Fragrance is one of the most important ingredients to any cosmetic item. No one wants a weak or unpleasant scent. On the other hand, a strong fragrance with no "depth" is just as unappealing (think cleaning product lemon, or another similarly one-dimensional scent). So what should you be looking for when choosing fragrances for your products?
You really need to cover two important basis with fragrance. First, you need to have all the regular, time tested scents that everyone expects to find at any old bath and body shop. This means vanilla, lavender, something minty (spearmint, peppermint, menthol), something floral (jasmine, gardenia, patchouli, lily, etc.), and something sweet (fruity, perfume, honey, etc.).
Some of your customers will be very particular. They may show up and only buy one or two fragrances, never really trying new items. This is why you need the time tested staples listed above. The use of Lavender, for example, can be traced back 2500 years. Its popularity is here for the foreseeable future. Having these items gives your customers a sense of familiarity.
The second important thing to keep in mind when looking for fragrances is the uniqueness factor. Can your customers get something from you they can't get anywhere else? This usually means finding a weird combination of fragrances not commonly found at other stores. It could also mean you found a spin on a traditional fragrance.
One example for us is Jasmine Lime. You normally don't think of those two as being complementary. But our Lime fragrance is a very strong citrus with a kick. The Jasmine lightens it up beautifully while adding it's own subtle notes of florals. Sometimes you just got to start mixing things until you find something that works.
Location can also play a role in the scents you offer your customers. Let's say your store is in Southern Georgia, an area known for it's Peaches and Oranges. You may want a few extra products with fragrances that match your location. People visiting the area would rather buy a Peach scented bar of soap from Southern Georgia, than something the area isn't known for. Play that to your advantage.
Having a good mix of traditional fragrances, and stuff unique to your area or store, is the best way to start out. You'll get feedback almost immediately on what's working for you and your particular situation and can adjust from there. When dealing with wholesale soap suppliers, it's a good idea to ask them what their most popular fragrances are. This way you know what's been working for all the other small businesses. A good supplier will freely tell you this information. After all, your success directly translates to their success.
In our 15+ years of selling bath and body products we can tell you one thing for sure. You can have the most beautifully crafted, visually appealing bar of soap on the planet. The first thing the customer is going to do is smell it. If your fragrance isn't up to par, they'll put it down and move on.
What type of fragrances have been working best for you? Let us know below!