Boutiques and Splitting the Scents into Two Lines

I have a lot of news to cover today. The good news is that some boutiques are interested in selling my line and I’m starting to wholesale. The first places are not local, but I’ll look for something local as well because people often ask where they can go in this area to sniff my line. I’ll post about each of the boutiques when they have my products ready for purchase, and today is the first one.

I wrote most of this post several months ago when I first made plans to start selling to boutiques, and I’m just finishing the post now that the first boutique is open. It’s a new store just for indie brands called Indie Scents. I wanted my site to be open when this happened, but my wrists aren’t ready yet to reopen. For now, samples will still be available on my site and bottles will be available at indiescents.com. I’ll get started with a couple more boutiques when I’m able to reopen. I’m excited about Indie Scents because it’s a new project by Franco Wright of Luckyscent and should be a lot of fun and a great opportunity.

In order to wholesale, prices need to go up on some products (but I’ve minimzed the impact in many ways as you’ll see if you read all the details here). Retailers only pay a portion of the listed price on my site and I cannot afford to wholesale based on previous prices. I’m dividing my line into two collections: the Boutique Collection, which will be sold both on my site and in boutiques, and the Sonoma Exclusives, which will only be sold through Sonoma Scent Studio. All the Boutique scents will be available in the new 34 ml bottles both on my site and in boutiques. I will continue to offer the smaller sizes (17 ml and purse sprays) only on my site. The Sonoma Exclusives will be available in all sizes on my site and will slowly migrate to the new bottles as I work my way through the list.

There are four fragrances in the initial Boutique Collection: Tabac Aurea, Winter Woods, Incense Pure, and Rose Musc. The first three make good choices for the Boutique group because they are popular and have broad appeal. Rose Musc is joining the Boutique group at this time because it also has a broad appeal and it’s nice for summer. Some of the Sonoma Exclusives will move into the Boutique Collection after they transition to the new bottles, but others will remain as Exclusives.

I’m still deciding about some scents, but Fireside Intense, Sienna Musk, and Cameo will remain as Exclusives, while Lieu de Reves will soon move to the Boutique group. Fireside Intense is the first of the Exclusives to move to the new bottles and will be available in the new 34 ml as soon as I reopen my site; Fireside Intense is unique and a little quirky with a special audience so it seems best to remain an Exclusive. The other Exclusives will be out of stock in the 34 ml size for a while until they move to the new bottles. I’m too low on the old 34 ml bottles to continue to offer them, but all the other Exclusives are available in 17 ml and purse sprays and will be available shortly in the new 34 ml bottles.

Raising prices on the Boutique Collection 34 ml bottles has been a difficult and painful decision, but it is necessary in order to cover the cost of the more expensive bottles and to help offset the retailer’s cut. Not building retail mark-up into my pricing from the start may seem like a mistake in hindsight, but it did give people an opportunity to receive excellent value while I’ve been growing my line over the years. Now I’m trying to grow the business with limited distribution to a few select boutiques while staying small enough to offer a unique handmade product still at a good value. I will continue to offer the small sizes to accommodate customers who prefer a lower cost option. It’s also important to remember these scents in all bottle sizes are extrait concentration, and the new prices are still very competitive with usual retail for extraits.

As I mentioned on a previous post, I’m taking a partial break by removing the cart buttons temporarily for the bottle sizes, but I’ve left the samples up for sale. When I resume taking bottle orders after this break, I’d like to offer customers the chance to purchase the Boutique Collection’s 34 ml size in the original bottles at the old prices until I am out of stock of those bottles. I couldn’t give a warning of this change, so I thought it’d be nice to offer as many older style bottles at the old prices as I can. Also, from time to time in the future I will offer discount codes for newsletter subscribers. I will post on the blog before reopening to give blog readers first chance on the lower cost older bottle style (the juice is fresh — only the empty bottles are old since I fill bottles to order).

During this break while the full bottles are unavailable for purchase, you can still go to the Fragrance page to see the new prices and new structure of the line. I’ve updated the format of the descriptive pages for the Boutique Collection to show the new bottles. The Boutique Collection is available in the new bottles at Indie Scents.

Here’s the mission statement for Indie Scents: “We search the globe to offer you the best in artisanal, independent brands at reasonable prices. We are committed to finding the rarest and most unique fragrances for you to sample and enjoy. Whether a fragrance is about a particular ingredient, a rare note, or a personal story envisioned through scent– in the end– it is about small, independent brands being given a chance to shine in this very crowded world of perfumery. We hope you stay tuned as we will be introducing many new brands over time. Our hunt for the small independent producers will never end so you will have an endless supply of the new, undiscovered and, most importantly, some of the most beautiful fragrances in the world.”

