How to Start a Perfume Business in Malaysia

how to start a perfume business

Launching a perfume business can be a fragrant and lucrative endeavour, but it requires careful planning and execution.

If you are interested in this aromatic venture but unsure how to start a perfume business, you have come to the right place.

This article will navigate you through the essentials of kickstarting your perfume venture, from conducting thorough market research to selecting a reliable supplier and marketing your signature scents.

Continue reading to turn your olfactory dreams into a flourishing reality!

1. Conduct Market Research

Conducting thorough market research is crucial before launching your perfume business in Malaysia. This will allow you to understand the local landscape and assess the viability of your venture.

First, study market reports, industry publications, and online resources of the field to gauge the size and growth potential of the Malaysian perfume market.

Platforms like Statista, Euromonitor International, GlobalData, and Janio provide market research reports on the Malaysian fragrances market, with Statista offering a free option while the others require paid access.

Next, clearly define your target customers based on factors like age, gender, income level, and lifestyle preferences. Understand their needs, desires, and other decision-making factors when purchasing fragrances.

For instance, most women prefer light flowery or spicy fragrances, whereas men often gravitate towards citrus, tobacco or woody accents. There are also unisex perfume lines whose target audience depends on temperamental attributes.

Also, remember to analyse your competitors. Assess their strengths, weaknesses, unique selling points, and pricing strategies, then determine how to differentiate and establish a competitive advantage.


2. Understand Legal Affairs


Perfumes are categorised as cosmetic products in Malaysia.

Hence, they are regulated under the Sale of Drugs Act 1952, which should be read together with the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984 and Guidelines for Control of Cosmetic Products in Malaysia.

Before manufacturing, selling, or importing perfumes in Malaysia, you must obtain approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) under Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MOH). Failure to do so can lead to very bad legal consequences.

On the other hand, remember that all notified cosmetics must adhere to the Guidelines for Control of Cosmetic Products. This covers aspects like ingredients, labelling, cosmetic claims, advertising, manufacturing standards, and post-market surveillance.

If you find it difficult to ensure your perfume aligns with these guidelines, worry not—Eng Kah, is in regulatory compliance with the NPRA and we adhere to cosmetics Good Manufacturing Practise (GMP).

Contact us today and let our team assist you in creating your own perfume brand!


3. Estimate Financial Requirements

Money is everything while setting up a business.

Hence, determining how much funding you will need is a critical step in starting your perfume business. This requires estimating both your initial startup costs and ongoing operational expenses.

Your initial startup costs are likely to include:

  • Licensing and permit fees (e.g. business license, cosmetic notification)
  • Retail space setup (renovations, furniture, displays, etc.)
  • Initial marketing and branding costs
  • Hiring and training staff


While your perfume business is running, it will incur continuous operational expenses, so don’t forget about the ongoing costs, such as:

  • Rent and utilities for retail spaces
  • Salaries for employees
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Administrative costs


Forecasting the potential revenue and profit margins of your perfume business is also vital, as this will help determine whether you can bootstrap with your own savings or need outside funding.

Feeling apprehensive about the estimated cost of starting up your perfume business?

By partnering with Eng Kah in your perfume manufacturing affair, you need not worry, as you can significantly reduce your expenses across various aspects of the business.

We offer a comprehensive one-stop solution for perfume manufacturing, encompassing services such as research and development (R&D), production, manufacturing, packaging, and much more.

Moreover, our streamlined approach and expertise allow you to minimise costs while ensuring high-quality products and efficient operations.

Don’t let financial concerns hold you back from pursuing your perfume business dreams. Our team is ready to discuss your requirements and provide tailored solutions that align with your budget and goals.

4. Choose A Suitable Supplier

choose a suitable supplier

A suitable supplier is definitely the backbone of your perfume business. Hence, selecting the right supplier for sourcing your perfume products is vital. 

Partner with an experienced OEM manufacturer who can produce your perfumes based on your specifications and formulas. The OEM handles all manufacturing, packaging, and logistics.

For new brands looking to launch a distinctive perfume line efficiently, an OEM manufacturer offers considerable advantages:

  • Access to extensive formulation and manufacturing expertise without major capital investment.
  • Scalable production capabilities to meet demand.
  • Stringent quality control and regulatory compliance.


In Malaysia, there are several outstanding OEM manufacturers, with Eng Kah being one of the leading ones. We have more than 55 years of experience creating fragrances for major brands and retailers, our key strengths include:

  • Scalable production runs for both large and small batches.
  • Halal-certified facilities which are in compliance with the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and regulatory standards of NPRA.
  • Ability to customise formulations to client needs.
  • One-stop solutions including R&D, manufacturing, and packaging, allowing new perfume brands to focus on their branding, marketing, and sales.


5. Develop Product Line

With your business plan and financial requirements mapped out, it’s time to bring your perfume vision to life by developing your inaugural product line.

Firstly, you need to have a perfume name and bottle design, as they are crucial for your perfume to stand out in the crowded perfume market.

