Starting Your Perfume Business

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“The Nose” is one of the recurring characters on the CBS TV series “Elementary,” about a modern-day Sherlock Holmes who works as a consultant for the NY Police Department. The Nose is supposed to be an olfactory genius, whose sense of smell is better than Sherlock himself.

You’re no olfactory genius, but you did have some background in chemistry for when you were in college. This is part of the reason why you are looking to set up your own perfumery business. You’ve looked at a few home service franchises, like massage service or yoga. It seems like starting a company where you have some knowledge of would be better.

But does knowing something about chemistry all that’s necessary? What are the other requirements for putting up a small perfume business? Check out the following discussion:

Perfume Industry Overview

The perfume and fragrance store industry has recorded a revenue of $5 billion as of September 2019. The number of businesses is robust, with nearly 23,000 operating in the country.

If you start this type of business, you will be riding a steady annual growth of 4.1%. There is some relative saturation in the market, and changing shopping behavior by consumers, which is now increasingly leaning towards the online platform, has affected mall sales.

Starting the Business

chemical lab

The chemistry background is useful. But if you’re going to design your scents, then you need to be more like “The Nose!” Apart from the science of it all, you also need to know about the latest in terms of fashion, knowledge of marketing, and of course, a keen olfactory sense.

Here are other steps that you should consider:

  1. Further studies. If you’ve completed a degree in chemistry, that’s great. But beyond that, some schools offer advanced programs in perfumery. Some programs will help you in marketing your scent, based on the latest trends in fashion and the perfume industry.
  2. Who’s your audience? There’s a reason why you need to study perfume marketing. Each scent should be able to correspond to a target market. A sporty scent might be suited for gym-goers, but those attending an evening event might need a different kind of smell. Pinning down who you want to sell it, will be the basis of how you will craft your scent.
  3. The cost of your scent line. Creating your perfume line similar to famous brands, like Chanel, Calvin Klein, or Hugo Boss, requires significant investment. Experts estimate that the amount could be anywhere from $8,000 to northwards of $10,000. Remember, you are not merely re-packaging base scent, but creating your unique scents.
  4. Selling method. Once you have created your perfume line, you’re going to have to move your product. You’re going to have to meet with retail stores and come up with a distribution channel agreement. It’s best that you consult a lawyer when drafting the agreement. Consider also an online platform as part of your distribution channel. You need to create an e-Commerce website.

You’re going to have to decide on your packaging and your branding. You need to finetune your message for your targeted customers. There are others on the checklist, but these are some of the essential steps to do when starting your perfume business.

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