Perth mum starts successful business, Nostalgia, selling affordable dupes of designer perfumes
A mum’s new beauty business is off to a flying start after she sold thousands of bottles of her designer dupe perfumes and made $100,000 in revenue in just six weeks.
Shereen Huber sells perfume oils inspired by well-known designer fragrances that cost hundreds of dollars for just $35 under her brand Nostalgia.
The 38-year-old was an avid perfume collector but was frustrated by many high-end brands’ price points, lack of natural ingredients and high alcohol content.
She decided to take matters into her own hands and start-up a company offering perfume-lovers luxe fragrances that last all day without the expensive price tag.
Nostalgia has a catalogue of more than 30 alcohol-free scents that Shereen developed herself through months of trail and error.
Shereen Huber (pictured), 38, started her own business selling perfume oils that smell just like designer fragrances and made $100,000 in six weeks
The Perth mum started up her own company, Nostalgia, offering perfume-lovers luxe fragrances that last all day without the expensive price tag
‘I love that scents can trigger and emotional reaction and evoke memories which is why I thought the name Nostalgia for the brand was so fitting,’ Shereen told FEMAIL.
‘I have always loved collecting perfumes, especially French fragrances. However, the price point of most of the perfumes I love and collected were very high.’
After spending a lot of time visiting perfumeries in France’s Grasse region, Shereen had dreamed of one day developing her own fragrances but she said had ‘no idea’ how to start.
Shereen was overwhelmed by the response from customers following Nostalgia’s launch and she sold more than 3,000 bottles
‘I have also always been passionate about using natural ingredients as much as I can,’ she said.
‘I try to use natural skincare but could never find natural perfumes that had a nice fragrance or were long lasting and so I thought there surely must be a way to marry those two objectives.’
The businesswoman started extensively researching the industry to identify gaps in the market and find local Australian manufacturers.
‘After nearly twelve months of research and development, trial and error, the brand came to life,’ she said.
Thankfully there were no legal complications around duping big-brand perfumes.
‘Not only is our branding divergent and unique to us, our scents only take inspiration from the aroma of well-known existing fragrances and are different in every way,’ Shereen said.
‘They are our very own, unique formulations and made up of totally different ingredients to designer scents.’
All of Nostalgia’s perfume oils are alcohol free meaning they last longer on the skin.
All of Nostalgia’s perfume oils are alcohol free meaning they last longer on the skin: ‘Alcohol-free perfumes have a slower evaporation rate, whilst also being a lot gentler on the skin’
‘People don’t realise that alcohol-based perfumes evaporate quickly, which means those scents don’t last long,’ Shereen explained.
‘Alcohol-free perfumes have a slower evaporation rate, which means their scent last a lot longer whilst also being a lot gentler on the skin.’
The lack of alcohol in Nostalgia’s scents have made them very popular in some Asian and Middle Eastern countries where many people avoid the substance in their beauty products for religious reasons.
Shereen was overwhelmed by the response from customers following Nostalgia’s launch.
She sold more than 3,000 bottles and made a turnover of $100,000 in the first six weeks of business.
‘I had no idea it would grow so quickly; sales have exceeded beyond my expectations,’ she said.
One of her most popular scents is Icon (left) which takes inspiration from Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille (right) that can retail up for $535
10 tips to make perfume last all day
1. Apply on your pulse points – The skin is the thinnest at those points, which means it’s closer to your blood and body heat. As the fragrance warms, the aroma process begins
2. Don’t rub your wrists together – The rubbing together is considered a big perfume no-no. It just makes the top notes burn off a little quicker. Try tapping your wrists together instead of creating friction.
3. Spray your heart – If you have fragrance at your heart, you can smell it a lot. The fragrance will travel up; your heart will act as a diffuser.
4. Spritz after a shower – Spritz on a perfume right after a shower, as the steam helps open up the aroma. Plus, your skin is clean and free from sweat and excess oil, which can buffer the fragrance.
5. Keep your skin hydrated – Hydrated, moisturized skin is really going to hold fragrance a lot longer. A body oil, body lotion or balm to hydrate will also help hold the fragrance longer as well.
6. Layer your fragrances – If you have a scented body oil and/or lotion, layering it under your perfume can enhance the fragrance which inherently makes both aromas last longer. You can also layer your perfumes.
7. Spray on clothes – It will hold longer on the fabric than it will on your skin as your sweat and natural oils can accumulate throughout the day and make the scent wear off.
8. Use perfume oil – Roll-on perfume oils, generally, are more concentrated, as you apply them directly onto the pulse points. It’s much more reactive to the heat of your natural body temperature.
