Catching Up With...

Catching Up With Bill Wallen

Parfumologie—once solely a fragrance distributor—is now dedicated to the development, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and merchandising of unique fragrances. Fragrance is one the hottest areas of licensing in an otherwise down market. Parfumologie is venturing into licensed fragrances with The American Line, licensed through the U.S. military.

Nancy Lombardi: Why is Parfumologie moving into the licensing arena?

Bill Wallen: Parfumologie has been distributing thousands of name brand fragrances for more than 25 years. It was time to expand by developing our own proprietary brands. We have been providing turnkey private label development and manufacturing services to the licensing industry. From that point, the next logical step is to initiate our own licensing programs.

N.L.: Explain the first license that Parfumologie is working with.

B.W.: Last year we developed and launched The American Line. A series of fragrances inspired by each branch of the United States military; Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. It is sold online at We are in the process of meeting with retail partners for mass distribution of the line. A portion of the profits generated will benefit VA hospitals across the U.S.

From there, we categorized our licensing program into strategic areas for the purpose of expanding distribution. We are currently developing highly targeted celebrity, character, and music licenses. While we cannot make any announcements at this time as to the names of the talent, I can say they range from “Legends of Rock” to “Classic Princesses.”

N.L.: Why have celebrity licensed fragrances performed so well?

B.W.: Celebrities do well for a very simple reason and it’s that they have very high name recognition. Everyone (from the retailer to the consumer) wants the aura of celebrity to— forgive the pun—rub off on them. In this case, celebrity is magic. The fragrance category is an affordable luxury during a time when people may be cutting back on other things. It can make the consumer feel more glamorous as if they have tapped into the luxurious life of that celebrity.

N.L.: What are the next licensing steps for Parfumologie?

B.W.: We are in discussions with talent, management, licensing agencies, and consumer product brand managers. We hope to be making some announcements soon as to the talent we will be working with. At this time, we are managing the licensing ourselves internally. However, we are open to, and are collaborating with, agents and managers.