Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Chypre Time of Reflection

Fall is gracefully entering the skies... Bright and blue, they are now crisp in the morning and by high noon are warmed by gentle slightly angled sun rays. The breezes are creating ripples and larger waves even in the quiet Straight of Georgia and the more sheltered False Creek.
The days are getting shorter and suddenly the notion of dressing up and having friends over for a cup of tea (not iced!) does not seem awkward anymore.

This time of the year I am drawn to Chypres time and time again - especially the Chypre Fruity, such as Mitsouko, Femme, and also other classics like Sous le Vent (which I was wearing two days straight now). I'm feeling sad that there has been much less interest in this fragrance family. I wish the rants about discontinued members of this family were backed up by purchasing habits to support its continuous existence. I'm definitely not seeing very much sold of some of my perfumes that I'm most proud of. And I'm sorry to say, unless this changes drastically in this season, I will have to say goodby to these perfumes and cease from producing them.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I believe customers need to know when a product they love (or say they love) is getting pulled off the market. It's always been my mandate to never truly discontinue a fragrance (I can always make things on-order, unless an ingredient is nowhere to be found).
Also, customers need to know that complaining about what companies do and don't do for them is sometimes beyond the point. Those who are loyal and actually do purchase the product - I feel for you (and you know that just like you I will be scouring eBay for beloved long-gone or reformulated perfumes). But just complaining about a company's actions is not always fair. I'm all for criticizing the big boys' preference for the bottom line (aka profit), and it often seems that they would go as far as completely bastardizing their formulae to achieve that goal.

In my case (as I sure is also the case with many other niche brands that are struggling to remain visible in the vast ocean of 1000 new releases per year with budget far larger than theirs): not only am I not really profiting from this, I'm actually losing money for keeping these perfumes in rotation: It is seriously getting to the point when even keeping all the specialty ingredients that are required to keep this on hand is simply not realistic in the current economic climate when people are taking second jobs (if they manage to keep their first one) and companies are cutting costs everywhere possible. I don't want cost-cutting to affect the quality of my products, EVER. But I cannot go on subsidizing people's olfactory curiousity at the expense of my (non-existent) pension plan and my daugther's (non-existent) college funds.

Sample sales are just not enough to justify keeping a perfume on the shelf. I don't even make profit off selling samples: they just barely pay for the cost of producing and shipping them. It's harsh, but that's life - there isn't an unlimited space in my tiny studio, and rent ain't cheap! Each fragrance takes up space and needs to be kept in stock to be offered on the website or anywhere really. And if there isn't enough interest (backed-up by actually putting money towards where the declarations of love are directed), then I need to act very business like and discontinue them.

The perfumes in question are Autumn, Megumi and Schizm. Three perfumes I've always been very proud of. However, I can't even remember when someone bought a full bottle of any of these (and I usually remember those kinds of details - including who purchased it within this year) - and these used to be constantly sought out by Chypre loving perfumistas and my regular customers... I know there is nothing "wrong" with these perfumes per se - although of course I can always make them more "intense" and more "dramatic" and more "noir" and flanker them to death and relaunch it (if I had a million dollar budget), but I thought long and hard and I think I will just have to let them go - unless I'm seeing some orders coming for full bottles of these beauties by the end of 2012. Which means that you will only have the options of the fresher, greener Chypres - Ayalitta (thankfully among my best-sellers), ArbitRary (dito) and Rainforest.

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At September 06, 2012 4:01 PM, Blogger melou said...

I think it is a wise business decision on your part to discontinue the chypre fragrances if they are selling. As you've touched on, the dollars tied up in the raw materials and inventory that isnt moving just doesn't make sense from a financial perspective. As a consumer, I am so hung up on what I know I like that it is sometimes hard to venture beyond that. I am sure I have been missing out on some wonderful perfumes due to such narrow thinking. I was actually poking around your site last night looking at other fragrance families than my beloved orientals. It is a start, lol!

At September 08, 2012 9:59 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

It's sad but realistic :-(
We all make our choices in different ways - there is so much to choose from that it's sometimes easier to narrow it down and stick to what we know we love and that works for us.
It's fun to change things around from time to time though!

At September 12, 2012 10:33 AM, Anonymous Fragrant_Ninja said...

I hope to be able to smell this fragrance's at the L.A Fragrance Artisan Salon. Even though it is sad to see some of your hard work go away, it is the best business decision. All the best,F_N

At September 12, 2012 10:40 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Fragrant Ninja -
Ayalitta is the only Chypre I'm shipping off to LA (right after I finish this blog post). Unless you want to make a special request which I can sneak into my suitcase ;-)
I'm only bringing 8 fragrances, not all 50 that are on the website LOL
Thank you for supporting Ayala Moriel Parfums!

At September 13, 2012 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand the decision from a business point of view, and it may be the only possible decision given that pensions and college fees are important, but I will be terribly sorry if you stop making Megumi - it's such a special perfume and I'm such a big fan of it. Yes, sorry enough that I'm scraping together the money to buy a small roll-on, or hopefully even a full size one if I can manage it. Christmas is on its way, so I'm hopeful. I think the problem is that so many of us have been badly hit by the current recession, and many people have so little disposable income that it's difficult to buy things like this, and that's not a reflection on your product, or a hint to lower your prices - I can see that your prices are fair - and it doesn't mean we don't like the perfumes or think they're not worth the money - I think they're worth every penny of the price, and more - it's just the unfortunate reality of being in a poorly-paid job, and not having much money to spend.
I might pop over to basenotes and write a couple of reviews, to try to persuade other people to buy, though...

At September 15, 2012 12:12 PM, Anonymous Fragrant_Ninja said...

Oh Ayala it would be a delight to smell any of your fragrance's.Thank you for the kind gesture. I don't however want to burden you by taking some space in your suitcase since you need all the space you can get. I do have a list of perfumes I want to smell, so I'm more likely to get a sampler set to start. Thank you again and I can't wait to find the magic that lies withing your perfumes.
Cheers, F_N.

At September 18, 2012 8:36 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Fragrant Ninja -
I'm very much looking forward to meeting you at the salon!
I'm bringing 8 of my perfumes, which are among my top-notch and I hope you will find a new love there!
And the sample packs are definitely the way to go to explore my collection :-)

At September 18, 2012 10:31 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Fragrant Ninja - I still have a little discovery box of all my Chypres from the last course I was teaching... Just need to remember to pack it!
See you Sunday :-)

At September 19, 2012 10:10 PM, Anonymous Fragrant_Ninja said...

Oh how exciting, I am afraid I might find to many lovers there now!haha
Your so awesome for doing so! I'm just wondering how its all going to work, since there so much smelling going on. Either way, I can't wait to meet you and your creations. Cheer! F_N


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