Scent perception is one of basic senses, that have great impact on our environment perception and behaviour. Importance of scent is in my opinion very underestimated. Complexity connected with scent perception and processing of its signals makes everything multi-dimensional. Sometimes we would appreciate absence of fragrant environment to avoid flood of reaction connected with scent.

Producers of many products are standing helpless if choose of fragrance for their product is a task. In my career as fragrance producer I was faced with numerous challenges of designing proper fragrance for potential customer. Motive of customer are very widespread; from looking simple product fragrance to solving complex problems of environmental emanation of fragrance. Quite soon I came to decision, that we are not able to solve every scenting problem. There are so many factors not enabling uniform principles of fragrance composition for different uses. Not to speak about special applications needed for some materials.

My deep believe is that good solution in scent applications is possible with innovation and cooperation. Exchange of experience can improve a potential customer awareness of challenge complexity.

I hope customer will appreciate this small guidance and get a picture of work perfumers must do, to fulfill its wishes.


1. Recognize abilities of your supplier

Suppliers for perfumes vary in size, capabilities and business policies. Certainly not all companies individually solve all the problems you encounter with scenting. The best results are surely achieved with a supplier who is qualified to prepare perfume for your purposes. Wise supplier will never take an attempt to solve problems he can’t solve alone. Many scenting problems can be solved with the participation of specialists. Therefore struggles to convince small and medium suppliers for exchange of knowledge. Customers are in quite similar situation and are warmly invited to participate with their vision of challenges. Execution cases presentation can help many people struggling with similar challenges or only push them in right direction.


2. Very accurately describe the purpose of scenting your product

It is necessary to consider the fact of the customer ownership of products that are intended for fragrance. Surely it is unwise to invest money in the perfume, which will be vaporized before it comes to a buyer, although the packaging smelled wonderful. We must often adjust the application and the surface to which fragrance is applied. Therefore, always precisely define the purpose and method of use. If not known discuss all issues with perfumer. You will be surprised how many other people are solving similar challenges.


3. Allow supplier sufficient time for the preparation of fragrance

If you want to perfume products so that their smell attracts prospective buyer a great volume of scent testing is necessary. For design of new perfume, it takes about three months of work. It is imperative to check perfume on real application and real product. Cooperation with suppliers in these experiments is necessary and must be carefully planned.


4. Help the company in solving technical problems

At the beginning supplier usually does not know how products behave in technological process. It is therefore appropriate to inform him of the way the products are produced and what we expect regarding stability, solubility, colour, temperature, etc. …. Perfumer is always willing to respect intellectual property and will not disclose knowledge about the processes in which it participates with its products to third parties. Cooperation is extremely rewarding.


5. Allow the supplier of fragrances as much as possible freedom

Certainly, the buyer provides the range of features that are expected from fragrances and especially its impact on the final impression of the product. The supplier’s task is to find ways and means for the proper selection of components and technologies that will realize customer requirements.

In doing so, methods of determining the price of fragrance are used rather than the unit price of the customer’s product. Often also too specific fragrance is required and thereby limits imagination in the design. Customers often require imitation of a market-established product, but do not forget, your product should smell different! The attitude of the customer to the product determines not only the smell, even if it is a primary feature. People are extremely complex in the perception of the senses. They should never be used separately (good example are fragrance bottles!).

The price is reasonable to define, but not so narrow that they disable improving essential quality parameters of perfume. By defining the price limited set of raw materials can be used and we define also the specific market segment.

We need to cross all the technical limitations of volatility to viscosity, solubility, etc. We also need to specify the type of application, because that imposes technical restrictions on the use and enable assembler of fragrances for proper selection of raw materials (example candle fragrance should be DPG free). Too much restriction will do more damage if you are in the phase of selection decisions for several suppliers. With strict specifications you will get very similar products, thereby harming the reasonable possibility to come to market with more efficient selection. There are enough cases of false positions in everyday practice. You can smell them at your competition. Do not underestimate the customer. Stick to the principle that the compounding of fragrances must be in alignment of manufacturing competitiveness and make product desirable.


6. Search offers from several manufacturers

Different manufacturers have different methods of solving problems of scent. Each manufacturer has in some segments better in the other a little less good (not bad!) solutions. In extreme cases, you will also have more choice. Test samples on your product and usage! Tell your observations potential to suppliers. Perhaps they will suggest better solutions.


7. Never order more samples than you can test actually.

Any serious manufacturer takes his work extremely responsibly. For your product it will use a lot of time for both; the compositing as well as finding new ways to optimally meet your requirements. Respect their efforts and not demand more samples as you can process. 3 to 5 samples will do it!


8. Create the desired price range

In any case, you also gain. If you give the maker of fragrances possibility that the design cheaper and more expensive version, you will ultimately decide on the basis of testing. If cheaper version will meet requirements you will be able to reduce the cost of the product. If you use more expensive maybe marketing result will be better.


9. If you want to implement a long-term successful perfuming respect the efforts of suppliers

Manufacturers use a lot of resources for suitable offers of fragrances and particularly the knowledge of people in which they invest (sometimes decades of time). Please do not use methods such as:

  • The request for the preparation of a project, you do not think to carry out seriously.
  • Requiring only offer you want to proceed not only to make pressure on primary supplier.
  • Don’t request bids for fragrances, which you usually prepare by yourself (unless you want actually outsource the preparation of fragrance).

I believe that most of perfumers had bad experience with requests of this type.


Choosing fragrance for product is important part of marketing package connected with product lancing. Make it fair and efficient with careful planning and straight demands to make entire process efficient.