This is a niche I’ve thought about entering for a while.
Especially after Amazon drastically cut its commission rates a couple of years ago. The appealing aspect here: fragrances sit in the 10% Amazon Associates Luxury Beauty category. It’s the highest affiliate commission available these days (Source).
There’s big-time search volume for high-priced, consumable products.
It’s a great opportunity for affiliate and display ad revenue.
Just look at these blockbuster keyword rankings for Fragrantica, a perfume and cologne review site:
They’re basically ranking for a million keywords and getting twice that in organic traffic every month.
They’re one of the biggest sites in the fragrance market. I compiled some stats about them and their biggest organic competitors:
Fragrance Industry Stats
- The global perfume market size was valued at USD 31.4 billion in 2018 (Source)
- By 2025, the global fragrance market is estimated to be worth about 52.4 billion U.S. dollars (Source)
- As of 2016, the leading cosmetic and fragrance company in the world was L’Oreal, which generated a revenue of 25.8 billion euros (Source)
- The largest fragrance market is North America. Body Fantasies Signature was the top women’s fragrance brand in the US in the year. A total of 43.4 million U.S. dollars was produced by the brand (Source)
- BaseNotes lists nearly 5,000 fragrance brands in their directory (Source)
The Big Idea
Rank for ultra-expensive perfumes and colognes and cash in on a lucrative, luxury market of consumable goods.
To get a sense of the opportunity, I ran Fragrantica through Ahrefs and exported 1,000 of their top-performing organic keywords:
You can see that Fragrantica primarily ranks for individual perfume and colognes- Versace Eros is 39,000 searches a month, priced at $75 on Amazon; Tobacco Vanille, a Tom Ford product is selling for $245 on Amazon; Acqua Di Gio Profumo, a Giorgio Armani cologne, is selling for $90 with 16,000 monthly searches.
These are pricey products with large search volumes and really low Keyword Difficulties. For example, Acqua Di Gio Profumo has a KD of just 6!
Their top page is this Prada L’Homme Prada product review:
The page is a cluttered mess. That doesn’t mean it isn’t converting- but even with the ads disabled, it’s loaded with Amazon and eBay affiliate widgets (1, 3, 5) and all sorts of custom-coded fragrance insights (4, 7).
But, one look at the Reviews section (6), and you’ll see how insanely popular this content is. The screenshot doesn’t capture it, but there are over 100 user reviews for this particular fragrance.
How To Make Money
This is a pretty obvious one. These perfumes and colognes are available on Amazon and eBay, for starters.
And eBay might be a solid option as these buyers probably flock to secondary marketplaces to purchase vintage and limited edition scents.
Perfume & Cologne Affiliate Programs
There are also a bunch of different affiliate programs you can join. Fragrantica is using several of them, including:
- Cos Bar Retail
(You can Google around for more. This site lists a bunch, including a subscription box option.)
You can see on their product review pages that Fragrantica prefers Amazon and eBay over the other options. Those two programs get the most on-page visibility. That makes sense. Amazon, as always, is going to convert the best. I’d be using AAWP to generate Amazon-compliant images and tables.
As well, if I were them, I’d be running exit-intent popups with a tool like OptinMonster on the content for even more affiliate clicks. It’s excellent real estate to trial alternative affiliate programs. Especially since the Amazon Associates program doesn’t allow their links to appear in popups.
I imagine the CPC would be pretty good for the fragrance niche. The goal would be to use Ezoic or AdSense until you’re getting enough traffic to apply to Mediavine or AdThrive. Ads are fairly plug and play at this point.
The good thing about this niche is that you can focus on affiliate income until you have enough traffic to justify the incremental benefit of running ads.
How To Get Traffic
Nowadays, it’s better to match your content length to Google’s expectations and correlational SEO tools like Surfer SEO do that for you.
The other great thing about correlational SEO tools like Surfer SEO and Frase is that you can build comprehensive outlines for your writers to follow inside of their editor:
It’s easy to create foundational, properly optimized pieces of content that have the potential to rank from day one.
Your writers can even be trained to format the content as they write. That way all you need to do is copy and paste the html right into WordPress. This saves a ton of time formatting.
One thing I’d be wary of: you’ll want to have a high ratio of informational:affiliate content. My general review site got hit hard in the December 2020 Google update because it’s a pure affiliate site.
Trust me, you’ll want to buttress your affiliate content with ‘info’ content. Things like “how to find your natural scent”, “how to transfer perfume from one bottle to another” and “how many sprays in 1 ml”.
(Check out the Authority Hacker course if you want an over-the-shoulder look at how to structure affiliate/informational content.)
I don’t know the exact ratio, but I would keep the on-page affiliate links as low as possible. Fragrantica is overloading their page with affiliate links and ads and they are thriving.
They’re probably ‘white-listed’ by Google at this point. If I were starting a fragrance blog, I probably wouldn’t even add an affiliate link to the product reviews until the site’s getting traffic.
And, even then, I’d really limit the links on-page. Maybe one prominently placed AAWP product box, for example.
If you want to make decent affiliate commissions in this niche, you’re going to have to find a way to visually depict the fragrances.
That’s probably the most challenging aspect of this niche.
Look at how Parfumo depicts fragrance quality:
If you’re starting a site like this, you’re not going to have this data available to you.
You could compile this data and create your own graphics using PowerPoint or Canva. That’s probably what I’d do to start.
Another interesting way to generate content is to solicit user reviews. You can see that this Basenotes YSL page is just user reviews with a sidebar filled with a sticky affiliate widget. There are some huge Facebook Groups like this 65,000 member Gents Scents Fragrance Family community, which could be a great place to recruit writers or just wiling users who actually own the fragrances you’re reviewing.
You can also rake in a lot of traffic from YouTube. This Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille YouTube review is closing in on 200k views as of this writing:
I use MissingLettr to automate my social media campaigns. If you’re a fun, lively character passionate about perfumes, I’d consider focusing on YouTube and other social media channels. You might not even need a website, in that case.
But if you’re an introvert like me, I’d stick to the SEO waiting game with some automated social media campaigns for social signals and hopefully a trickle of incremental traffic.
What I Like
- Big-time keyword volumes with low keyword difficulties on expensive products
- Interesting niche
- Good social media potential
- Plenty of non-Amazon affiliate options are available
Read More Of My Niche Reports
What I Don’t Like
- Describing a smell is difficult- hard to ‘demo’ a fragrance
- Requires some extra work to visually depict smells