Interview with Ruta Degutyte, founder of niche perfumery Art de Parfum

Find out how Ruta Degutyte was inspired to launch niche perfumery Art de Parfum, and why she believes making scents is like writing music.

What’s your career background?

I am an outsider to niche perfume and the beauty industry. My background lays in marketing consulting, to be precise, Brand marketing and International Business, MBA.

Where did the idea for Art de Parfum come from?

Creating my own business was a liberation of my independent personality which was tired of corporate rat racing to put it short.

How did you move from idea to actual business?

I started to pay attention to scents around me quite early in my life. Probably because I had an oversensitive nose.

Also the birth of Art de Parfum was a rather natural next step in my life to create what I feel passionate on my own applying all my knowledge I gained whilst working for blue chip corporates, as well as an independent brand marketing consultant throughout my adult life. 

So, to me, Art de Parfum was like embarking on a new adventure, much more meaningful and exciting. This domain speaks more about my inner self.

Of course there are always lots of challenges in the perfumery world, and you need a lot of experience and guts to start up something as challenging and complex. But if you truly believe in your product and invest passion in each detail of it, in time it turns out to be very rewarding. 

What’s your brand’s USP?

Making scents could be easily compared to writing songs. Everybody is influenced by the same smells or sounds around us, but what requires a real master is to compose those notes in a beautiful accord.

Simple, elegant but at the same time not too linear or predictable. ADP is definitely not an Ed Sheeran kind of tune!

My husband is a musician and I’m always asking him how he comes up with ideas and puts it all together. It’s a mesmerising and very exciting process. However, once finished we both have to put it down as you are tempted to keep changing the notes.

Who’s your target audience?

Everyone who can relate to our scents and ethical values. Art de Parfum prides itself on being a cruelty-free and GMO-free company. Every single part of the business, whether it is the packaging or the sourcing, is cruelty-free. It is part of the brand’s ethical identity.

In choosing Art de Parfum fragrances customers can rest safe in the knowledge that their choice is both beautiful and ethically pure. The materials used in our packaging and bottles are environmentally-safe and the bottle is 100% recyclable glass. 

Everything also comes with certificates of origin for green and bio-hazard-free production. The box carrying the perfume is made of a natural, linen-covered cardboard material that biodegrades fully. 

Perfumery is like any other modern “over produced” industry is suffering from chasing profits and it’s a shame that niche category is turning into mass-market just cause it needs to survive.

Less consumption would really lead to more interesting and unique perfumery. Hence, the answer is someone who is passionate about Art de Parfum’s scents and the brand that do not remind them of high street scents.

How do you spread the word about what you do?

Online, retail, exhibitions, word of mouth and social media.

What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?

I still believe the one to come. But definitely consistency in quality and communication. 

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome

Finding the right people and partners. Human factor is of the utmost importance in any venture.

And your proudest moment so far?

Probably my first award for our Gin and Tonic Cologne. The subsequent ones were also quite a surprise.

Why is work so important to you?

It’s a philosophical question. It’s keeping me alive not only fed, but tuned in with all my sensors and open mindedness for new ideas and possibilities. To realise those ideas makes me truly happy and fulfilled. That’s a part of my existence. Inseparable.

Who inspires you?

My husband. From day one he was the only one who believed in me while everyone else were asking challenging questions and expressing serious concerns. 

How do you balance your work with your family?

Hardly, as time is the most precious thing while we try to balance our two busy lifestyles and make it work in our favour. Although, I must admit I’d like to have a month away from gadgets, Brexit, hurricanes and everything else. Just two of us. Sounds like moving to South Pacific to me (laughs).

What’s your advice for someone wanting to do something similar?

  1. Have a solid idea and plan.
  2. Have a dedicated team to support it.
  3. Hope all those elements would work for you regardless of any internal or external factors.
  4. In case of failure, have an exit plan.

You can find out more about Art du Perfum on their website.