Mustafa Alasali, Founder and Owner of Mavroki
By Shereen Shabnam
The art of creating a signature scent requires not just knowledge and insights into the fragrance industry but a passion for the opulent world of fragrance. We speak to Mustafa Alasali who launched his brand Mavroki in 2018, a niche luxury French perfume house that is now one of the region’s pioneering forces in the perfume industry. We find out more about his mission to offer luxury with uniqueness via an uncompromising high-quality product.
Tell us about Mavroki and what made you venture into the fragrance industry?
Working in diamonds and luxury products for more than 22 years, led me to evolve and explore new expansions of our business that can complement the lifestyle our brands offer and help us always meet our customers’ expectations.
What is the USP of your latest fragrance collection?
Our latest collection has the most unique ingredients, where we sourced each element from different places in this world.
What fragrances do you love personally?
I have a passion towards the fusion and complex yet natural perfumes, that make you guess and wonder the notes of the olfactory. Also this means you can smell something different every time you use them. These types of perfumes are not only a pleasure to smell but also have a therapeutic effect -I made sure every scent we create has the same impact.
How is your business divided between Men and Women? And what characterizes your perfume?
It is more females focused; every perfume has its own personality.
Which is your bestseller in the region?
It depends on the season, every season has a different hero. We have recently launched Daz, which is a female Eau de parfum with a timeless olfactive narrative. It has a touch of freshness to delicately brighten the skin from morning to night through its vibrant radiance and a stirring blend of fruity and floral notes.
Can you talk about building a niche fragrance brand in a tightening distribution landscape?
According to studies, perfumes and beauty products sales will increase more than 50% by 2026 which give us a push to create more products. The niche segment has been a solid ten to fifteen-year emerging trend in perfume. And although many successful brands have emerged over this period, it is now almost at saturation level, with many being taken over by big corporations, historically involved with perfumes. Today, to build a niche fragrance brand in the current climate there are many entry barriers. These include two key aspects. Firstly, the know-how, we are talking specifically about luxury here, it takes a lot of skill, passion and technique to establish a signature brand in this market. The distribution itself is the second factor, concerning the saturation, it is hard for new brands to enter the distribution market and this is further amplified by the big corporations who are in much control of this distribution.
What does it take to be successful in this field?
To be successful in this business, you need these three main traits. Firstly, the mastering of the juice – a very coherent, innovative, out of the box and precious fragrance signature is essential. You have to know how to be good at it and there is no success without good juice. Secondly, the story – as we are talking niche we are not relying on a celebrity or big marketing campaigns but rather relying on quality, selectivity, creativity and exclusivity. You have to work around the marketing side of things in the niche sector and it is often very intangible. Hence, your storytelling is imperative and must relate to all your values. Thirdly, the distribution. Without a good model it is very difficult to succeed, alongside, of course, good financials. Personally, I also believe that the pandemic gave us the edge (and time) to launch new products when most of the niche brands were hesitant to do so. No risk, no glory.
What is your advantage of being a French brand?
It is synonymous with luxury, which supports the conception and the lifestyle associated with it, and that transmits into what we do as a brand. Furthermore, we are closer to the source of the perfume’s origin.
Can you explain why understanding the importance of your brand values is important to building a profitable business?
Without a long-term perspective, being honest, and transparent with your values there is no way you can build a successful long-term business. We have created every product with patience and love and are telling a beautiful story that relies on very solid values. Lastly, we are daring. We can pivot and make quick decisions when necessary, and this has bolstered our growth.
What are the advantages of your brand to be able to compete and attract the consumer? And how does the business environment help? As it is a highly competitive region in regards to perfume.
You have to be able to tell a good story. And we have a fantastic story to tell at Mavroki. People want to dream about what they wear, to incarnate the ‘spirit’ of a brand, and ultimately feel special. Therefore, the story you tell is very important. To be able to make it in this competitive market you have to be consistent in your offering, you can’t jump from one perfume to the next without remaining true to your signature. We use the high-end natural ingredients to create our perfumes in addition to the luxury and high-quality packaging. All of the above cannot be achieved without a synergetic team that has one objective and vision, to always give the best outputs.
In a recent study for Fraicheur.com, Beauty industry losses are expected to reach 175 billion dollars in 2020 due to working from home and therefore the decrease in makeup and cosmetics products use in general. Does this apply to the perfume market? And what are your expectations for this market in 2021?
With 2020 is behind us, I have a strong faith in the future. As per our expectations for the market in the next few years, we believe that it will continue to grow. Regarding this industry losses and I can’t speak on behalf of others, I can only say that Mavroki hasn’t been affected during the pandemic.
Being independent in a market dominated by giant groups must be challenging. What are your day to day challenges and advantages of being an independent brand in the perfume industry?
Being independent is an advantage as it gives us flexibility and speed when it comes to major decisions. You are much more agile. Developing and enhancing in addition to creating the most unique products for our customers are our only challenges.
What about e-commerce? To what extent does e-commerce work in the perfume industry?
Digital transformation is happening across all the industries, and is one of most fast-growing sectors. You cannot leave behind the customers’ needs and expect to have a profitable business; therefore, we see that e-commerce and online shopping are the present and the future of all sales platforms.
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