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The Business and Profitability Of the Perfume Industry

One of the fastest growing categories in the fashion and cosmetics is the fragrance industry.  Fragrances (such as perfumes and colognes) are products that are widely used by both men and women.  Most of these users don’t just buy one scent, but several.  To accommodate these needs the fragrance industry introduces thousands of new perfumes, toilettes, eau de toilettes, and colognes each year.  The perfume industry alone brings in global sales revenue of $25 to $30 annually to the cosmetics and fashion industry.  Research has shown that the perfume market is growing at an astonishing rate accounting for upwards of 90% of the revenue for some of the designer cosmetic and fashion houses.

What is it that makes perfumes such a profitable market?  The companies that are creating these fragrances are brilliant at making you, the consumer buy their product.  They are selling you an image, a fantasy.  They create these elaborate ad campaigns that lead you to believe that by wearing a certain fragrance you will be able to emulate the fantasy you see before you.  Whether it be fun, flirty, seductive, young, athletic, romantic, or edgey, they leave no genre untouched.  Not to mention the markup on perfumes and colognes is extremely profitable!

Then, to make their fragrances even more irresistible, the perfume gurus snare some impressive endorsers.  In 1957, Audrey Hepburn became one of the first celebrities to endorse a perfume, L’interdit by Givenchy.  This began a new marketing phenomena.  Everyone wanted to be like Audrey, so the idea was planted that you could be like her, by smelling like her.  Now, hundreds of celebrities endorse fragrances, rocketing their sales into the millions of bottles sold.  It has become such a popular means of advertising that many celebrities have chosen not just to be the face of a designer perfume, but to be the creator of their own.

In 1991 Elizabeth Taylor released her own fragrance called White Diamonds.  She was the face and voice of the product.  Consumers were made to feel that if they wore her fragrance they could be as glamorous and luxurious as Elizabeth Taylor.  White Diamonds has continued to be one of the most famous fragrances in the market even after the death of Elizabeth Taylor.  Since then many have followed in her footsteps.  In 2003 Jennifer Lopez entered the market with her own fragrance, Glow netting over $38 million.  Sarah Jessica Parker came out with her own fragrance as well.  And though it was met with less success than other celebrity fragrances it still earned well over $3 million in sales.

The perfume industry is clearly one of the most lucrative branches of the cosmetic and fashion conglomerate.  Who doesn’t want to smell good?  Scents trigger certain memories in the human brain.  People want to be remembered, and to be remembered whenever a certain fragrance is wafted through the air, whether you are a celebrity or an everyday consumer, is a wonderful thing.

Expensive, Rare, Unique Perfume and Ingredients

Perfumes are a rare treat for your senses.  The sense of smell is one of the most amazing of the 5 senses. The sense of smell is extremely intertwined with your memory and emotions. Specific scents can literally bring your mind back to an exact time, event or memory.  Fragrances are an art of luxury that can also enchant your body, mind, and spirit. This is why many perfume aficionados vie to own a bottle of rare and exclusive perfumes.  It’s one thing for a scent to smell good, but there are ways to entice customers to purchase even pricey perfumes. Some perfume brands are known to be expensive for different reasons. From artwork (such as bottle design), to ingredients…fragrance companies try their best to entice your other senses.

One of the main factors that make a perfume highly expensive is the natural perfume ingredients. When the contents are natural, that typically means that you pay a premium price. For example, luxury perfumes usually contain valuable essential oils like Jasmine, Boronia, Rose or Tuberose oil which are extremely expensive. It takes around a hundred pounds of rose petals to obtain one ounce of rose oil. That means in order to produce a handful bottles of scent, the manufacturers have to deal with heaps of roses. At times you simply pay for astoundingly unique raw materials such as essences of rare roots, flowers and resins. The effort that goes into the natural cultivation, distillation, as well as collection of organic materials is lot more costly than creating a synthetic version of fragrance in a lab.

A few perfume ingredients are obtained from animal sources like ambergris, honeycomb, castoreum, musk and civet. Ambergris is an extremely expensive perfume ingredient. It is actually a waxy material produced in the abdomen of a sperm whale that helps to protect the stomach lining from sharp “foods,” such as large squids and seashells, and when digestive disorders occur, the whale vomits up ambergris. Although it has a repulsive smell, when it’s secreted, it eventually turns into a fragrant rock that often washes up on beaches and ends in high-priced fragrances. Ambergris was used to create culturally important perfumes in Europe for over thousands of years. Since ambergris is extremely rare, it is valuable. However, manufacturers nowadays use synthetic scents that mimic the fragrance of civet and musk by using imitation chemicals.

Designer Bottles:
The cost of a perfume also depends on the packaging method. Some perfume making companies choose to use stylish and costly bottles as it contributes to the perfume’s high pricing. Many a times, the exquisite, gorgeous, hand-blown perfume bottles become sought-after because the bottles are innovative, artistic and intricately designed. Additionally, the bottles are made of materials such as crystal, which is quite expensive. Some manufacturers present strikingly elegant perfume bottles that attract the buyers at first sight. This strategy is predominantly meant for those who like collecting fancy perfume bottles.

