How to start a fragrance business

Written by nicki howell
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Starting a fragrance business allows you to create custom products to market to customers. You can distribute your fragrances in many ways, including the online marketplace, a traditional storefront, or selling to spas in your community. But before launching your business, it's important that you secure ingredient wholesalers and design a plan for distributing and marketing your products. Here's a guide to starting a fragrance business.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Decide what types of products you'll offer. Fragrance companies offer a variety of products including lotions, shower gels and perfumes. It may be most cost effective to start out with two to four products. And as your business grows, you can branch out and create more products.

  2. 2

    Select a wholesaler for your ingredients and essential oils. Contact several fragrance wholesalers, and set up meetings to discuss their essential oils and pricing structure. For a wholesaler list, check out (see Resources below).

  3. 3

    Determine your distributions methods. When selling your fragrance, you have many distribution options, including: opening a store, creating an online store, or selling your fragrance by having parties. Evaluate your target demographic to determine which options are best. Typically, opening a bricks-and-mortar store increases your overhead substantially, so consider operating in a virtual environment.

  4. 4

    Select a manufacturer for your fragrance. Contact several manufacturers to discuss you product details (see Resources below for a directory). Request a quote and references to determine which manufacturer is best for your fragrance.

  5. 5

    Secure your business license. This can be accomplished by visiting your local city hall department and completing an application.

  6. 6

    Market your services. If you have a physical store, hold a grand opening event. Network with local day spas to promote the event, and offer special discounts to attendees. If you're opening an online store, consider selling your products through eBay and to increase revenue. You can also capture customers' e-mails and produce a quarterly newsletter about your products to drive sales.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure to create a business plan. This will assist in creating strategies for operating, marketing and financing your fragrance business. For sample plans, check out (see Resources below).
  • If you need funding for your fragrance business, check out the Small Business Association. It has resources for new companies trying to secure funding (see Resources below).

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