The market for fragrances and scented products continues to be strong, with consumers looking to add their own signature scents to homes, cars and offices. Wholesalers supplying this category are preparing a number of different options and products to respond to increased demand. One such company is Matt’s Incense, in business for a quarter of a century and still going strong. “I started out in retail, and got such poor quality service from some of my suppliers that I decided to become the wholesaler I’d like to do business with,” says Linda Simon, founder and CEO of the Bunnell, FL, firm. “We just got tired of the horrible treatment,” she adds. So Simon launched Matt’s Incense and has never looked back. “It’s worked out well for us, because we know what retailers are looking for,” she says. “Some have even told us, ‘We found you because our previous suppliers were so bad,’” she notes with a laugh. Matt’s has an extensive offering of about 25 different product lines, and about 400 different products overall.
Serving customers large and small, from mom and pops to flea market vendors, Simon says her current best seller is Matt’s line of fragrance oils. “It’s such a versatile product,” she says. “It can be used in oil warmers, in candle making, for producing incense, in a sachet, and even for auto air fresheners,” she notes. The product also has a remarkably strong markup, making it a high cash generator for independent retailers. “We wholesale the oils for $1.30 for a half-ounce bottle,” she says. “They sell for retail at $5.95 and up. That’s a more than 400 percent markup.” For storeowners who want to sample the product and see how it moves, Simon has a countertop display kit available. “It’s a wooden display that holds 69 bottles of fragrance oil,” she says. “It also comes with eight glass oil warmers and six brass lamp rings. The whole starter kit is only $150 complete, a $66.70 savings over our regular wholesale prices.” Turnaround time for orders is fast, too. “If we receive an order by 2 p.m. Eastern, we can usually ship it the same day,” Simon says. “We know how important urgency is to our customers. We’ve been there as well,” she adds.
For retailers who might also think about getting in on the wholesale side, Heavenly Body Products has what buyers need. Company owner and founder, Sir Markadoo, is seeking what he calls Master Distributors. “I’m looking for people who want to buy drums of product and take over territories,” Markadoo says. “I can sell them either gallons or drums of fragrance oils, to get started in their own home based business,” he notes. Heavenly Body carries more than just fragrance oils and air fresheners, as the company also has a full line of lotions, shea butter and more. Markadoo is particularly proud of the company’s, “SheaSoufflaé,” product. “It’s a shea butter that we whip up with natural oils, to make it smooth and manageable,” he says. “It works wonders on dry, flaking skin.” Heavenly Body’s SheaSoufflaé wholesales for $84 for a dozen eight oz. jars. “Retailers are getting anywhere from $15 to $25 apiece for them,” Markadoo says.
Most products that Heavenly Body carries are made from all natural ingredients, and all fetch keystone or more at retail. “We have pure African Black Soap that we wholesale for $5 for a one pound brick,” Markadoo says. “It lathers very well, and retails for $10 and up. Plus, if you buy a dozen or more from us, the price drops to only $3 apiece. It’s a great deal,” he adds. For retailers who like to try before buying, Heavenly Body Products has a sample pack it will send prospective customers for only $10, containing a number of samples of the company’s goods. We believe once they try it, they’ll buy it,” Sir Markadoo says.
Another wholesaler that always keeps its customers front of mind is Mystical Moments. For 16 years, this fragrance oil and incense manufacturer has been steadily building a base of loyal, satisfied buyers through a conscientious effort of delivering both great customer service and quality products. “We started out by making our own incense, and everyone who tried it loved it,” says company owner, Gail Suggs. “We decided to grow by manufacturing our own product here in the U.S.” Today, Mystical Moments covers a gamut of retailers, from mall shops, mom and pop stores, tattoo parlors, new age shops, and even flea market vendors. One reason Suggs’ customers are doing well is because of the personal service she provides. No registration is required at her website to order, but she does enjoy speaking with potential customers first. “I like to find out what sort of business they have, and then design the order with the products they might need,” she says.
Mystical Moments doesn’t require a minimum amount for an order, as Suggs realizes people are cutting back a little in this economy, and she’s sensitive to that. Asked about her current best sellers, she notes that fragrance oils are enjoying a good run, and she’s been selling more to soap and candle makers. With the demand for fragrances in everything booming, she’s not surprised. “All of our products are body safe,” she says. “Most of it has a lot of essential oil in it, and we’re a ‘Green’ company as well, so that’s attractive to manufacturers.” Right now, Mystical Moments has a spring starter kit special for new customers. “It consists of two, 12-slotted wooden inlaid incense display racks,” Suggs says. “Along with that, we provide 24 packages of eleven inch incense sticks, with 100 sticks to a package, a dozen plain ash catchers, a dozen brass inlaid ash catchers, and a package of 100 Ziploc bags, all for only $137,” she notes. “Retailers can expect at least a $300 return on the kit.”
