Bootstrapped company All Good Scents is a brand of perfume fragrances for men and women.
As a schoolboy, Rajiv Sheth loved visiting his grandfather Sunder Lal Sheth’s factory that exported aromatic oils from India to Africa and Europe. Rajiv would spend his time sniffing the ingredients of the oils his grandfather created for the foreign lands. In Africa, these oils were specially blended with henna application, sandalwood fragrances, and other local rituals. In Europe, they were mostly used as essentials oils.
Rajiv knew that he wanted to become a perfumer, and sooner or later, he would get into his family business. His fascination with aromatic oils and perfumery took him to France’s ISIPCA, an exclusive school founded by Jean Jacques Guerlain in 1970. Rajiv received an in-depth knowledge of raw materials, manufacturing techniques, packaging designs and extraction processes of perfume making.
After getting back to India, he launched All Good Scents – a perfume brand in India.
Today, All Good Scents has 24 premium quality fragrances for men and women. These fragrances are made in France. The essential oils are taken in from India, after which, they are turned into perfumes at France.
Rajiv’s aim was to build a premier contemporary perfume brand based out of India. But there were challenges. “There was not a single trusted Indian brand of perfumes in India,” says Rajiv. He adds that in Indian market, deodorants and body sprays are used as the supplement for perfumes.
In people’s mind, the expertise in perfume making lies only with established foreign brands. However, these perfume brands are expensive, used occasionally and not on an everyday basis. All Good Scents aims to establish itself in the ‘affordable luxury’ segment for modern young Indians.
The growing popularity of e-commerce made Rajiv opt for an online business. Realising that perfumery was a niche subject, he even decided to build an online community and knowledge base.
With All Good Scents, Rajiv’s aim was to bring the prestige French style perfumery to India.
Rajiv explains that the perfume-making process initially begins with an inspiration for the perfumer or a detailed brief of fragrance from the marketing teams.
“In both cases, an olfactive story is imagined and the profile of the user is created. The perfumer identifies a few key raw materials from his palette, which he can work on to create this new fragrance,” adds Rajiv.
After discovering the main theme of the fragrance, trials are often evaluated, and the formulation continues by adding selective raw materials. Often the toughest part is ‘finishing’ a fragrance.
It takes anywhere from six months to two years to create a new fragrance. Once the fragrance is created, it is mixed with alcohol, water and few other ingredients to make a eau de toilette, eau de parfum or perfume. It is then bottled and packaged.
At the start, the team launched 14 fragrances — eight of them are dailywear or mood-based fragrances. The other six are signature or more personal fragrances.
To add the modern Indian touch to its fragrances, the team launched Eternal Garden range. Its packaging was designed by Krsna Mehta of Indian Circus. In this range, All Good Scents has four fragrances — Rose, Jasmine, Musk, and Vetiver.
It recently licensed the brand Miss Diva from the Times of India Group and introduced three perfumes and body mists.
“We started with online sales; however, since last year, we have also explored offline retail with selected Archies stores and Health & Glow stores in Bengaluru. Conducting workshops on perfumery is also something we have been focussing on. We have launched scented ceramic bracelets that can hold a perfume for a very long time and can be worn on the wrists as an accessory,” adds Rajiv.
The market for perfumes has been all about the Chanels and Davidoffs of the world. However, in the recent past, the Indian deodorant makers have been eyeing the perfume market. A news report marks this market in India at Rs 3,000 crore. Vini Cosmetics launched their perfume sprays and gift packs. The perfumes are priced at Rs 499 and gift packs between Rs 1,000 and 2,000.
There are celebrity perfume brands too — Still by Jennifer Lopez, MJ Flight by Michael Jordan and Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift to name a few.
The perfumes of All Good Scents are priced from Rs 500 to 1,800. In terms of gift boxes, the prices range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000.
All Good Scents claims to have sold over 10,000 perfume bottles and has over 5,000 unique customers. The team claims to see a 40 percent quarter-on-quarter sales growth and 120 percent year-on-year customer acquisition growth.
However, Rajiv says that the biggest challenge is visibility and brand reach. “Being a startup, we do not have the budget to advertise like other big brands,” he remarks.
Another challenge while selling perfumes online is getting consumers smell the fragrances. All Good Scents’ team claims to have largely overcome this with SCENTBOX ™, which lets a person test the fragrances from home.
“Lastly, there is a little mindset challenge too, wherein a few people don’t believe a homegrown domestic brand can be as good as foreign brands. However, this perception is quickly changing with the rise in the number of domestic brands in various categories,” says Rajiv.
The team targets to have 50 SKU's by the end of next year.
In time to come, the team is looking at education in perfumery as an integral part of their brand and vision. Rajiv adds that although Indian culture has been rich in fragrances, there is a lack of education and awareness regarding modern perfumery and its uses.
The team intends to design more perfumery workshops and training sessions that will revolve around the sense of smell and fragrance creation. Sampling is another vital part of its brand mission.
“We need to reach people to make them smell our fragrances. Collaborations with other brands, co-branding, adding more categories, and licensing is also a part of our plan,” says Rajiv.