Gen Z-led bespoke perfume brand pins hopes on COVID-19 recovery in India to launch consumer workshops

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

OOAK determined to launch a brick-and-mortar store to hold workshops. [OOAK]
OOAK determined to launch a brick-and-mortar store to hold workshops. [OOAK]

Related tags Fragrance Perfume Personalisation Gen Z COVID-19

A pandemic-born personalised perfume company in India is determined to launch a brick-and-mortar store to hold workshops that it believes will be integral to its business strategy.

One Of A Kind (OOAK) was founded by Nikita Dumbani, who has a background in the fashion industry, in March last year and launched the personalised fragrance service in February.

The personalisation process begins with a questionnaire that gleans information about the customers’ lifestyle as well as personal tastes.

Using this information, OOAK formulates four different scents which are sent out in in 10ml vials to the client, allowing them to choose their favourite scent before committing to a full-sized bottle, which costs INR700 (U$9.44) with shipping.

While the popularity of perfumes, deodorants, body mists and pocket perfumes are strong in India, Dumbani observed a gap in the market for more premium, yet affordable products.

Furthermore, she saw an opportunity to tap into the increasing interest in personalised products, especially among younger consumers.

“People now want something with a personal touch, something that’s specially made for you. Fragrance is something very personal, so [personalisation] is a natural fit. Knowing that you're getting something customised at such a rate is a very attractive draw,” ​Dumbani said.

Best laid plans

OOAK was first conceived with a brick-and-mortar presence in mind, however, India’s deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections put a halt to its plans to open a physical store.

While the pandemic hindered the company’s plans, it also helped the new brand to thrive under extremely uncertain conditions.

In true Gen Z fashion, OOAK pivoted to Facebook and Instagram, where it receives its orders.

“Sales wise, it’s been really good because people are just sitting at home and they want to shop and experiment. In that sense, it has been good,”​ said Dumbani.

She revealed that at the rate sales are picking up, she expects to recover her full investment in the company by July.

The company is currently developing its official website would include interactive elements that will help consumers learn more about perfumery and create their own scents.

Physical space essential

Despite the moderate online success, Dumbani noted that opening a store would be crucial for the brand as it plans to make perfume workshops an integral part of its business.

While it is unable to conduct workshops now, the company hopes to launch once the situation stabilises in India.

“I think there’s a huge appetite now to learn more about perfume. My goal is to start the workshops and give out the knowledge to people and show them how interesting and creative it is to make your own perfume,” ​said Dumbani.

The business currently operates out of a small studio in Mumbai and employs a small team of assistants who have experience in the local perfume manufacturing industry.

“At the moment, it’s just a small private space where people can make an appointment to visit or come for a workshop, you can’t walk in from the high street. I’m looking to have one exclusive store in the future,” ​said Dumbani.

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