Friday, March 2, 2007

There really is NO Urban Botanic Competition...

As I read the following article I was AMAZED at the cost being charged for "custom" perfume. It really is a miracle how are process allows women to create and experience their own custom scent without being a millionaire.

First let's look at the Body Shops rendition of a My Scents Kit...

Custom Scents
Celebrate your big day with a personalized perfume created just for you Brides express their style in almost every element of their nuptials, from bouquet to dress to favors. But why stop at the obvious? If ever there was the perfect occasion to indulge in a one-of-a-kind bespoke fragrance, your wedding is it. Especially now, since it's possible to have a signature scent made without breaking the bank. Here and in the gallery, explore some olfactory options.

The Body Shop Invent Your Scent In one handy case, nine vials of fragrance (from citrusy and floral aromas to more exotic spicy and musky ones) allow youto create as many as 362,880 possible combinations. If you need a little guidance, the Body Shop's Web site suggests some mixes for you ($30 for case or $16 per 30 ml bottle;

Click here to see their kit for yourself. I honestly believe that they just have you "spraying" each one on top of each other to create. It's NOTHING like our My Scents with the vial and actual product to infuse!

They do actually carry about 19 perfume oils and it looks like the unscented product is around $16.00 but that's for 1 oz. So we are still much more competitive on the pricing and our customer get the biggest value which is US! To help them create in their own home making sure they love their results before purchasing.

Check out this custom made scent. A lot more high maintenance with a price tag to match!
Creative Scentualization Online Fragrance Journeys Fill out a personality questionnaire at (sample query: "What is your favorite color?"), and three custom blends will be mailed to you based on your answers. Then select the one that's right for you ($35 for the three samples, plus $36 for .5oz of the perfume you choose;

So basically they could have almost 2 party specials and make sure they didn't have 2 duds doing it our way. The personality test is a nice touch LOL. Sound familiar? The issue is that the customer has really "no say" as to what they're getting. Possibly you could be out $35.00 and not want any of them. Afrobella actually blogged about both of us on her blog back in Dec/Jan time frame and loved her Just Baked scent vs. the option.

Jo Malone Fragrance Combining Salespeople for Jo Malone, a purveyor of fragrance and skin-care products in London, will work with you to layer two or more colognes into a pleasanty complex personalized concction ($50 per 30 ml bottle; at select Neiman Marcus stores or for boutiques). So how complex can it really be when you're just layer 2 scents on you? SERIOUSLY!

Bond No. 9 Demi-Custom Blending A scent specialist will help you combine several of this prestigious line's 27 offerings, all named for N.Y.C. neighborhoods, into a lush multilayered potion that suits your sensibilities. You also get a copy of the recipe as a keep-sake (from $300 for 2 oz.; at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores or or 877-273-3369 for boutiques).
A keepsake recipe? What's more keepsake than actually having your recipe on the bottle? Ad $300 just made me run the other way :)

Aftelier Custom Perfumes In a 90-minute face-to-face session (or by mail), Mandy Afel, a perfumer based in Berkeley, Calif. presents you with dozens of natural essences to consider in synthesizing your scent. Her trademark: fresh, refined formulas with vintage overtones ($900 for a .25 oz. bottle and .25 oz. of solid perfume in a serling-silver tin; Aftelier Custom Perfumes, 510-841-2111). So now we're getting more the realm of a friend of mine. I love her to death but trust me. She'll be more interested in this set up JUST BECAUSE it costs $900 and won't smell any better. It's the fact that she can SAY it cost that much that will make her feel good about herself. Sorry to say but there IS a market for that.

Miller Harris Londoner Lyn Harris of Miller Harris- known for its citrus, fig and woodland perfumes- will spend a full day with you at her stateside boutique (inside Saks Fifth Avenue in N.Y.C.) to find out your aromatic preferences, then devote up to six months to creating your exclusive fragrance (in-person appointement required, $10,000 for 30 ml; 212-940-2145).
I seriously have to wonder how much money Lyn Harris actually makes a year. Unless she's doing this for the stars, I would think she'd need to charge that just for the few people a year that really get into this. Now I know that for the rich it's a drop in the bucket, but middle income america makes up 80% of the dollars spent so I'm happy that UB has that niche!
And by the way I'm a huge fan of Fig so interesting that she's "known" for that!

So what have we learned today about custom fragrance? Well, I hope the following:

  • It's hot and it's now! People want to be unique and beautful and not a copy cat!

  • It does not need to cost thousands of dollars to smell like a star and we help facilitate that.

  • There is a huge market for it and we just need to continue to tap into it everywhere we can!

Keep up the good work team and continue to spread the UB mission!

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