How to start a perfume business in South Africa

How to start a perfume business in South Africa

Everyone loves perfume, it’s used by almost every adult male or female. People love fragrances that give them a unique and divine scent. This is a guide on how to start a perfume business in South Africa.


Perfume manufacturing is not really that complicated, this article will focus on selling perfumes that you have manufactured yourself. This comes after I met this amazing woman who manufactures and sells divine perfumes.

The barriers to entry for manufacturing perfume are on the low side. You need about R6 000 to R10 000 to start. However, you will need to spend a lot of time working on the actual perfume, you have to have enough time to dedicate to your unique scents.

Get experience

If you are someone who has never worked with perfumes before but are just intrigued or inspired to manufacture your own; then you need some experience. Knowing perfume requires a lot of time and dedication, you have to spend at least a year just learning and experimenting.

Even though the barriers to entry are low in terms of money, time is the biggest of them all. You won’t learn how to make quality perfume in one week. You need to know at least 25 basic materials used in perfume manufacturing.

Knowing perfumes will make it easier to develop scents that you really love, which will make it easier to sell them. So, where do you even begin? You can start by taking a course, there are many perfume making courses in South Africa. But most of them can be found in the big cities.

If you live in the rural areas or the remote parts of South Africa then it’s best to take online courses. YouTube is also a wonderful place, filled with free resources and entire channels that are just dedicated to perfumery.

Manufacture and package your perfumes

This is the most exciting part, it’s always great to create something from scratch and bring it life. At this point you should have your unique scent that you are trying to sell, don’t try to create multiple scents when you are just starting.

Focus on one powerful scent and use it on your perfumes, try to focus on one gender at first. Narrow your focus and concentrate your resources. Do perfume for men or women, this will make it easier to establish a brand. You can extend the line to include the other gender or scents.

The packaging should ideally be beautiful enough to stand out, it should be of the same nature that is used by successful perfumeries. Put your brand name on the package, it’s a good way to market your business.

Market your perfumes

This is the most difficult part and will be highly influenced by the budget that you have. Creating a product is easy but then again, getting people to love and appreciate your product is a lot of work. Your marketing should focus on identifying your target market and relentlessly market to them.

Always limit the number of people you are marketing to, it’s better to get one person to see your advert 10 times and end up recognizing your brand than getting 10 people to see your advert once and have them all forget about it.

Run video-based advertising campaigns, they usually work out to be the best for perfumes. You can also advertise on magazines, newspapers and other platforms generally don’t work that well.


This was a guide on how to start a perfume business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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