making of

Where is?

Where is the “L’eau d’épices”? I was asked the other day at an event. Actually, I was asked in LA, during the Scentbar event and launch of Loretta. And the question came out of the blue, and hence I replied rather bluntly that it is not there right now, because I run out of stock and that there is nothing to worry. Since then others asked me why Eau d’épices is missing on some, including mine, retailers websites.

When Pär asked me in the comments section yesterday, I realized: It is time for a blog post about it. OK. There we go…

A while ago, I had a post about Oudh, and that I try to keep my brand 100% oudh free because I got really tired of all the oudh scents and their marketing without much oudh and inspiration in there. I think I explained it sort of decently, also telling that there is no oudh in most of these oudh scents (except for a few drops), and that it is about time to wake up and realize that this oudh thing is about marketing, and that consumers are not told entirely the truth and ultimately -and that’s what I hate about it- consumers will not believe anything anymore. You find this post here (click here). This post created some waves in other places, like for instance in a German board, where some started a discussion, about a couple of things, among others that I had no proof presented for my statements. I personally felt that some discussions were a bit twisted and I learned again that pricing and financial questions in perfumery are a white map for many. I did not understand why some of the reactions to my post were rather harsh.  OK, I did not really think about them a lot, too.

Up until I read a short but concise discussion between Trebor and Robin on Now Smell This (click here). The post was about a new brand, and in the end, the discussion was about myth and reality in the fragrance industry, and what it means in the perfume industry. I think that both Trebor and Robin are right and this is the dilema. This industry is the industry of dreams. And post by post I learn again  that the facts are not always really welcome, not all the time. Fragrances are about dreams and by telling how a price of a scent is composed you destroy this dream for many. Since a while, I am having this in my mind and feel that I am right in the middle. Thus, explaining why there is no eau d’épices brings about two explanations.

So there we go: I run out of l’eau d’épices. Sort of deliberately. Let’s celebrate the myth for a second. I made about 600 bottles of Eau d’épices, in three batches. This scent is absolutely unique and you will not find the same in the markets, it is very rich in dark spices, and in absolutes of Orange blossom and Jasmin absolute from Egypt. It is an unique gem, a special composition addressing the connoisseur and also a bit expensive to produce. It is a very complex formula with raw materials from 3 continents and sourcing all fragrant ingredients is sometimes painful. It neeeds a lot of time to make sure I have all ingredients, quality test them, mix them and produce the fragrant spicy water.

But besides the flowers and roses and the beautiful pictures of perfumes: There is an other reality, too. And, stubborn and Swiss as I am : I talk about it. It would be easy for me to just say that I need to wait until I get the right quality of a particular ingredient again before I can produce the next batch. Without lying: Orange blossom in good quality is always an issue. But frankly: This is not the reason that I have zero bottles of Eau d’épices in stock. (I have lots of samples, still).

The reason is simple: Contrary to most other brands I have no investor behind me….. And I am not rich.  I am investing almost all of my own private money, earned and saved, now and especially early next year: To bring new scents, to change some packaging, to buy bottles, to buy insurances, to pay shipment to retailers,  to keep existing scents in the portfolio. Every scent, existing or new, means an investment. A big investment if you count everything together. We are doing fine, but if you run a business, cashflow control and stock management is very, very important. Thus, in order to optimize both, I decided to allow stock levels of scents that sell less to go down, to zero even, for a few months, before I invest again and produce them again. This is true for scents that sell a bit less.

And guess what: The very moment Eau d’épices is sold out, a lot of perfume loving friends started talking about it. Before, it was very silent….

Thus, Eau d’épices will come again, somewhen next year. It may take a while, though. And when it will be back, it will come with a different packaging and labels. It will wear a dress that fits and underlines its beauty.