Fragrance - How Many?

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Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2019
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Background: Making soap for about two and half years. Have an excellent recipe that produces a quality soap time and time again. Have done a little bit of selling...a single craft fair two years, mostly private sales or gifts to friends and family. I do have a wholesale account...someone I'm know for years. I have a business name, domain, an working on a 'shopping cart' website. Right now my home policy covers me under 'hobby', but I will be getting regular business insurance. Finally decided on packaging that works for me, Ingredient labels are set, front labels are still a little bit of a work-in-progress (waiting on paper samples). Design has been tricky...I am not a 'creative' person and I like to keep things simple...I've tried all sorts of different things and have settled on single color (not as easy as you would think) and 2 or 3-color drop/chopstick swirls as what I do best.

Where I am stuck right now is...scent.

How many scents do you offer?

How many feminine, masculine, unisex?

How many 'stock' scents...scents that you use over and over again?

Do you use a lot of 'dupes'?

How often do you offer new scents?


Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2010
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I have over 50 'stock' scents that are popular at different times of the year/different locations. I don't keep them all in stock at once - I'm not a big enough business for all that!!

At any given festival/show, I usually offer at least 20 different scents.

I honestly consider all scents unisex. I usually give my soaps ambiguous names based on my own ideas for the soap and I'm constantly surprised by what both men and women choose for themselves based on the idea/scent alone (without the preconception of the actual scent name).

I use several 'dupes' but I don't market them as "compare to XXX", I just use them because I like the scent or someone requested that scent.

I add new scents all the time, but I do try to be organized about it.
For instance:
- At my last festival in Louisiana (Oct 2019 - no festivals since Covid) I did a collection of Voodoo soaps with new scents based on the attributes/named after the various Loa.
- At our Artist Guild "Art Crawl" this past July in Georgia, I added a few new scents like Watermelon and Rose Lemonade to my usual Southern summertime soap scents.
- At our Artist Guild Halloween show in Georgia, I did a collection of spooky kid cereal soaps. Count Chocula, Boo-Berry, Yummy Mummy, and Fruit Brute along with my regular fall stuff like Rougarou, "Quoth the Raven" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes".
- For our upcoming Artist Guild Christmas show, I'm doing stuff like Candycane, 3 Wise Men, and Lump of Coal (AC and black mica with Eucalyptus EO).

In my region, some scents are always great sellers no matter what time of the year - Lavender, any kind of Mint, Honeysuckle, and some version of OMH.

My best advice is "know your customers/market base" - I suspect that my 'Southern Sweet Tea', "Muscadine", "Kudzu", and "Cajun Sunshine" soaps wouldn't go over well in Oregon, but they sell like hotcakes down here :)


Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2009
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Shenandoah Valley, VA
Trying to keep my scents down is not always easy. What works for me is how many can I successfully restock as needed and what scents work with my business theme?

I have a sea/beach theme soap, bath & body biz so I have ocean/sea/beach type scents along with classics, fruit, florals, clean, etc.

Right now I have 28 soap scents. I find trying to keep up with that with all my other products can be challenging. I would prefer to have 24 scents and no more.

But I also sell bath and body products that are all handmade from scratch so I have scents for those as well. So in order to be able to keep stock on hand I have to make sure I can handle all the variety of all my products as well as my soap.

So ask yourself what are you marketing, your target audience, what do they want. Do you have a theme or design that goes with your branding? What products are you making that demonstrate that or go along with your brand? If not all do, eliminate those.

Once you have a direction, theme, brand, focus on that, then pick scents based on what your biz is about and best portray that. Make sure you can handle making all your stock as you sell as well as premade stock you will need for those rush times of year when you may not have the time to make product because you will be too busy.

Maybe you aren't quite there yet but keeping focused on what you want to do and what you can do will help you make better selections. I mention theme because its an outstanding way to select scents that compliment it.


Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2021
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Parker, AZ
I have 21 types of soap, 4 are holiday/limited. I'm running a sale on the simpler ones I thought people would go gaga for and going to redesign those.
For me, juggling 17 and adding in one " seasonal bar" per holiday seems to be ok. I've also found people like foofy/frosted/cute in my market. Of my 21 soaps 20 are sweet/fruity/spicy/"girl" and I have one unisex which is well loved. (NS Somali Soul) I've put together a 12 month messy scribbling calendar for next year working backwards. Like in October I make Christmas soap, September I make Turkey soap, August I make 30 pounds of Halloween soap, and give my self making dates and selling dates. And if you like schedules it'll give you room to experiment.
It might help you to plan out your inventory and seasonal offerings.?