Home Contact List

How To Present Your Home Made Perfume In A Package That Will Boost Sales Dramatically

Step # 3 in a series of 5 articles

Francois Coty's "breakthrough" perfume order is said to have been 12 bottles of La Rose Jacqueminot. As business picked up, Coty's wife, it is said, decorated the bottles with ribbons and sewed pouches for them. Crude by today's standards, yet it was the beginning of an amazing business empire built on the power of perfume.

Today when Estee Lauder, or Elizabeth Arden, or L'Oreal, or Inter Perfumes or Parlux — or Coty — launches a new fragrance, the design of the packaging alone costs tens of thousands of dollars. The upfront costs are based on anticipated sales of many hundreds of thousands of bottles. If the marketer recoups all of its startup costs in the first year the fragrance is on the market, the fragrance is considered a success. If even a small profit is recognized, the fragrance is considered a great success!

Packaging obstacles for the independent perfumer

But what about the home or independent perfumer? He or she is in very much the same position Coty was in when selling his first bottles of la Rose Jacqueminot. You don't have the money to spend to buy a custom bottle and packaging when you are only producing a handful of bottles. You, like Coty, start out with a stock, off-the-shelf bottle from a company willing to sell bottles in small quantities. Then you decorate it as best you are able.

So how, as a small perfumer, do you approach bottling and packaging design? The first step is to look to your business plan. What are your projected sales? What is your budget? These factors give you answers to two questions: (1) how many bottles am I going to produce, and (2) how much money can I afford to put into each bottle?

Knowing how many bottles you expect to produce puts you in the ball park for calculating any quantity discounts you can expect to get — or not get — when purchasing your bottles, caps, pumps, labels, and any other materials.

Knowing how much money you can spend to produce each bottle is largely a factor of your anticipated retail and wholesale prices for your fragrance, always leaving yourself a fall-back margin in case your fragrance can't fetch the price you hope to get for it.

When all of your planning is done, you'll discover what experienced people could have told you in the first place — you have to get very, very creative to make your product look classy, with the very little money you have to spend.

If goes without saying that you, the independent perfumer, must watch every penny you spend. The first issue is the bottle and closure. What size bottle do you want? Two ounce ... one ounce ... 1/4 ounce? What is available and affordable in the size you want?

And what closures are available that will fit it? Did you want a fine mist spray pump? The number of sizes available are highly limited when you are buying in small quantities. Does the bottle that you want have the right neck size for the spray pump? Or will you forget about spray pumps and opt for sprinkler neck bottles with a cap?

But caps are a problem. With a few exceptions, vendors will not break a carton — and a carton may hold 5,000 caps or more. Can you find the style you want in a size that will fit the bottle you want?

This is not a problem for the marketer producing several hundred thousands bottles. Bottles can be custom made; pumps can be found to fit. But for the independent perfumer available selections are highly limited, not currently stylish, and clearly no relation to the trendiest bottles on the market. But that's all you'll be able to find that's available and affordable.

So bottle design is a limited issue for the independent perfumer. Once the parameters are laid out — bottle size, closure type and quantity needed — stock bottles available may be as few as half a dozen. None will look brilliantly creative or original. But beautiful packaging helps sell a fragrance. So what do you do?

Packaging opportunities for the independent perfumer

Deprived of the opportunity to design your own fancy bottle, your challenge is to design a beautiful package around your rather ordinary bottle. "Beautiful" can be simple or ornate. Your goal will be to demonstrate your good taste to those who you hope will buy your fragrance. The "look" you develop must suit the image you want to project for your perfume.

Thanks to the inexpensive ink jet printer and pressure sensitive, adhesive backed papers, labels offer an invitation to creativity. Any design that can be created with desktop publishing software can (within limits) be reproduced on paper using an inexpensive ink jet paper — and specialty adhesive-backed papers designed for such printers. Scissors, an X-Acto knife, or a paper cutter allow you to create the label in whatever dimensions are appropriate for your bottle.

Boxes

Boxes present a problem as stock, off-the-shelf boxes are often difficult to find in sizes that fit your bottles and, no matter how nicely you decorate a "standard size" box, it is not likely to be mistaken for a more sophisticated custom box designed for the exact dimensions of your perfume bottle.

Even so, it is well worth the effort to explore what boxes are available in sized that approximate the size of your bottles on the chance that you might find a box that, with some creative input, can be made to work perfectly for your fragrance.

Plain boxes themselves can be decorated. Labels can be created for boxes (again with that ink jet printer!), ribbons can be tied around them, bows can be attached to them, cotton or various decorative fillings can be used to take up excess space within.

Sources of packaging ideas

Where does the small perfumery get packaging ideas? Where do they find graphic artists who can provide innovative but affordable packaging design? Artists can sometimes be found under your nose, in your own community. How did Francois Coty "discover" Rene Lalique? Lalique's workshop and jewelry boutique happened to be located next door to Coty's perfume boutique. Lalique, at that time, had never designed perfume bottles or packaging. Coty convinced him to give is a try. The result? Lalique went on to design fabulous perfume bottles and labels for Coty and, later, for other perfumers. And, when Coty opened his shop at 714 Fifth Avenue in New York City, Lalique designed the facade and interior. Look around the "art world" in your own neighborhood and see what talent you might uncover.

Of course it helps to have some ideas of your own, before you approach an artist to work for you. I find craft shows and gift shops to be great sources of ideas. I look in particular for individuals and "home" type businesses that sell soap (there are quite a few of them!) for their creative challenge is much the same as that of the small perfumery. They can't spend a lot of money on packaging but, when nicely presented, their soap is far more likely to sell well and fetch a higher price.

Summary

In summary, packaging is extremely important to the seller of perfume. Yet because an independent perfume maker cannot afford the packaging costs associated with perfumes sold by the giants of perfume marketing, packaging success lies in the ability to make innovative, creative use of materials — and artists — that are available and affordable.

Anyone who is making and selling their own perfume should learn to constantly keep their eye out for packaging ideas — and for talented artists who, given the challenge, might prove to be wonderful designers of attractive packaging.



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.


For article updates, etc., add your name to Phil's mailing list.

Philip Goutell's Signature
Photo of Phil Goutell

Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.