When I started this venture, I wanted Ganache Parfums to be a customer driven company and that was my mistake. I read every forum, every review, every email and every comment and I changed my formulas every time I got a negative review. And in an attempt to please everyone, I pleased no one.
You would think as a red headed freckle face black man in America, who was also severely bullied as a child. I would be used to harsh criticism. I was not! You see, I was still wounded from my experience with Haught Parfums and I didn’t have the confidence and self-esteem to withstand the harsh criticism.
I felt at the time that I was the only perfumer to receive such harsh critique and so I just kept changing my formulas, packaging, bottle sizes and direction all in attempt to make my critics happy. Naturally I failed.
I never explained that as a small independent perfumer it’s easy to make long lasting, beastly fragrances that last all day and retails for upwards of $100.00 a bottle. However, accomplishing that same task with a final retail price of $ 35.00-$55.00 per bottle is much more complicated.
Originally, I wanted to use predominately natural materials and keep the cost down by using more simple packaging. But people complained that the fragrances did not project as well as they wanted, did not last as long on the skin as they wanted and also felt the packaging was cheap.
So, I switched to using more synthetic ingredients and more visually stunning labels, bottles and packaging and people complained about the shipping prices and the fragrances being too photo realistic.
So, I developed a more perfume-based fragrance line that was a balance between gourmand and perfume and once again people complained about the price and packaging.
And then something interesting happened. Someone sent me two bottles of another perfumer’s new releases. These fragrances were both clones of fragrances I had made. I could instantly tell that they had been translated to perfume oil and diluted with perfumer’s alcohol, but they were dead on minus the subtle changes you get using natural oils. The funny thing is in reading the forums people raved over these two fragrances and highly praised the perfume house. Looking back now I realize it was that moment my love of making perfume as a business died.
Meanwhile, I was gaining more and more exposure and as the orders got larger and larger. I found it impossible to keep up. Things got so crazy at one point it was taking me upwards of 2 months to fill an order. Which of course brought more harsh criticism and critiques and rightfully so.
I hired a few people to help fill orders and make perfume and discovered very quickly that my method to making perfume was not one that was easily replicated, and the quality suffered. And once again I found myself the subject of well-deserved but harsh criticism. And my love for perfume making was quickly turning into a burden.
I couldn’t find the joy in creating perfume anymore. I decided to pack it up and move on from making fragrances and perfumes. And just as I was shutting down a YouTube reviewer made a series of videos where he hated every fragrance. I remember going to bed thinking, good I made the right decision it’s time to call it quits.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I woke up in the morning and discovered I had more orders in a night than I had all month. I tried canceling the orders and refunding people’s money, but I received an over whelming amount of emails from customers asking to purchase my fragrances and so I agreed to keep the business open out of obligation. Thinking okay this will be over soon but every time this reviewer made a video, I’d find myself back in the same position. Only now I was just going through the motions and it showed in my work. I was canceling and refunding orders left and right and every time I got a negative review or email. I would just go into my queue and cancel and refund all the orders with no warning and no explanation. I simply could not bring myself to fill the orders.
In the end I reached a crossroads and I had to decide, either quit my job and focus on the business full time or shut the business down. As much as I loved the creative part of making perfume, I was over the business side. I had offers to take on business partners but after the terrible experience I had with Haught Parfums I did not want to go through that again.
I also love my Job working with youth and running a homeless shelter and I just wasn’t ready to give that up yet.
After taking some time off and re-evaluating things. I decided to reset everything and start fresh. I am ignoring the voice of the proverbial haters and going back to creating the affordable unapologetically gourmand fragrances I started with.
Okay, if you made it this far you are probably asking by now what this all means. So, I will keep it simple.
- I am downsizing our fragrance library to 5-7 fragrances and I am reformulating those fragrances to line up with my original vision of them as the perfumer.
- I will release a collection of 3 all-natural perfumes in the spring
- And due to popular demand, I am bringing back Pineapple Daiquiri, Gin Fizz and Mango Mojito this summer.
That is all for Ganache Parfums
For those of you still confused by Ganache Parfums vs. Haught Parfums. I have an announcement for you below:
- Haught Parfums will return in late Spring/Early Summer and is now called Haught Spreengs
- Don’t Touch Me Tomato, Don’t Explain and Ineffable are returning.
- We are releasing 3 new fragrances one based on carnation and the other 2 are based on white florals.
And Finally, in late March I am launching the Broun Suga Co. a new company dedicated to making home fragrance products.
I have met a lot of great people and great customers along the way. I apologize that I did not listen more to your voices and concerns and instead focused on the voices of the critics. This Journey from making perfume as a hobby to making perfume has been a rough one but I think I’m going to hang in there!