Interviews Celebrating American Perfumery: New DAME Perfumery Chocolate Man

Celebrating American Perfumery: New DAME Perfumery Chocolate Man

07/04/16 07:00:42 (18 comments)

by: Jodi Battershell

In anticipation of the USA's Independence Day holiday on July 4th, I chatted with Jeffrey Dame of DAME Perfumery Scottsdale to get the latest on what's happening with this very American perfume house that just crossed its second anniversary.

Jodi Battershell:
Are you still thinking about opening a perfumery brick and mortar in Scottsdale?

Jeffrey Dame:
Yes. Just taking my time. A physical storefront is so important and very much needed for DAME Perfumery, but it is a big investment and I want to be super careful. I do have designs and floor plans in place, and actually started designing some fixtures, but I'm not sure if I'll open a stand-alone shop here first or a shop-in-shop location elsewhere. We'll see.

I'm actually very interested in doing a "DAME Traveling Road Show" first. There so many cities in the States and so few interesting independent perfumeries. Truth be told outside of Neimans, Saks and Barney's, there are fewer than 20 Independent Perfumeries in the whole country. So, road trip under consideration.

Jodi:
Goodness!  That's a small amount of shops to service all of us indie/niche perfume fans here in the States!

Jeffrey:
I can only agree. Look at Philly...zero indie perfume shops.

Jodi:
It's true. At best I've found little niche pockets here and there, where a store carries one or two brands at most. If you take your show on the road please come here and do a pop-up!

Jeffrey:
I will definitely do a Philly road show. Desperately needed. I have great ideas for the DAME Shop, the first physical store, but let's talk about the interesting thing about having the DAME collection properly displayed in-store, rather than at the web shop.

So the Philly shop, my road show and my DAME sales in store all relate to an interesting point: 90% (or more) of the US population has no awareness of Independent perfumery. It's basically unknown.

When I do personal appearances at Tigerlily Perfumery in San Francisco for instance, or Merz Apothecary in Chicago, for at least half of the customers I meet in store, it's their first time learning about and buying an independent niche perfume.

This is an important part about DAME. The perfumes are gorgeous of course, and the bottle presentations are luxe, but the opening price points are $65.00 retail—a level that allows for two things. Firstly it allows my DAME customers to purchase a full bottle and spray away and not have to live off little vials. And secondly DAME is an important introduction to independent perfumery for women and men who are just finding out about it, and $65.00 is a great price to try things. And, in my world, $65.00 is still an investment in a product you love, a considered purchase.

Jodi:
And in most peoples' worlds, I think.

 

Jeffrey:
Yes.  My DAME SOLIFLORE Perfume Oils [read Ida Meister's overview of the collection here] are $35.00 each and they sell out as fast as I can make them.

Jodi:
Do you plan to formally market in Europe?

Jeffrey:
Right now I sell DAME through the web shop internationally to over 20 countries. Free shipping internationally too, even though I lose money on the sale. I do it as a courtesy to my customers, and of course to spread the word. But 99% of my effort is on the USA. DAME is "Modern American Perfumery" and I want all of my effort to be here in the States. This, here in the USA is the untapped world. I think as a brand maker it is too easy to get swept up in the thrill of selling all over the world. It seems the thing to do, and it seems all the brands are doing it and to be honest, in my 35 years in the business I've flown all over the world chasing global sales, too. But no more. DAME is American Perfumery for Americans. Each of the major cities—Phoenix, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.—have over one million people in them. I think there are enough prospects out there for me to look here, rather than "over there."

It's why DAME is also known for such generous and heavy vial sampling on my perfumes. In the two years since DAME was introduced I've sent out over 30,000 vial samples. Just me. Vials go out to my shops, and every customer who purchases from the DAME Shop receives a pack of a dozen extra vials. I don't talk about it, I don't push it, it's a bonus for my customers. One of the keys with DAME is I always want to over-deliver not only in service but in product accessibility, and sampling is part of that.

