making this the standard reference work on natural materials for perfumers and flavor chemists. The preface contains practical descriptions of available materials, their origin, production and processing methods, appearance, odor and flavor type with brief notes on their main constituents, replacements and common adulterants.


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.

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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:

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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.