Fragrances are more expensive in Australia than anywhere else in the world, according to David Walsman. Which is what inspired the former model to launch his discount fragrance business, Perfumemart.
In Australia we pay about 20 percent more than any country in the world for fragrance, Walsman, 31, said.
The fragrance industry is out of touch with consumer needs, and prices have not been adjusted to reflect changes in the economy. Australian consumers are being made fools of by department stores and duty free stores, who continue to charge inflated prices.
All fragrances in Perfumemart are considerably discounted, with some up to 80 percent cheaper than department store prices. Walsman explained he sells them so cheaply because he imports them directly from partners in America.
Walsman, who is the brother of Star Wars: Episode III actress Leeanna Walsman, started importing fragrances ten years ago, selling them at factory outlets and market stalls.
Then I realised you can turn that factory outlet concept into a retail chain, similar to the way JB Hi-Fi did with CDs, he said.
Perfumemart outlets can now be found on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst and at the Parklea Markets, with a store opening in Centrepoint next month and one in Miranda early next year. Business is booming and more outlets are on the way.
The public have now got the idea you can buy a fragrance for 40 percent off and they know it’s the real thing, and that they’ve been paying through the nose for so many years, Walsman said.
Walsman started modelling while he was studying business and psychology at university, before travelling overseas where he did catwalk, catalogues and TV commercials in France, Spain, the US and Japan. He’s also had small roles in a number of films.
His favourite scent for men is Issey Miyake’s signature fragrance. It was unique when it first came out, it really was revolutionary. And the stark design of the bottle was unique at the time as well. It’s probably the one I wear more than anything else.
He also wears Guerlain’s Vetiver when off to a function, and isn’t afraid to wear a couple of women’s fragrances as well, such as Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden and Pamplelune by Guerlain (which smells like grapefruit).
His favourite women’s fragrance is Philosykos by Diptyque. It smells like caramelised figs frying in a buttery pan. That’s a great one, he said.
As for what the most popular fragrances are in Perfumemart, Walsman said for men it’s definitely Bulgari’s Aqua. For women everyone loves Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely, the new Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney.