I’m a scent snob. When it comes to the perfume I choose to wear and the cologne I pick out for my fiancé, I’m willing to splurge and I won’t compromise. There are several luxury brands I choose between to wear on a daily basis, and I haven’t used anything but their perfume in the past eleven years. Trust me, I’ve tried new things! I have! I just don’t think other scents stack up to the luxury ones I use, so when I had the opportunity to speak to the woman shaking up the perfume industry and try out her scents, I was skeptical, yet excited. Meet Ariella Applebaum, the woman behind A.N Other perfume, and find out if her scents stack up to the fierce competition!
What was your inspiration behind starting A.N Other?
It started when my husband showed me Barbara Thau’s article “Behind the spritz: what really goes into a bottle of $100 perfume”. As with many other consumer goods, significantly more money is spent on marketing and overhead than is actually invested in the product itself. It is one of the products where there’s an enormous disparity between the cost of the product and the cost to the consumer. I realized that there is a serious flaw in the industry that needed to be corrected. We even rendered the cost structure of the broken fragrance industry into an infographic that we showcase on our CONCEPT page.
Add to that the fact that there has been no significant change in the way perfumes are marketed – they rely heavily on celebrity campaigns and endorsements, scantily clad models and yachts, and departments stores that display hundreds of fragrances at a time, completely overwhelming the customer. As we started learning the industry, we were upset to learn that the “noses” behind the perfumes, the artists that create the scents, are rarely given credit for their work.
We thought we could do better than the existing model – by offering the consumer a better product at a lower price point. Our Parfum grade perfumes are made using the very best, eco-sustainable, responsibly sourced, non-toxic, dye-free ingredients. Our perfumers are at the front of the brand. They were given unrestrained creative freedom and they delivered 4 unique gender-neutral fragrances that are offered to the consumer at a fraction of the cost of similar perfumes. For a change, the perfumers are also recognized for their talent and given all the credit.
What is your favorite aspect of the brand or product line?
The simplicity. It is very difficult to design and create something that does not require extensive descriptions and explanations, and we struggled to bring our products and our website to market in as simple a form as possible. We are not playing according to the rulebook, so we were able to simplify the whole process by laying some ground rules – creative freedom, sustainability, uncompromising quality and providing our consumers with a great experience.
What do you aim to accomplish in the next year?
Grow the brand. We just launched, and we are growing our base and our sales mainly through word of mouth. We do not want to make our customers pay for glossy magazine advertisements, but would rather put their money in the product itself. We recently added travel size vials and accessories, and we are working on some new products and items that we plan to launch next year, including of course new fragrances.
As a consumer, it’s rare to hear about companies like A.N Other, that want to deliver you a quality product at an anything but inflated price! I can definitely appreciate that. But how do these perfumes actually smell?