Mystical Moments currently offers 1,800 to 2,000 different fragrances, and a number of other startup packages for new clients, as well as all accessories. “We manufacture incense and fragrance oil, and I do have a lot of spiritual items also,” Suggs says. The company makes some products right here in the states, as well as importing sticks and cones from both India and China. Mystical Moments offers a high margin on its products, something that’s attractive to all retailers, and Suggs advises customers to call in. “We do have special deals going on,” she says. “Our older customers know they always get good pricing from us. It’s why they keep coming back.”
GFD Imports, based in Ohio, is best known as a distributor of the extremely popular, Wild Berry Incense, but also carries an extensive line of other scented products as well. “Our main focus is on the Wild Berry, as well as the Nag Champa brand of incense from India,” says company owner, Syd Ferrario. “We also have a large selection of incense burners, plus candles that are made from a paraffin-free beeswax and soya blend.” Ferrario, who sells to a variety of outlets including tanning salons, gas stations, head shops, smoke shops, boutiques and flea market vendors, says the products are going great. “We like to say, ‘It smells like money,’” he says. GFD’s candles come in a variety of sizes, all with a healthy markup for retailers. “Our four oz. candles come in a tin and burn 20 to 30 hours,” Ferrario says. “The candles wholesale for $4 each and retail for $9 and up.” The seven oz. glass jar size burns for up to 40 hours, wholesales for $5.50 and retails for $12. “We also have a ‘Queen Bee’ candle that comes in a 14 oz. jar,” he says. “Burning for up to 76 hours, it can fetch $24 at retail, yet wholesales for only $11.50.”
GFD recommends a starter kit for those trying the company’s products for the first time. “We have one starter kit that wholesales for $335 and comes with two bundles, or 200 sticks of each of 18 of our top selling fragrances, or 3,600 sticks total,” Ferrario notes. “It also comes with display jars, a display stand, 400 Ziploc bags, a POP sign and a window sign. It will return at least $720 at retail,” he adds. In addition, GFD will include an extra free bundle of incense sticks to be sold or given away as samples, plus 18 free ash catchers that normally retail for $1.99 each. One of the company’s best new sellers is the, “Biggie,” a 19 inch incense stick that burns for a full three hours. “We wholesale them at 50 sticks for $20, but retailers are getting $1.25 each, or five for $5,” Ferrario says. At the other end of the scale, the company is getting a warm reception for, “Shorty,” a four inch stick that wholesales at $4.50 for 100 sticks. The Shorties are selling at retail for $2.50 for 20 sticks, or 100 sticks for $10. “We’re here to help everyone,” Ferrario says. “We strive for our customers to double their money at a minimum.”
Veneto Wholesale is a perfume wholesale company that also helps retailers make money. They do so by selling renditions of famous brand name fragrances at a fraction of their original cost. “Veneto has numerous product lines that are available,” says Sharice Mosley, sales manager for the company. “We have our Veneto 24 piece fragrance collection, Real Time, Omerta and high end Linn Young, in addition to our other Authentic Perfumes and Colognes.” Right now, the company is enjoying great success with the, “Sex In the City,” scent, which is also on discount; buy 12 bottles and pay $2.50 for each, instead of $4.” There’s also a version of Angel for Men called, “King Sky.” In addition, Veneto carries a unique version of Chanel Sport and Chanel Allure for men, “Homerun Sports,” and, “Homerun Prestige.”
Veneto Wholesale’s 24 piece collection is a great seller and a big profit generator for retailers. A pack of 24 bottles is only $24, plus those who buy a master case of 16 packs for $320 save $64. “We sell to all types of customers,” Mosley says. “For example, we have local customers who just want to try our special mixed case of 24 bottles, all the way to vendors that have big booths in flea markets. We also have high-end retailers with boutiques, and stores in malls that want only our Authentic Fragrance line,” she adds. While Veneto Wholesale’s prices are already low, the company is also running special sales on a monthly basis, such as the Omerta women’s Gift Set, 3 for $10, or buy 10 cases of the RT line and get one case FREE,” Mosley notes.
For retailers who want to carry actual name brand products, Universal Perfumes and Cosmetics has the big brands at low prices. “We have about 200 top brand names, and more than 3,000 unique skus,” says Raf Islam, vice president at the Long Island based company. “We only carry designer prestige brands, including offerings from Esteé Lauder, Clinique, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, and just about every other brand you can name.” Coming from humble roots as a single retail store, Universal now boasts a 15,000 square foot warehouse, and customers in more than 100 different countries. “In the U.S. we sell to a lot of independent retailers, some mall stores, and other wholesalers,” Islam says. “Yet we really want to reach more mom and pops, as well as flea market vendors. We’re always looking for new dealers.”
