The starting point in approaching a difficult market (think "a difficult time to sell perfume") is to understand that there ARE NO simple answers or guides. NOBODY really has the answers. But there are some "tricks" that can greatly improve your chances of success. Here are some thoughts for you.
First and most important of all, you have to understand this one great TRUTH. Yes, this IS a TRUTH: It is NOT impossible to make profitable sales, even when it appears that all the odds are against you.
Keep this TRUTH in mind. If you forget it you are doomed.
Next -- and this is a truth too -- it is better to do SOMETHING than to do nothing. In other words, get off your duff and get to work, even if you think you're just spinning your wheels. ACTIVITY on your part stimulates activity on the part of the consumer. Lack of activity on your part leads to your being forgotten. Forever.
RETHINKING your business is essential. If things are slow, rather than sitting around complaining and feeling all depressed, use some of this "spare time" (quality time?) to think about your business -- where you've come from, where you are now, and how you can use this "analysis" of your business to prepare for a successful tomorrow. Yes, it's hard to think "forward" when things are slowing down, but it's essential for your future success AND your current survival.
Cycles reverse. You can't predict the timing but you can predict that -- if you keep your head and don't panic -- in time all will be well again ... probably in less time than you now forsee.
So clean up the garbage. Get rid of those elements in your business that don't really belong. Polish up the good points so that you look sharper and better. Do the fine tuning you were too busy to do before. This is the time to make your business shine, to really do your best to make a good impression. Look dusty and mouldy now and you are doomed. Forever.
REMEMBER that SOME people have money to spend and LOTS of people can still afford to buy the things they raelly want. You have to entice them properly. If somehow you can make YOUR perfume the one thing that they MUST HAVE, you will make profitable sales.
What it all comes down to is finding ways to make the PURCHASE of YOUR perfume irresistable. Good luck!