Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The easy way to get big orders for the perfumes you create

Where do you go to find a big bunch of the world's top perfumers? The answer, of course, is a fragrance house such as IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances). IFF churns out perfume for such famous names as Estee Lauder, Coty, Elizabeth Arden, L'Oreal, Liz Claiborne, Banana Republic, and lots more. IFF markets its perfume making services to these companies -- in return for being the exclusive supplier of the finished product.

The strategy is nothing new. Back in the 1930's and 1940's -- before IFF existed -- Roure Bertrand (now merged with Givaudan) trained and employed many of that generations top perfumers who cranked out fragrances for Dana, Carven, Christian Dior, Lucien Lelong, Schiaparelli, Balmain, Nina Ricci, Robert Piguet, Givenchy, and others.

Roure's owners then, like IFF's owners today, saw the profits in setting other people up in the perfume business -- people (such as the great French fashion designers of the period) who had ready made markets for perfume. Roure sold the fashion house on the idea that they should be selling perfume. The designers had celebrity status, women bought the fragrances that carried their names, and Roure made lots of money from it, just as IFF makes lots of money today off the celebrity status of David Beckham and Viktor & Rolf.

If you are making perfume -- good perfume -- but want to stick to making perfume rather than getting involved in consumer marketing, consider turning yourself into a one-person IFF or Givaudan. Find organizations that could profit from selling their own "signature" fragrance. Then offer to supply it to them.

Of course you're not likely to snag Tom Ford or Estee Lauder as a client but you may uncover some hidden gold in local organizations that can sell just about as much perfume as you, working alone, can create.

Maybe it won't really be so easy to get that all important first order. But it's a business plan that has already proven itself to be profitable. And it could be both profitable and emotionally rewarding for you.

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