Starting Your
Fragrance Business

Making and selling finished perfumes is a really lucrative business. It is estimated that in South Africa the generic fine fragrance market is worth over 1 billion Rand annually. This includes street vendors, township entrepreneurs, fragrance shops in malls and online as well as multi level marketing enterprises. These finished perfumes are sold from 5ml roller bottles all the way through to 100ml perfume sprays.

At Scent Lab, we do not provide finished perfume products. Instead, we sell perfume oils to manufacturers no matter how big or small they might be. These manufacturers mix our perfume oils with perfumer’s alcohol (we would always suggest Enterprise Ethanol’s Fragrasol) and then bottle the finished product in spray bottles (generally Bonpak perfume bottles). These finished perfumes are then sold at anything from R20 to R300 per bottle.

We supply generic perfume oils to thousands of businesses across Africa, the USA and Europe and we’d love to supply you too. If you’re thinking about starting your own perfume business using Scent Lab fragrance oils, check out some of the information below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unsure of how much perfume oil to mix with your perfumer’s alcohol? Refer to the table below for our mixing ratio suggestions.
Perfume Oil Quantity 100 grams 200 grams 1 kilogram 5 kilograms 25 kilograms
Alcohol Quantity (Fragrasol) 400 grams 800 grams 4 kilograms 20 kilograms 100 kilograms

What is maturation? And why must I do it?

Once perfume oil and alcohol is mixed it is always a good idea to let the mixture age. Aging means letting the mixture stand in a room or cupboard out of sunlight and away from heat for between 48 hours to 1 month.

A newly mixed perfume concentrate often smells quite different from an aged concentrate that has matured for a while.

This is also true in the whiskey and wine industry.

Sometimes in the cold temperatures of winter mixed perfumes in a bottle can start to go cloudy or show up small floaters (which look like dust or small particles in the perfume bottle).

In cold temperatures mixed perfume can show particles which is a natural process where waxes and oxidised elements from naturals are exposed.

Thus we recommend you always chill your mixed perfume before filling it into bottles. 

Chill by placing it in a fridge or chest freezer for 24 hours, then use a laboratory grade filter to remove any exposed waxes or solids from the perfume. 

Your perfume mixture is now ready to fill into your bottles.

Here is a rough table of the cost of perfumes using Scent Lab Perfume Oils:

ITEM DESCRIPTION

COST PER ITEM

COST FOR USE IN 30ML BOTTLE @ 20% DOSE

COST FOR USE IN 50ML BOTTLE @ 20% DOSE

PERFUME OIL

R799 PER KG

R4.74 (for 6mL of Oil)

R7.90 (for 10mL of Oil)

ALCOHOL (FRAGRASOL 901)

R200 5 LITRES

R1.04 (for 24mL of alcohol)

R1.60 (for 40mL of alcohol)

BOTTLE + PUMP

 

R5.50 roughly

R7.50 roughly

LABEL OR BOX

 

R2.50 roughly

R4.00 roughly

TOTALS

 

R13.78

R21.00

As can be seen in the above table a 30mL finished fragrance will cost about R13.78 to produce 

and a 50mL finished fragrance will cost about R21.00 to produce.

These can be sold for anything from R40 – R300.

At Scent Lab we have developed technology to reverse engineer fragrances that exist. We do this to save customers already using a fragrance an option to “import substitute” the fragrance they currently use – thus saving them money and gives a local quality supplier. 

Currently we thus do not develop new custom fragrances.

However if you use 200kg or more a month of a certain imported fragrance oil we will gladly reverse engineer it and quote on making it locally.

Scent Lab fine fragrance perfume oils can be used in lots of products, from car fragrances, lotions, room sprays, personal perfumes, candles and diffusers. However we strongly recommend you do your own stability in your product base to ensure ultimate compatibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unsure of how much perfume oil to mix with your perfumer’s alcohol? Refer to the table below for our mixing ratio suggestions.

Perfume Oil Quantity

Alcohol Quantity

(Fragrasol)

100 grams

400 grams

200 grams

800 grams

1 kilogram

4 kilograms

5 kilograms

20 kilograms

25 kilograms

100 kilograms



What is maturation? And why must I do it?

Once perfume oil and alcohol is mixed it is always a good idea to let the mixture age. Aging means letting the mixture stand in a room or cupboard out of sunlight and away from heat for between 48 hours to 1 month.

A newly mixed perfume concentrate often smells quite different from an aged concentrate that has matured for a while.

This is also true in the whiskey and wine industry.

Sometimes in the cold temperatures of winter mixed perfumes in a bottle can start to go cloudy or show up small floaters (which look like dust or small particles in the perfume bottle).

In cold temperatures mixed perfume can show particles which is a natural process where waxes and oxidised elements from naturals are exposed.

Thus we recommend you always chill your mixed perfume before filling it into bottles. 

Chill by placing it in a fridge or chest freezer for 24 hours, then use a laboratory grade filter to remove any exposed waxes or solids from the perfume. 

Your perfume mixture is now ready to fill into your bottles.

Here is a rough estimate of the cost of perfumes using Scent Lab Perfume Oils:

ITEM DESCRIPTION

COST PER ITEM

COST FOR USE IN 30ML BOTTLE @ 20% DOSE

PERFUME OIL

R799 PER KG

R4.74 

(for 6mL of Oil)

ALCOHOL

(FRAGRASOL 901)

R200 5 LITRES

R1.04 

(for 24mL of alcohol)

BOTTLE + 

PUMP

 

R5.50 roughly

LABEL OR

BOX

 

R2.50 roughly

TOTALS

 

R13.78

 

ITEM DESCRIPTION

COST PER ITEM

COST FOR USE IN 50ML BOTTLE @ 20% DOSE

PERFUME OIL

R799 PER KG

R7.90 (for 10mL of Oil)

ALCOHOL (FRAGRASOL 901)

R200 5 LITRES

R1.60 (for 40mL of alcohol)

BOTTLE + PUMP

 

R7.50 roughly

LABEL OR BOX

 

R4.00 roughly

TOTALS

 

R21.00

As can be seen from the above estimates a 30mL finished fragrance will cost about R13.78 to produce 

and a 50mL finished fragrance will cost about R21.00 to produce.

These can be sold for anything from R40 – R300.

At Scent Lab we have developed technology to reverse engineer fragrances that exist. We do this to save customers already using a fragrance an option to “import substitute” the fragrance they currently use – thus saving them money and gives a local quality supplier. 

Currently we thus do not develop new custom fragrances.

However if you use 200kg or more a month of a certain imported fragrance oil we will gladly reverse engineer it and quote on making it locally.

Scent Lab fine fragrance perfume oils can be used in lots of products, from car fragrances, lotions, room sprays, personal perfumes, candles and diffusers. However we strongly recommend you do your own stability in your product base to ensure ultimate compatibility.

Want To Know Our Process?

Visit Our Oil Manufacturing Page