It looks like I am probably one of the smallest brands on Indie Scents in that the others have wholesaled before while this is my first time. Two of the goals for Indie Scents are to feature small indie brands and to offer bottle sizes that are affordable. I’m sure Indie Scents will be adding more little indie brands over time. One brand I see there that I want to try is MCMC — their scents look interesting and I’ve not tried any before or read any reviews.

I want to say thanks once again for the support I have received from many in the fragrance community. I can’t say enough how much it means to me. I’m hoping to open some studio hours once I finish this transition to new bottles and boutiques; it’d be fun to meet some of you in person! Now I just need to get these wrists healed so I can open again. I’m working on it! I will have an update soon about four scents I’m working on (the Opal reformulation, Bouquet Blanc, a new fall fragrance, and a tweak to Lieu de Reves).

About Laurie E

artisan perfumer and owner of Sonoma Scent Studio
This entry was posted in Sonoma Scent Studio Updates. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Boutiques and Splitting the Scents into Two Lines

  1. Tamara*J says:

    Laurie,
    Congratulations on all your success!

    I am going to try and save up quickly to afford the last of your older bottle options, it makes me happy for you but a lil’ bit stressed as I want to snatch up my favorites in a larger FB before I can’t afford them! Darn it. 😉

    Be well and revel in this victory in indie perfumery, your perfumes are beloved and respected. I am always proud to sing your praises.

    Yours Truly, Tamara Jackson

    • Laurie E says:

      Hi Tamara,

      Thanks so much! It will probably be a month before I put the shopping cart up so you have plenty of time. I will have some discount codes too.

  2. Suzanne says:

    Laurie,

    Congratulations!! You are so deserving of this, and I think it’s an excellent move on your part. I just went to the site, and gosh, those new bottles of yours look so good there! I can’t wait to see one in person, so I’ll be looking to make an upcoming purchase soon.

    Your fragrances are an excellent value, and we’ve been spoiled by your prices. I have no qualms about the price going up, as I think that even at the new price point (and especially with the new bottle), they are still very reasonable.

    Good move. I’m so happy for you!

  3. Jo Webber says:

    congrats, laurie!!!!!!!! i am so happy for you!

  4. Ann C says:

    Congratulations, Laurie! You’ve worked hard and you make unique and wonderful fragrances. I hope you have continued success in this new venture.

    Also, I can’t wait to hear about the new fall fragrance!

    Ann C.

    • Laurie E says:

      Thanks Ann! The new one is more for the cool season, fall and winter. It’s a bit nostalgic with rose and jasmine heartnotes and a traditional base of oakmoss, amber, tonka, musk, patchouli, and vanilla.

  5. Dionne says:

    Thanks for giving us a heads up about the price change, and especially the chance to snatch up the Boutiques in the older bottles – now I definitely know what I’m going to ask for my birthday!

  6. Ann C says:

    Laurie, the notes of your new fall fragrance sound right up my alley. I look forward to hearing about your progress as you develop it.

    -Ann C

  7. Anne says:

    How interesting and exciting! Thanks for sharing that, and good luck with boutique line. It’s great to hear that the small bottles will still be available. Women of my mother’s generation probably found value in huge bottles, but I sure don’t. (My mother would be horrified at the amount of perfume I own!).

    Can I ask if you have any idea how much longer you will keep Femme Jolie in your line? I have plenty, but if I thought you were going to take it off the list I would stock up. Rarely has a perfume given me as much pleasure as FJ …

    • Laurie E says:

      Hi Anne,

      Great question — I should talk about that. I’m getting low on FJ and won’t be making more, so this fall will be time to think about getting more if you want more. It’s been offered as a limited edition since last winter.

      Thanks so much for good wishes! I think a variety of bottle sizes is important too.

  8. Bellatrix says:

    Dear L.,

    I hope you will get better very soon 🙂 Let new bottles be great new inspiration 🙂 🙂

  9. Tara says:

    Thanks for giving us advance notice on the changes! I’m looking forward to the opportunity to stock up on the old bottles – appreciate the gesture.

    Congrats on your success!

  10. Tara says:

    Oh BTW – is the new fall scent the amber one you were working on? I’m hoping it is, it sounded yummy!

    • Laurie E says:

      Thanks Tara! The amber is another one — I really want an amber that will work both in lotion and perfume. I have a good start on that too and need to get back to it.

  11. Daisy says:

    I wanted to add my voice to Suzanne’s , your fragrances have long been the best deal around and we’ve been a little spoiled by your old prices. Considering the intensity of your fragrances; they’ll still be a great value at the new prices.
    The new bottles look amazing and it’s exciting to see your fragrances at Indie Scent !
    I look forward to a little “stocking up” too. I’ll kind of miss the old bottles when they’re gone.

    Hope your wrists are better soon. ~Daisy

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