How to Start a Fragrance Line

by Joseph DeBenedetti; Updated September 26, 2017
Bottles of essential oils used in perfume making

Many fragrance hobbyists have turned their passion into viable businesses by creating new and innovative scents that appeal to large audiences. Starting a fragrance line requires creativity, not to mention some business savvy and the drive to build a sustainable business.

Identify a Target Market

Visualize a target market while creating your scents to ensure the character of the new perfume fits the customer base. Not all fragrances are deemed appropriate in a office setting or are commonplace in a gym, for example. By identifying a target market, entrepreneurs can begin crafting a fragrance line that meets the needs of their customer-base right from the very beginning, giving them a better chance of success over the long run.

Create a Distinctive Fragrance

Although some entrepreneurs mimic the smell of popular fragrances to increase their sales, creating a distinctive perfume can help hobbyists turn from amateur to pro. This means experimenting with home extractions, essential oils and spices, among other materials, to come-up with a new scent. The process of making perfume varies between hobbyists and businesses, but it has an important impact on the final product. Gather the right materials and define your manufacturing processes if you want to succeed.

Design the Packaging

Part of the allure of perfumes is the packaging they come in. Popular brands in retail outlets often come in spritzers with unique shapes and glossy boxes, adding to the aesthetic of the product. Most entrepreneurs bottle their own scents and keep the packaging simple. That saves money, but hides your product. This is acceptable at the start, but, as sales increase, packaging becomes more important in distinguishing a fragrance line from other competitors.

Keep Samples On-hand

Entrepreneurs should keep samples of their fragrance line on hand to give to friends, family, potential clients and business partners. Send samples to the heads of local and national distribution companies. Samples give customers a risk-free opportunity to experience a fragrance, which helps win new business. Samples usually come in smaller bottles or packages to reduce the cost to the entrepreneur.

Establish Distribution Channels

Once a distinct fragrance has been created and it’s been packaged for sale, the next step is to have the product sold in small or large retail stores. This requires setting up a distribution agreement with various business entities. Don't draw up the agreement on your own. Hire a lawyer with experience in agreements with retailers and wholesalers.

About the Author

Joseph DeBenedetti is a financial writer with corporate accounting and quality assurance experience. He writes extensively online with an emphasis on current trends in finance. As a Quality Assurance Analyst, he honed his technical writing skills creating standard operating instructions for a consumer finance organization.

Photo Credits

  • moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article