New Business Ideas No. 9: Make your own natural fine fragrances
This is the ninth of a series of low capital micro-business ideas
One of the most glamorous and luxurious products you can think of are fine fragrances. Fine fragrances are truly something special, usually a special gift to that someone special bought at a high class department store or duty free shop at an airport somewhere. When we wear a fragrance we feel special, and some fragrances even become part of our personal signatures.
Once upon a time fine fragrances used to be completely natural. But technology got into them and fine fragrances today are primarily made of synthetic materials resembling nature. There is something special about a natural fine fragrance that the synthetic materials can't duplicate and there is a growing group of people who have learnt how to remake natural fragrances as a hobby, which for many has turned into big business.
Many consumers in the US, Europe, and Australia now look for small artisan boutique natural and organic fragrances to wear. They are manufactured by hand and extremely exclusive, often recapturing the fine classic fragrances of yesteryear. However many creative natural perfumers are developing their own modern interpretations and marketing these fragrances very exclusively to customers who want something special.
Fine fragrance creation is the next step up from aromatherapy for some. Made purely from essential oils, these fragrances represent something special 'that money cannot buy' in the world of mass consumption. This is the perfect hobby business for the perfectionist, the artist, for the person who wants to make something very personal and exclusive. This pass-time can stay as a hobby or grow into a very special business. This is a business that will totally depend upon your own creativity.
Making natural fragrances is still very new to Malaysia, and because of this, some time will be required to source raw materials and learn the art of perfumery. There are a number of good courses online that you can subscribe to, and materials can also be purchased from special firms dedicated to supplying organic and natural materials to artisan perfumers.
See the basics of making a perfume in this film clip
You may get a shock how much each material will cost. Good rose oil is thousands of dollars per kilogram, but you will only require grams. For this reason it's not a cheap hobby to pursue, but you will find that there is also a special sense of satisfaction coming from possessing these materials in your perfume organ (place where you make perfumes) pictured below.
Developing the skill to make a natural perfume will take a while, but it will be a very self satisfying experience. There is something special about both essential oils and homemade natural fragrances that is alluring, magical, and even mystical. Making natural fine fragrances will become something you feel totally passionate about.
The procedures of making a natural perfume
One thing here, it's not a cheap hobby, and it may also be very time consuming. Making natural fine fragrances may also take you around the world looking at how others make perfumes through attending courses and even visiting the regions where natural essential oils are produced. There are even organized tours these days.
However making natural fine fragrances here in Malaysia may have a lot of scope. You might open a small shop supplying raw materials, teaching, and marketing your own small range of designer fragrances. Through online exposure you may even be able to sell your fine fragrances inspired by Malaysian scenes and life all around the world with your "scents of Malysiana" range. What a basis for creative inspiration, the tropical rainforest, mangrove, beaches, and diversity of peoples. Only your imagination will limit you.
Limit your distribution to a few retail outlets and your product will develop the exclusivity that some of the classics of yesteryear once enjoyed. Artisan based products are slowly facing a renaissance as an alternative to mass produced products. If you want to take this hobby beyond a pleasure seeking pass-time, with skill as your asset, you can develop something exclusive that has great value. Many have done this and the world natural fragrance market is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and growing rapidly.
Just imagine with this business you can deeply enrich your skills, become environmentally aware, develop long lasting friendships with like minded people all over the world, and through your own creativity, make something that others highly value.
This is not the business for everyone. It's a time consuming pass-time for the perfectionist who has been frustrated with not having the avenues to be truly creative during their lives and careers. You art and imagination can develop something of value that will not only bring you great personal satisfaction, but to others as well. Become a pioneer in natural fine fragrance creation and you may discover your true artistic self.
Originally published in Emigem Magazine 31st October 2013
You can subscribe for free emails of future articles here: