Beauty Store Business

NOV 2014

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Page 47 of 75

46 November 2014 | I continuously expand my reach through social media and stay current with the needs of my clients so I can continue to offer them the products and experiences they seek—those that address current everyday needs, such as our argan gel fra- grances, as well as locally made products that use environmentally friendly packag- ing, eco-certified ingredients, etc. I'd like to be able to offer all of my clients the chance to experience the essence of my brand in a nearby retail location—and it would be great to meet them in person too! How can beauty retailers sell fragrances more effectively? As I mentioned before, there seems to be a desire by consumers to connect on a deeper level with the products they purchase today. The expansion of social media and online retailers has provided consumers with the opportunity and access to an abundance of information, so the story behind the brand becomes even more important. I believe there is an opportunity to bridge the gap between the actual fragrance-development story and the marketing of that scent's story at the point of sale. Having an in-store experi- ence that best conveys the story of the brand is super-important, especially for smaller indie brands. Is there anything that the average beauty retailer or customer might be surprised to know about fragrance? Most people assume that perfumers have a "good nose," but the truth is we have trained noses. Although it's a glamorous-sounding profession, to truly become a perfumer involves many years of dedication, commitment, observation and countless experiments. Creativity plays a large role in devel- oping a fragrance, but equally important is the skill set needed to translate ideas into a fragrance. A trained nose doesn't smell a rose when evaluating a floral scent, for instance, but instead the indi- vidual aromatic molecules that naturally exist in a rose. It's this knowledge that takes years to acquire and informs the development process. In some cases, it could take more than a year and hun- dreds of experiments to develop a scent. I recently estimated that I've formulated well over 10,000 experiments over the course of my career! Considering that only a handful makes it to market, you can see that fragrance development involves a lot more than simply mixing ingredients together. As to why people are drawn to cer- tain scents, it's really difficult to say. It's such a personal experience, and for this reason I think it's important for each of us to embrace our own unique prefer- ences to discover the scents that suit us. How do you see indie brands fitting into the retail landscape? I believe that the increased desire of the consumer to find and interact with these artisan-created brands makes them an ideal fit for the retail environment. There is a real opportunity to connect the consumer with the artisan and provide a one-of-a-kind fragrance experience. This is my passion—to create fra- grances that help others experience a sensory journey as they go about daily life. Of course, my ingredients are top-notch, and I've personally traveled to exotic loca- tions, but how does that help the average person on her daily commute? My goal has always been to empower people to embrace and enhance their own everyday reality with scent. What kinds of customers do your products cater to? Purusa customers seek lifestyle prod- ucts that combine natural wellness and luxury. They are interested in natural and eco-certified ingredients, as well as a socially and environmentally conscious approach to the packaging and manu- facturing process. We cater to this clien- tele by using recyclable and sustainable packaging certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which promotes measures to protect water quality, biodiversity and wildlife habitat. Our ingredients are eco-certified, and the argan gel is manufactured using green technology to ensure that all aspects of production are environmentally sound. The Numbers line caters to a wider audience of clients seeking highly crafted, luxurious scents with acces- sible price points. They tend to be very loyal to one of our three scents and often purchase our Goat Milk Soaps and Dead Sea Bath Salts as a way to further extend their experience. The Purusa line draws a more unisex audience, while the Numbers line appeals mainly to women who are 25-years-old and older. What have been your biggest challenges and successes over so many years in the fragrance industry? As with any small business, some of the challenges involve finding the right distribution and retail partners, as well as remaining true to the brand's vision as the company grows. As the founder of my brand, it's sometimes a challenge to refrain from pursuing my next project until I establish an outlet for my current brands. Over the years I've had success creating fragrances for many brands, including Coty, Laura Mercier, Fresh, Estée Lauder and KEVIN.MURPHY, as well as many niche brands. Early in my career, I was honored when one of my fragrance creations received the coveted FiFi Award from The Fragrance Foundation. A few years later another fragrance I developed received a Per- fumer's Choice Award from the American Society of Perfumers. But today my definition of success is different. When I receive testimonials from customers saying one of my scents has enhanced their daily experience, I feel I've truly succeeded. ■ Tracy Morin is a freelance writer and editor based in Oxford, MS. "Our Numbers line consists of three highly crafted fragrances, No. 17, No. 35 and No. 44, which are available in portable roll-on perfume oils, eau de parfums, creamy Goat Milk Soaps and therapeutic- grade Dead Sea Bath Salts." Image courtesy of Sebastian Signs

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