Jodi:
Samples really make a difference. I don't know what others do with the extra goodies you have sent, but quite honestly, I share mine with friends and family members who say they're looking for a new perfume.

Jeffrey:
That's how I look at it too. Many of my DAME customers are repeat customers, again and again. And each time they order I stuff their box with free samples, and they all say they share with co-workers, friends and family. So I'm doing my part to expand the American Independent Perfumery market, albeit for my own brand...but still, once a customer is "in," they're "in."

Jodi:
It's a great way to inspire loyalty!

Jeffrey:
Good product and a happy relationship always creates loyalty. Plus with DAME I have many perfumes, really something for everyone. The Artist Collection, the eaux de toilette for women, the SOLIFLORE Perfumes, the Man Colognes.

And back to the International market versus USA, this is why I'm launching my new DAME scent Chocolate Man this weekend on July 4th, just having some fun and reinforcing that DAME is Modern American Perfumery.

Jodi:
It's a perfect time for a launch, and a great scent to launch for this particular occasion.  Let's talk about Chocolate Man.

Jeffrey:
Did you like it?

Jodi:
I did! I do! Mr. NLS and I both tried it and love it. I'm wearing it today in anticipation of our chat

Jeffrey:
it is rather addictive. I kept wearing it again and again. Would wake up looking forward to wearing it. Only chocolate in the notes. That's it. Chocolate.

Jodi:
Are you sure? It's a very nuanced chocolate. I swear I smell coconut, tobacco, a little vanilla...

Jeffrey:
No. Just chocolate. That's all. But good chocolate is like that, nuanced and magical.

Jodi:
So why chocolate? Are you a chocolate lover (as in the food)? This is definitely a chocolate for connoisseurs.

Jeffrey:
I'm not a particular chocolate lover as a candy, although certainly I won't turn good chocolate down and I'm a sucker for a nice mint on my pillow. The fun part of being a perfume maker is you can make a perfume simply because you want to. And I've always loved a chocolate note. I just find chocolate as a scent very sexy and I like sexy perfumes.

Jodi:
Now, this is Chocolate "Man," but I know a lot of women are going to like it, too.  Why did you decide to do it as part of the men's line?

Jeffrey:
There is a story to the creation process. I wanted to do a chocolate-themed scent, and have it be part of the DAME Artist Collection, which I do with my father. The Artist Collection scents, like Black Flower Mexican Vanilla, Dark Horse and Desert Rose are all full-bodied complex eaux de parfum, in contrast to my eaux de toilette for women and Man Colognes which are clearer and simpler in wearing, although still amazing and sophisticated.

So I started out with this wonderful simple chocolate accord, I just loved it for its simplicity and beauty. And I started adding all sorts of layers and movement to it, making it very complex, and this new chocolate scent became more and more interesting.

But I always came back to the original chocolate accord, the pure unadorned original chocolate scent. I love wearing it so much myself, and all the extras I was adding made it more interesting and less enjoyable. And DAME Perfumery is ALL about bring a smile to your face.   

Jodi:
That is a thing, I think: "more interesting but less enjoyable." Some fragrances are just so obviously trying too hard.

Jeffrey:
Too often in independent niche perfumery creators make scents which are interesting simply because they can, or to get noticed, without asking if anyone actually would want to wear such a concoction.

So I discarded all my advanced trials and went back to the original Chocolate accord which I love so much, which as you said is already nuanced and interesting on its own. and because this note really didn't didn't fit into my Artist Collection eau de parfums, and my dad was struggling to create a chocolate painting to match it, I decided it was best to place the scent into my DAME Man Cologne Series, along with Herb, Leather, New Musk and Citrus.  All very focused but casual style.

So the short answer then is I am being selfish, and placing it for the guys over on the Man Cologne side of DAME. Also, of course, the reality is women already buy many of the DAME Man Colognes. Women buy and wear whatever they would like. Plus, and this goes back to my thoughts on expanding the American Niche Perfumery market, there are very few independent niche fragrance collections specifically for men, and I know the aficionados out there will say niche is for all, there is no gender. But for me, and for my DAME customers, gender remains.  When I'm in-store, and I'm talking with male customers, by and large they are more comfortable talking about a man's scent. Which is also why my DAME fragrances for men are called Colognes. For an American man, fragrance is still called cologne, no matter what the French think.

