Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Trials

There's so much to do -- even though it's only April -- before the re-opening of The Scented Djinn this fall.

Formulating perfumes, for one! Ah, but that's the fun part. It's the marketing materials, contacts and basic pounding of the pavement that are the real work. But there's a little bit of fun in that, too.

What can be distressing is the testing of a perfume prior to marketing. For instance, I, unlike many botanical perfumers (or traditional perfumers), have been utilizing a focus group to get feedback. These are non-perfumers, unrelated to me, who are not specifically trained in the characteristics of natural and botanical perfumes.

Now, there are some perfumers out there laughing their asses off over this about now -- but, here's the thing, I want to sell my perfumes. To people. People who don't have a clue that there's even a difference between natural, botanical, synthetic and blended media perfumes. I want people, regular men and women, to like it enough to buy it.

Now, that's not to say that once I've slaved over a formula for months on end and finally am satisfied with the end result, that I will change the formula because one or two focus members don't like it. No. I trust my nose enough now to know what's good and what's bunk. But I will take their concerns into consideration -- longevity of scent, so far, seems to be the most mentioned negative. If there's something I can do about that (and there is), I'll do it.

Feedback is important to me. It strips this whole process down to its bones and removes all room for ego.

2 comments:

  1. Heavans, how could you possibly evaluate a perfume without trying it on a focus group?
    I try mine on everyone from family to friends to loyal customers and anyone who is unwary enough to come near my workshop at the very least!
    Feedback from other perfumers is nice, but at the end of the day, I too am really interested in the opinion of the people who will actually buy the perfume!
    I have also had stalls at markets, new age conventions and other places which I basically treat as test arenas for peoples reactions!
    Taught me a HUGE amount!

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  2. Feedback from other perfumers can be a double edged sword -- on one hand, they're the "experts", and on the other hand, they're your direct competition. Focus groups are wonderful, even if they don't "get it" sometimes.

    Thanks for the comment!

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