Seluz Fragrance company owes its success to an honest cooperation. Adding r&d power on these values in the competitive fragrance and cosmetics industry, ceo Murat Öztürk believes Turkish brands will increase their share of products in the short run.
Murat Öztürk - A Success Story
It has been a decade since Seluz Fragrance Company began production in 2007. How did you develop as a fragrance company in ten years?
Although our quality understanding and business perfectionism haven’t changed since the first day, we are a company that constantly invests in technology and human resources. Our headquarters in Istanbul’s Silivri district has changed the dynamics of fragrance industry in Turkey and in the region, and this makes us very happy. We have six master perfumers working in our company and every one of them is known to be one of the best in the global scene. I find this very important in terms of creativity. In addition, at the end of 2016 we established a “Creative Center” in Zurich, Switzerland, to increase our efficiency in the European market and to support our creative perfume researches. In the past few years we opened two regional offices in Dubai and Tehran within the framework of our growth policies in the Middle East.
How do you personally feel about fragrances?Although fragrance is my business, it is also my passion. Since the number of fragrances we develop in our company is quite high, I can actually smell only some of them. However, in my daily routine I definitely try to smell some of the fragrances in the design process. In addition, being able to keep track of the innovations in terms of fragrances and raw materials in the world is very important to me.
Which notes can be found in the fragrance you mostly wear nowadays?Nowadays I wear a perfume based on bergamot, oakmoss, patchouli and a rich blend of woody notes. Both heart and base notes have a peaceful amber effect that I am very fond of. It is possible to say that tonka bean, balsamic and leather accords at the base, characterize the authenticity of the fragrance.
If we are to talk about olfactory diversity, which is the first note that comes to mind?It seems that the olfactory diversity of oud is increasing in recent years. Especially the trends in European market bring about modern and interesting interpretations of oud.
What are the most successful fragrances you produce?At the moment our fragrance library has more than 15 thousand fragrances. Our creative perfume design and R&D teams develop around 1500 fragrances annually, some of which have been used in the products of the most important brands in Europe, Middle East and many other markets. We find a fragrance successful as long as it contributes in the success of our customer’s product or the brand. In this sense it won’t be wrong to say that we have thousands of successful products that aromatize many perfumes, cosmetics or home care products around the world.
Did growing up in Germany as a Turk have an effect on you as a businessman?I have internalized my roots and all the values that represent my motherland, and I hold on to them with my heart and soul. On the other hand, the fact that I was raised in Germany and started my business career in Europe gave me a lot in terms of business culture and discipline. I would like to add that, combining discipline which is very significant in German business culture with speed and agility which comes from Turkish culture has paid off very well.
In what areas Seluz Fragrance Company products are used?We can list three basic areas where Seluz products are used. The first one is fine fragrance, in other words the perfume sector, which is also the driving force of our business. The second basic category is the personal care segment which is made up of many subcategories including hair care, skin care, baby products, wet wipes and so on. Finally there is the home care segment which includes detergents, surface cleaners or air fresheners. These are the main fields where our products are used. However thanks to technological improvements, new and innovative fields of use are emerging ranging from textiles to chemistry.
How does working in the fragrance industry change your perspective when you are traveling?Fragrance implies change and movement. There is no room for immobility in the world of fragrance. Discovering natural regional ingredients is very important to me especially when I am traveling to new places. Not only it gives me an idea about the people living there and their culture, but also helps me discover the plants and flowers that naturally grow in that soil and climate. I am especially passionate about spices and flowers and every new discovery is an opportunity for me to realize how infinite is the world we are working in.
You also have a perfume academy at Seluz Fragrance Company. What kind of trainings do you give there?The training process at Seluz Perfume Academy begins with teaching essential fragrance families and raw materials. Then, perfumer trainees learn the scents of various raw materials that come from different fragrance families and begin to develop simple formulas. After that, the training focuses on more complex fragrances with different technical specifications such as personal care and home care products. The fact that our young colleagues at our perfume academy are trained by master perfumers who are by all means among the best in the world is very important in developing their technical skills and creativity.
At the moment you train only Seluz Fragrance Company employees at your perfume school. Do you plan to expand this educational opportunity externally to those who want to become perfumers in the future?In fact all our trainees at Seluz Perfume Academy want to become perfumers in the future and this is why they are here, but this academy is an in-house training establishment. Therefore, our Human Resources Unit carefully evaluates candidates from Seluz team and calls in the suitable trainees to the program. Although part of the evaluation process depends on certain technical capabilities, having a passion for fragrances and a potential for development are the main criteria.
What is your most important value at Seluz Fragrance Company?Although very young, Seluz Fragrance Company became one of the main actors in the region. A great deal of our success comes from our determination and perfectionism. Perfectionism, while shaping our business processes, also defines our quality understanding which has led us to develop one of the most precise protocols of our industry in the world. I think our honest attitude towards our customers and business partners has an important role in forging powerful collaborations.
How do you see Turkey’s position in the fragrance and cosmetics market; do you think we are in good shape?I think it is possible to answer your question by considering the branded products that the end consumer buys. Turkey’s serious potential in fragrance and cosmetics markets as well as in many other areas has just begun to realize. There are many perfume and cosmetics producers in Turkey and when we compare our brands with global brands, we see the quality standards achieved in Turkey are higher in terms of fragrance, packaging and many other areas. Especially the increasing emphasis on design and innovation in recent years have contributed a great deal in the success of our brands. I believe Turkish brands will prove to be even more successful and further increase their share of high value added products in the next five or 10 years.
When it comes to fragrances what is the best marketing strategy?Even though we adopt a B2B (business to business) model, our marketing strategy is based on understanding the preferences of the end consumer as much as the needs of our customers. In other words, in every project we place ourselves into our customers’ shoes and follow a strategy that will appeal to the market that their brand targets. Our marketing team conducts in-depth analyses of world trends and customer expectations in every segment from perfumes to personal care and home care, and develop creative ideas for our customers based on these findings.