While appealing to a wide variety of clients, Islam notes that the company specializes in numerous brands sought by the Latin American community, such as Paco Rabanne and Carolina Herrera. “Our current best seller is Paco Rabanne Black XS,” Islam says. “The men’s brand wholesales for $24.50 for the 50 ml size, and $32.50 for 100 ml size. Retailers are getting $50 for the men’s small and $70 for the larger size,” he adds. The company has equally competitive pricing on the women’s version as well. “The women’s Paco Rabanne Black XS wholesales for $28.50 for the 50 ml size and $38.50 for the 80 ml size,” Islam says. “At retail they sell for $65 for the smaller one, and $85 for the larger size.” Universal usually requires a $1,000 minimum order, but the company is currently running a spring special with minimum orders at $350. All orders are shipped within 24 to 48 hours, and the company has instituted a dropship program to allow sellers to limit their stock. “As you sell each item, we ship it individually to you, so you don’t have to keep the stock on hand,” Islam explains.
Retailers seeking high quality incense and fragrance oils might look into Jainsons International, a company that has a complete lineup at deeply discounted prices. “We carry a countless number of products in the fragrance and scented products arena,” says Rama Jain, office manager at the Denver based company. “Registered retailers can even stop into our 3,000 square foot showroom to see our latest products,” she adds. Jainsons is currently wholesaling fragrance oils for just 85 cents for a half-ounce bottle, and retailers are turning around and getting $3 to $4 a bottle for them. “We also have great prices on incense sticks,” she says. “For example, our 11 inch sticks wholesale for only $1.85 for bundles of 100,” Jain says. “At retail they sell for 10 cents each, or $10 a bundle, a more than 500 percent markup.” The company’s 19 inch incense is also competitively priced. “We wholesale the larger sticks for $60 for ten bundles, with 36 sticks in each bundle,” Jain says. “They burn for six hours each, and the whole package also comes with a display and a dozen burners,” she adds. The 19 inch sticks retail at three for a dollar.
Jainsons International is always adding new products, so it’s worth visiting the company’s website on a regular basis. “We’ve just added 50 new fragrances to our oils line,” Jain says, “as well some new burners and holders.” She’s also excited about the newest offerings, Natural White Sage bundles and Sweetgrass braids. “You light one end and then blow it out, and it smokes like incense,” Jain says. “Users say the fragrance removes negative energy.” Both the bundles and braids wholesale for $3 each, and sell at retail for $7 to $9 apiece.
If your business caters to gift buyers, California based, Morgan Avery, has a full line of gift baskets with a wide array of scented candles, soaps and more. “We started two years ago, and our first selling season was Christmas 2008,” says JoAnn Benson, general manager at the company. “We’ve been going strong since then, and in 2010 we doubled our business over 2009.” Morgan Avery offers a number of scented products in candles, home décor and beauty items. “Our candle company is one of the largest in the world, in terms of sales volume,” Benson says. Wholesale pricing on the gift baskets range from $10 to $40 and more, and retailers can get keystone and more. The company has more than 250 different skus and currently sells to corporate buyers, as well as casino gift stores, fundraisers, and hospital gift shops. “We can also dropship any of our items for buyers, and we’re now looking to expand our presence in the retail market,” Benson notes.
Carrying a full line of spa baskets, Morgan Avery’s current bestseller is the Bain D’esprit Bath Collection, featuring lavender and vanilla scents. “The set features 18 items, including potpourri, body powder, bath crystals, lotion, hand cream, and more,” Benson says. “We also have special offerings for both Easter and Mother’s Day at very competitive prices.”
The following were interviewed:
35 Enterprise Drive
Bunnell, FL 32110
Toll Free: 800-742-9133
Heavenly Body Products
2571 Park Central Boulevard
Decatur, GA 30035
20387 NW SR 73
Clarksville, FL 32430
Toll Free: 800-220-6712
P.O. Box 526
Oxford, OH 45056
Toll Free: 800-824-6521
549 NW 28 Street
Miami, FL 33127
Toll Free: 877-335-0005
Universal Perfumes & Cosmetics
141G Central Avenue
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Toll Free: 888-scent55
3505 East 39th Avenue
Denver, CO 80205
Toll Free: 888-524-6766
26332 Ferry Court
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
Toll Free: 877-438-3152