Brainstorm evocative names that capture your brand’s essence and resonate with your target audience. Then, complement this with eye-catching bottle designs that align with your scents’ personalities and positioning.

For example, select a luxurious design with premium materials and elegant shapes for high-end perfumes, while opting for more playful, modern bottle aesthetics for youthful, trendy fragrance lines.

Once you have landed on the perfect name ideas and bottle concepts, be sure to register trademarks and secure all necessary permits to produce and sell the products legally.

Then, extend your branding across the total packaging experience including boxes, labels, and any supporting inserts or materials. Remember to clearly display all regulatory information like ingredients and instructions on the packaging.

Now, with your fragrances finalised and packaging ready, it’s time for production!

By partnering with an experienced OEM perfume manufacturer like Eng Kah, there is nothing that you need to worry about much.

Discuss your requirements with us today for a personalised perfume manufacturing plan that aligns with your needs!

Our customer-centric approach ensures a seamless journey from concept to creation, enabling you to focus on branding and marketing while we handle the perfume production intricacies.


how to start a perfume business

6. Craft Branding and Marketing Strategy

With your perfume line developed, it’s time to craft a strategic branding and marketing plan to drive awareness and sales of your perfume. 

Here are some strategies that you can implement on your perfume: 

  • Build Your Brand Identity 

Establish a distinct brand identity that resonates with your target audiences,

  • Optimise Your Online Presence

In today’s digital landscape, having a strong online presence is essential. Hence, investing in setting up your website and e-commerce platform is a must, as they will be your brand’s digital home base. 

  • Leverage Social Media 

Develop an active, consistent social media marketing strategy plan using the social media platforms favoured by your target audience. 

  • Make Seasonal and Occasional Promotions

Plan online-specific promotions, such as limited-time discounts, exclusive bundles, or virtual events, to celebrate holidays or special occasions. 

Hence, by thoughtfully utilising these branding and marketing strategies, you can drive perfume sales while nurturing customer relationships and building a loyal brand following from the start.


7. Setting Up Your Perfume Business


Once your perfume line is developed and ready for production, it’s time to set up the actual business operations.

The first step is deciding on your business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited liability partnership, company, etc.) that best suits your needs and objectives.

After finalising your business plan, you can proceed to register your company according to the requirements.

Moving on, it is crucial to obtain all the necessary licenses and permits to legally manufacture and sell your perfumes in Malaysia. Complying with the regulations is not just a formality but also essential to safeguard your business.

Overwhelmed by the application process?

Rest assured! Eng Kah team can guide you through the procedures and help you secure all the necessary approvals.

We understand that paperwork can be daunting, especially for new entrepreneurs. That’s where our professionals can be of assistance, helping you streamline the compliance process while focusing on growing your perfume business.

So, don’t let the administrative hassles discourage you. We are here to help you navigate the process seamlessly and ensure your perfume business thrives from the very beginning.


Other Tips

Launching your perfume line is just the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey in this industry. To sustain success, keep these additional tips in mind:

1. Maintain Quality and Consistency

Implement rigorous testing and quality assurance processes frequently with your manufacturer. This ensures product consistency across batches, giving customers a reliable experience every time.

2. Listen to Your Customers

Closely monitor customer feedback through reviews, surveys, social media comments, etc. Be responsive and make improvements based on their insights. Customer input is invaluable for guiding future product development.

3. Stay Ahead of Trends

The perfume market constantly evolves with changing tastes and trends. Hence, regularly refreshing your product line keeps your brand current and appealing.

Stay attuned to new fragrance styles, niche ingredients, and shifting customer preferences, and never stop experimenting and bringing new fragrance concepts to life.

4. Consider Joining Industry Associations

Become a member of relevant associations like the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association of Malaysia (CTFA Malaysia)

These associations provide great networking opportunities with suppliers, manufacturers and business owners. You will also gain access to the latest industry insights, regulatory updates and expert guidance to navigate the local perfume landscape smoothly.

Indeed, launching a perfume business requires tremendous upfront effort, but consistently going above and beyond is the only way to ensure you build a lasting, thriving Malaysian fragrance brand.


Bring Your Perfume Dreams to Life With Eng Kah

Now you know that starting a perfume business takes work. Hence, partnering with a reliable manufacturer like Eng Kah is essential to ensure the quality and success of your products.

As the largest perfume contract manufacturer and a leading OEM and ODM manufacturer in Malaysia, Eng Kah offers over 55 years of expertise in custom perfume, fragrance, and skincare manufacturing.

We provide comprehensive solutions for custom-made and private-label products, including Halal-certified OEM options. This makes us an ideal partner for tapping into the growing demand for halal and non-halal fragrances.

Moreover, with a proven track record of working with multinational corporations, hypermarkets, and top brands, we deliver the reliability and expertise needed to bring your unique perfume line to life in the competitive Malaysian market.

Contact us today to explore how we can support your perfume business ventures and take your brand to new heights.

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