Some perfumes are costly because they have a history or are associated to royalty or are endorsed by popular celebrities. As a matter of fact, there are a many perfume brands that are started by the celebrities themselves. Some celebrity fragrances are named after the specific celebrity. For instance, David Beckham, Maria Sharapova, Paris Hilton, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Michael Jordan, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Kim Kardashian are just a few of the many endorsers of celebrity perfumes that bare their names.

Limited Edition:
Luxury perfumes are produced in limited editions and are created using the rarest of ingredients. Perfume enthusiasts compete to purchase limited edition perfumes and colognes regardless of the price. Most leading perfume manufacturing companies use special secret ingredients to make the limited edition fragrances. These perfumes are very rare and you may not see them again hence, limited edition scents demand higher price.

Age old perfumes are associated with style, grace and exclusivity. Vintage perfumes are gateways into the past. They stir up memories. Just like the wines of a specific vintage, these fragrances which are made from the natural, purest botanical ingredients, are exclusive to the time and place each was harvested and their fragrance changes over time. Moreover, these perfumes contain raw materials that are either very hard to get or that no longer exist. Due to this factor, vintage perfumes are priced on the higher side.

How to Test Cologne or Perfume to Find the Best Fragrance For You

Shopping for cologne or perfume involves a lot of patience. Try not to buy a fragrance the first day you visit the store because there is a lot that goes into choosing the correct scent. When looking for the perfect perfume, you must remember that the scent won’t smell the same on your body as it does in a test strip or the bottle itself. The scent will respond to your body chemistry to generate a scent that is totally unique to you. The key to deciding whether a scent is the right one for you would be to allow it to blend with your body’s chemistry prior to making the final decision. However, it can take a few days to locate your perfect cologne hence, it is vital that you are patient.

How To Test Cologne:
Here are some tips to test cologne that can prove to be helpful when you go to shop for a scent:
You must avoid trying more than three colognes at a time as you may not be able to distinguish the scents and in turn, you may end up making a poor choice. After testing three fragrances, your sense of smell will lose its sharpness, and you will not be able to get an idea of any scent you try after that. The mixture of the 3 scents you try will also start blending together. Nevertheless, smelling coffee beans after smelling each perfume will help to clear your sense of smell since.  Coffee beans can cleanse your nasal palate and allow you to distinguish smells better over a longer period of time.

You can choose the fragrances you like to test on your skin. First, spray the test cologne on your wrist because this is where your skin is the warmest and your blood flow is strong. After spraying, cover your wrist with your other hand for a few seconds to enable the warmth of your body to bring out the scent’s notes. The cologne’s initial scent is known as the top note. It is the first scent that you will encounter, which lasts for around 10 minutes.

You will have to wait for half an hour after spraying the scent before smelling your wrist again. The fragrance will have changed at that time into something richer. This is the middle note and you should think about how well this fragrance appeals to you. Later, several hours after leaving the store, try smelling your wrist once again. The new essence of the fragrance that is emitted at this stage is called as the base note. You should consider how satisfactorily all three notes smell as it would help to determine your perfect cologne.

How to Apply and Wear Cologne and Perfume

Perfumes can be applied in various ways, depending upon your desired effect.  The location and way you apply the fragrance can make up a huge difference on the outcome.  Regardless of what your desired effect is, you must remember that perfumes are intended to be worn as a faint hint and must not be overpowering.  Your signature scent should make people associate you with the scent and not announce your arrival.

You can simply spray perfume in the air right in front of you and walk through it. This technique works best if you wish to apply a very light and short-lasting scent as it won’t interact strongly with your skin chemistry and won’t last the whole day. However, it does offer a pleasant hint of fragrance for a brief period of time.  You can apply the fragrance either to your body or to your clothing. Each will have a different effect. On your clothing the scent may wear off quicker than if you apply it directly to your skin. Your body temperature, skin chemistry will slightly alter the scent as well as help bring out the deeper and richer scents within the fragrance.

When wearing a strong fragrance, like a parfum classic or an eau de parfum, dab the perfume on your neck and wrists. The neck is a good spot to because the body heat in that region is closest to the surface and in all probability intensifies the perfume’s scent. It’s also not covered up by your clothing which will allow for a longer lasting scent.

On the other hand, if you wear an eau de cologne or an eau de toilette, you may want to dab some behind your ears on the pulse points, inside your elbows and on your chest. You must spray the cologne carefully and try not to exceed three sprays.

Overall, fragrant perfumes and colognes can help to enhance your mood and offer your body a pleasing smell when you apply it so, you’ve to choose the right perfume and wear it in a right way. Fragrances lead to an in general feeling of happiness and though invisible to the eyes, it adds “color” to your life and the people around you. Just make sure not to over do it!