It is 2014 when a German fragrance-passionist starts a hobby project. He is combining his passion for fragrances and affinity for video by opening a YouTube channel. Five years later, his social channels have more than one million subscribers and his own Fragrance.One line has become reality. How does one German disturb the fragrance market and create a new, popular product line? What lessons can be learned from this major influencer. It is time to meet up with Jeremy Fragrance.
Text: Nico Hoeijmans // Photos: Juan Botero, www.juanboterophoto.com
Hi Jeremy, please introduce yourself and give us some highlights in the Fragrance.One history?
‘‘Currently, I am one of the leading fragrance influencers worldwide. It started as a hobby project on YouTube. In my videos I like to describe honestly what I feel about fragrances. The difference was that I did that a little different than most others. My third video went viral in the fragrance community and was a big booster for the views of my channel.’
Upon doing so, you decided to enter the fragrances market yourself as well.
‘Yes, I have been working hard for my passion for fragrances and to create these videos. My YouTube channel was still growing significantly and in 2017, I started talks about creating my own fragrance. With the help of master perfumer Alberto Morillas, I realised that dream. All in all, it took me four years, but then there was the time that I launched my own first fragrance creation. We did this as a Kickstarter project which utterly outperformed every expectation I had. I was shockingly surprised of how great the campaign turned out. We collected a record-breaking 880.000-dollar pre-order campaign. It was very widely received. I believe that me gaining a reputation as a “trendsetter” in the online community, and being able to find great fragrance DNA’s for people to wear helped. I am happy to say that I am currently at the end of my fifth year as social entrepreneur and I will finalise my portfolio with a total of two fragrances for men, two for women, one unisex and two candles.’
You build the brand by yourself, as major fragrance influencer on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. You have more than one million followers. How do you do that?
‘Well, doing business has changed a lot over the years. I believe that, these days, you do not need 500 employees to run a company or have a brand. I have been building my portfolio along the way, the same way I have been working on building my social channels. These days, you can outperform yourself if you really think about how you can change your business with more rational and efficient workflows and processes.’
Can you give an example?
‘Ultimately, I believe that it is easy. If I say something about fragrances, potentially over 850.000 people see that. Instantly. It is all about knowing what people want to know and being able to provide them with that information. I do my very best to know that. As technology has evolved, it has become much easier to reach that wide audience that it was, say, 50 years ago.’
Why do people subscribe a lot more to your channel(s) than to other fragrances’?
‘I believe it is the way I make my video’s. It is very different than others do. For me, the saying “if you do what other do, you get what others get” is applicable here. I always speak from my heart. That may be what makes me different. What sets me apart from other fragrance influencers. Just have a
look at how awesome it is and where it got me!’
One thing is for sure, you, and Fragrance.One differ from tradition brands. Why is that so important?
‘People these days are getting smarter. If someone is offering something new that is actually something that already exists, it will not work. New concepts, especially improved concepts are most always welcomed. In the online world, you also have to be clear about how you present yourself. Things are getting dramatically much more transparent. You need a good heart and good intentions. If you do not have these, people will find out, especially on social media, and they will crush you. The people are key. For me personally, in the world of fragrances, it is just as important to remind yourself why people wear fragrances. They want to smell good!’
Your Kickstarter project had an international scope from the start. What were the major opportunities and challenges you dealt with?
‘As I create my videos in English, it made sense to do the Kickstarter project with an international focus. For me, the whole world is one large community. People can view my videos from all parts of the world. The downside to that was the consequence of the success of the Kickstarter project. All at once, we had to deal with different import taxes in different countries. I would love it to have an even more globalised world, where this can be simplified a lot more.’
Do you currently face any challenges?
‘My biggest challenge is my product; it is the Fragrance. One DNA. I am working with great perfumers, but as our audience demands more and more DNA’s, we need our teams to perform top-notch. We need to be patient, as that is the only way our DNA’s can get as good as they get. That is why we are reworking the DNA’s to make sure that the value of our brands remains the same. We want all fragrances to be as fantastic as they can be. Yes, that absolutely is my biggest challenge.’
What are your goals for Fragrance.One?
‘Obviously, I am always working on new goals and innovations. There is always something we can do. However, I am reaching my goals daily with this brand. What we have in store for the future is something that I would like to keep for myself. You can be sure that we will continue to innovate
the fragrance market.’
This article was previously published in Cross-Border Magazine 12.