9. Check the base notes – All of your base notes are going to last longer. Vanillas, wood notes, sandalwood, cedarwood, anything like that will last longer on the skin.
10. Know when your perfume expires – If a bottle is past its prime, most of the fragrance has evaporated and it won’t last as long on your skin. You can get the most out of your fragrance by storing it in a cool area away from sunlight.
‘I think post-covid everyone is a bit more health conscious and more cognisant of what they are putting on their body or in their body and offering a ‘clean’ and affordable alternative to scents people love and are already familiar with has been a winning formula.’
One of Nostalgia’s most popular scents is Icon which takes inspiration from Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille that can retail up for $535.
Shoppers are also loving Boujee which takes inspiration from Le Labo’s ultra-popular $354 Santal 33 and BFF which is a dupe of the $388 Baccarat Rouge by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Despite each formula taking six to eight months to perfect, Shereen plans to have 100 different scents, dupes and originals, available at Nostalgia at the end of the year.
Despite each formula taking six to eight months to perfect, Shereen plans to have 100 different scents, dupes and originals, available at Nostalgia at the end of the year
Nostalgia perfume oils are free of silicones, parabens, sulphates petrolatum and palm oil and are made in Australia with 70 per cent Australian-made ingredients
She hopes customers can see the value in the quality of the perfumes Nostalgia has to offer.
‘Many well-known fragrances that you find in department stores contain a high amount of alcohol and are also very expensive even though they don’t cost a lot to manufacture,’ Shereen said.
‘Customers are essentially paying for the label attached to the bottle.’
Shereen brought Touche, her brand which makes range of sheets and pillowcases made out of eucalyptus, to market in early February 2020, just before coronavirus hit Australia
Nostalgia perfume oils are free of silicones, parabens, sulphates petrolatum and palm oil and are made in Australia with 70 per cent Australian-made ingredients.
This isn’t the first time Shereen’s had a business idea take off.
She brought Touche, her brand which makes range of sheets and pillowcases made out of eucalyptus, to market in early February 2020, just before coronavirus hit Australian shores.
With millions of people working from home and government policy insisting everyone ‘stay home’, she had accidentally created a lifeline – and made $30,000 in the first six weeks.
‘The idea was born out of wanting to help people with trouble sleeping as well as finding a fabric that was sustainable and environmentally friendly,’ Shereen previously told FEMAIL.
Shereen felt like sleep was getting ‘neglected’, despite it lifting our overall mood, helping maintain our metabolism and skin health, so she developed sheets ($249.95) and pillowcases ($69.95) made out of eucalyptus
‘In this day and age, we are all so time-poor juggling numerous commitments and careers which inevitably put a massive strain on our physical and mental wellbeing.’
Shereen felt like sleep was getting ‘neglected’, despite it lifting our overall mood, helping maintain our metabolism and skin health, so she developed sheets ($249.95) and pillowcases ($69.95) made out of eucalyptus.
Usually only associated with koalas in Australia, eucalyptus doesn’t require the use of chemicals or pesticides to produce, unlike most cottons.
The fabric is also compostable, biodegradable and vegan friendly – unlike silk.
It is more durable and naturally antibacterial, meaning it will maintain the condition of your skin and hair as well.
Touche has already sold out of its pillowcases three times since launching, proving its popularity with the public
Touche has already sold out of its pillowcases three times since launching, proving its popularity with the public.
‘Our most popular product is our pillowcase. Our customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with people coming back to buy more for family and friends,’ Shereen said.
Ultimately Shereen would like to expand the bedding range with the introduction of an anti-ageing ‘sleep serum’.
‘The serum aims to aid in anti-ageing and collagen production while at the same time preparing the body and mind for rest and relaxation, easing tension and anxiety,’ Shereen said.
Why choose eucalyptus bed linen?
- The fibres of Eucalyptus fabric are hydrophilic, which means water loving. In terms of bedding, this means they move water particles away from the body. They’re far less likely to become mildewed and smell off. Eucalyptus bedding likely needs less frequent washing than cotton.
- These hydrophilic fibres also mean far less sweat will collect between the body and the bed sheets, making Eucalyptus an ideal choice for hot sleepers or those in more humid countries.
- Eucalyptus bedding lasts a long time before needing to be replaced. They wash well without become flimsy, thin or misshapen over time.
- Sheets and pillowcases are usually constructed using sateen weave. This means the surface fibres of the sheet are longer, and thus the sheets feel very smooth and luxurious to the touch.