Phlur is a direct to consumer perfume brand offering a small assortment of premium perfumes and candles. With a team of 10 people operating from the headquarters in Austin, Texas, their sales are 100% online and they’ve focused on a handful of strategies to make the perfume-shopping experience better online: better descriptions of fragrances, higher product quality, and ultimate convenience in sampling.
Based in Austin, Texas, Phlur is a premium direct to consumer perfume brand with a small variety of fragrances (perfumes) and candles. Founded by a former Ralph Lauren executive, Phlur uses their direct to consumer advantage to deliver a higher quality perfume for the same price as a traditional luxury brand. With their focus on “Conscious Decisions,” the brand’s mission is centered upon product quality and premium ingredients. Phlur says they “spend 3 to 4 times more per bottle on ingredients than the big guys, who often hire the same amazing perfumers, only to limit them with tight deadlines, cost limitations and specific olfactive direction,” according to their About page.
Phlur’s focus on quality extends to what’s not found in their products: the harmful chemicals and testing practices. “Our fragrances do not include any known skin irritants, parabens, phthalates, unnecessary stabilizers or animal products,” they write on their FAQ page. “If it’s not safe or if we’re not sure about it, it’s not in there.” Another innovative aspect of their strategy is their extended approach to product development. Phlur uses their no middleman advantage to devote more time to the development of their fragrances–which can range from six to eight months, according to an article on Business Insider. The company says this gives product developers much more time to refine and improve the product, compared to the industry’s traditional 6-8 week development timeline.
Phlur was founded in part due to the founder’s frustration with traditional retail perfume departments, which used frustrating verbiage to describe the perfumes, and forced customers to experience the fragrances in a confusing, chaotic air of blended scents. To present a direct to consumer option that would replace the traditional retail experience, Phlur offers a “Try at Home” option: you can order three of their perfumes for only $18, and upon ordering the full-sized bottle of perfume, the $18 is credited (effectively making the three-fragrance sampler free). Shipping is also free and built into the price of the perfumes and candles. Additional savings can be earned through the subscription option, which allows you to get a bottle every 6, 9, or 12 months automatically, and a $10 discount per bottle. You can also earn a $10 credit for any friend you refer to Phlur, as of the time of our review.
This direct to consumer fragrance leader has also focused on more approachable, understandable product descriptions. For their Moab perfume, the notes are described as “long pepper, clove, vanilla, jasmine and tonka bean.” To give an additional sense of this fragrance through a different form of art, and also to replace part of the traditional retail experience, a Spotify playlist has been curated on Moab’s product page. This is a brilliant idea that enhances the online shopping experience and builds upon the fun, approachable words used to describe the scent: “Want a better idea of what Moab is all about? Check out the Spotify playlist. We’re detecting strong notes of Heartless Bastards, Calexico and Spoon.”
Overall, Phlur is a classic direct to consumer brand on the premium end of the value-delivery spectrum. By cutting out the middlemen, Phlur is able to take a slower, higher-quality approach to product creation, an affordable option to sample their perfumes several times before purchasing, and a focus on providing customer service in multiple channels (online chat, phone, email, and a responsive Facebook page). Phlur is a No Middleman favorite, and a great example of a brand that is able to provide premium features and value for the same price as a middleman-heavy competitor.
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