Jodi:
And I agree, especially for men beginning to explore the fragrance world, they're more comfortable with something they know was designed for men.

Jeffrey:
Obviously I have an opinion about what I'm doing. Again, the benefits of being a perfume maker. I have to be careful there, too, though, to always look to re-invent myself. It's why I focus DAME on being Modern, and always facing forward and looking to the future.

Jodi:
I think DAME scents appeal to multiple demographics—those looking for a familiar and comfortable fragrance; those looking for something new and unique that's not from a department store shelf; longtime perfume fans and newbies...

Jeffrey:
I can only agree. The core DAME customer is a woman who is 35 or so, although I have women both old and younger. If anything, I find the DAME scents can go across generations, the mother likes them as well as the daughter. Always pretty and clean.

And DAME in the shops is often the perfume a young man selects as a gift for his girlfriend or fiancée. He want to buy her something pretty and luxurious and nice and beautiful, but not something too weird and avant-garde, so he buys her DAME. It's beautiful just like his girlfriend, and at $65.00 the price is perfect for a gift.

The DAME male customer is a touch younger, closer to 30, but again, older and younger men too. I think the new DAME Chocolate Man Cologne will go to all ages.

Jodi:
I've seen some photos on your Instagram of some glamorous-looking women. Are those customers or are you gearing up for a new ad campaign of some kind?

Jeffrey:
There are actually four DAME ad campaigns coming for 2016, one for each part of the collection.

The ads you've seen so far are from the #MySoliflore campaign, where models are shown interacting with the DAME SOLIFLORE Perfume Oils. There's a new model shot every month, and the images for the third model just came in from the photographer today, so they will be up soon. Thank you for noticing.

Then launching in August will be a new campaign for the DAME eau de toilettes for women which is urban and cosmopolitan and fashionable.  Just super.

And, I have a third "fantasy dreamworld" campaign being shot this summer for the Artist Collection of perfumes. We're starting with Dark Horse and going out into the desert and shooting. Wish us luck!

Plus I have a concept for the Man Cologne fragrances too, but I need to get the other three campaigns up and running soon.

Each part of the DAME Perfumery collection has dedicated support in samples and imagery and attention. I want all the scents to receive the exposure they deserve and have customers find their love. It's my classic training from being in the perfume business for so long. I believe in creating glorious perfumes, treating customers well, making an ad or two to catch their attention, and getting a sample in their hands to try it out. Oh, and pricing the perfume so the customer can actually afford to buy it. Pretty basic stuff when you think about it. But core things which are rather lost in these days of social media and web-based perfumery quizzes.

I'm old school. I believe perfume is a human one-to-one experience, both for the maker and the wearer.

Jodi:
I think this is the experience many pefume fans want (or remember, if they've been around awhile) but so rarely find anymore. Thanks for keeping it real!

DAME Perfumery Chocolate Man is available as a 100 ml cologne on the official website of DAME Perfumery Scottsdale.

All images: DAME Perfumery Scottsdale

Jodi Battershell (NebraskaLovesScent or "NLS") is a lifelong Nebraskan who transplanted herself to Philadelphia after a lifetime on the Great Plains. An appreciator of fine fragrances since childhood, she tried her hand at natural perfumery and fragrance-mixing for a number of years, ultimately concluding she was better suited to appreciating the fragrance creations of others. She is pleased to finally be putting her English degree to use as a writer and editor for Fragrantica.com.

 

 

 



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Covergirl84
Covergirl84

Thank you for the interview, NLS! I enjoyed the dialogue and hearing from the man behind all the greatness.

I agree, Jodi. A lot of brands are 'trying too hard' now-a-days.

Thank you both for the insight. :)

Jul
05
2016
AmoreProfumi
AmoreProfumi

Ordered my sample last night, I love Jeffrey's creations can't wait to experience it, think it'll be a nice test on the town scent. ;)

Jul
05
2016
craftyminx
craftyminx

Ordered my sample of Chocolate Man. Mr. Craftyminx and I can't wait to try it!

Jul
04
2016
Woodgirl
Woodgirl

Looking forward to getting my nose on this new scent. I'm always pleased with Dame Perfumery creations, appreciate the affordable prices, and cannot overemphasize how incredibly generous the included samples are. New Musk Man is one of my favorite musk oils, Black Flower Mexican Vanilla is lovely, and the Soliflore Gardenia is the most realistic gardenia I have ever smelled. I love it, and I'm not really a floral lover. Please, do yourself a favor and get to know this American perfumery. You'll be glad you did.

Jul
04
2016
StarfireK
StarfireK

Thank you!!!

Jul
04
2016
dame piglet
dame piglet

YAY! I'm so excited about my samples!

BTW, the DAME site lists more fragrances than are listed here on Fragrantica. Just wanted to let others know! :D

Jul
04
2016
dame piglet
dame piglet

Hmmm... *Something* tells me that I should check this fragrance house out... It's like they're calling my name... (teeheehee)

Jul
04
2016
jeffreydame
jeffreydame

thank you Jodi for such a marvelous write-up. I loved your words, and you perfectly captured everything going on at DAME today. Appreciated :) J

Jul
04
2016
Hollie
Hollie

Thank you for this interview, Jodi! I have loved every sample of Dame Perfume that I have been lucky enough to get my hands on....especially Dark Horse. I am continually impressed with how personable....yet on point with the business/marketing aspect of his company, Jeffrey is. I will always remember how he actually penned a nice note on the post card of a sample I once won....that's how it's done!To Jeffrey Dame: I wish you, your family and company continued success and can't wait to try this newest creation!

On another note( no pun intended) some of you may not know that Jodi Battershell is also one helluva perfumer....she created one of my ALL TIME favorite perfumes....ever...that I will forever save the tiny, empty bottle so that I can sniff it's beauty and remember. I wore it when my son was a toddler and I lived in the high deserts of Oregon....among giant Cedars, Juniper....woodstove smoke...big blue skies and hot, dry, desert air in the summer and heaping piles of fluffy white snow in the winter. The smell of that empty bottle always takes me back to that peaceful time.

Jul
04
2016
PerfumeEmpress
PerfumeEmpress

I love Dameperfumery scents. I wish Jeffrey would make a nice new summer frag rich with tiare and frangipani. I love those notes. Such a nice change from the usual citrus, floral, aquatic, etc. variety.

Jul
04
2016
jana.hullinghorst
jana.hullinghorst

Jeffery is a wonderful perfume maker and a terrific business man! I have tested quite a few of his offerings and they have all been solid all around fragrances! Happy to see him dive into more gourmand type scents. Maybe a vanilla type scent is next?

Jul
04
2016
ClairaNox
ClairaNox

Thank you for this interview; I will be one of the women to buy Chocolate Man!

Jul
04
2016
ChypreAnn
ChypreAnn

I think that with Dame Perfumery, "gender remains," as he said, but it's not taken too seriously. As a brand, they've managed to walk that fine line, which is an achievement. I *need* bottles of Dark Horse and New Musk Man very soon, and I'm sure I'll be wanting a FB of Chocolate Man too!

Jul
04
2016
mapache
mapache

sounds awesome !!

Jul
04
2016
chayaruchama
chayaruchama

How fabulous!
Great, candid interview, Jodi!
(You are so easy to talk with - small wonder <3 )

Jul
04
2016
CDGfan
CDGfan

I got a whole bunch of samples from you guys, thanks a very nice surprise! Lovely fragrances wish u the best!

Jul
04
2016
smalltownbeatnik
smalltownbeatnik

Great interview!

Jul
04
2016
Zelda
Zelda

Great interview Jodi, I'm off to investigate Chocolate Man now.

Jul
04
2016

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