1. by Nick Knight .

    VIOLENCE. Sissel Tolaas response to questions about pheromones.


    Dear Nick, yes the topic pheromones is of great importance!!!!!


    The word "pheromone" comes from the Greek words perein=transmit and

    hormon=stimulate. A pheromone is a messenger of stimulation that tells us

    when and where we should gather and then separate. It tells us how we should

    behave toward the other sex and how we should know whether it is in fact the

    other sex. Pheromones tell us how to organize the members of a society in a

    structure befitting their dominance; they mark the exact borders of a

    territory. They also tell us how we can be sure beyond a doubt that we are


    Pheromones regulate power relationships, association and above all - SEX.

    Pheromones provide unconscious data from an arsenal of information that can

    be decisive for the course of human communication.

    Considering the flood of pheromone communication that reaches us directly,

    it is no wonder that  Western society, cut off from smell perception and

    over-deodorized as it is, tries to stimulate sexual attractiveness and

    activity with the help of artificial pheromones. This is doomed to failure

    because it is like cutting down the forest in order to plant trees.


    As human beings (men and women) we have the ability to sense certain

    chemical signals emitted by people around us—without being aware of it? We

    use a separate set of sensory receptor cells in our nose to receive social

    and sexual information from members of our own species.


    Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in men's testes. The adrenal

    glands of both men and women also produce small amounts of testosterone.

    In men, testosterone produces sperm, facial and body hair, deep voices, and

    muscle mass and strength.

    Testosterone is associated with two behaviors in males: aggressive dominance

    of other males, and sexual activity. E.g., male red deer live peacefully

    together for most of the year. But in October their testosterone increases

    five-fold. They fight for territory. Female red deer select land that has

    sufficient food for raising fawns. The males that control the best

    territories mate with the most females.

    Testosterone is an anti-depressant, in men and women. It increases

    friendliness. It reduces anger, depression, fatigue, confusion, nervousness,

    and irritability.

    That may seem contradictory-testosterone makes males fight, yet makes them

    friendly. Testosterone makes males want to mate. If fighting precedes

    mating--e.g., gorillas--testosterone makes males fight. But if mating

    requires friendship e.g., baboons- testosterone makes males friendly.

    Testosterone varies between men more than four times. Football players have

    the most testosterone. Ministers have the least.


    Bacteria and fungi live on your skin and in your clothes. These organisms

    drink your sweat and digest your discarded skin cells. Their excretions make

    you smell . That's body odour.

    Body odour can provide be interesting signs of a specific state of mind as

    well as or of a more serious medical condition.


    When our "fighters" fight and sweat, we smell these molecules that live on

    their skin, mixed with their sweat. Each human body have a body smell as

    unique as their fingerprint - in sweat this is what we smell underneath the

    external molecules that live on the surface of the skin.


    New research has shown that some individuals are highly sensitive to

    smelling a component of body odour which is called androstenone.

    Furthermore, if the person can easily smell androstenone then he will decide

    whether or not he likes the person based on the smell. What is androstenone?

    It is a human pheromone which is a chemical attractant that is found in body

    secretions like perspiration. Men release large quantities of androstenone

    while women omit small amounts. So men are more likely to be judged by their

    smell than women. According to the study, fifty percent of people the

    population cannot smell androstenone at all and one half of them can only

    catch a whiff and enjoy the scent. Those who can smell androstenone, on the

    other hand, do not like the smell and compare it to urine or perspiration.

    The study went on to show that there was a correlation between the ability

    to smell androstenone and the androstenone-smeller's judgment of the person.

    In other words, if someone can smell androstenone on someone else and finds

    the smell unpleasant then he will dislike the person, or may be not……….


    Attached acouple of artickle on the topic!


    SORRY I DID NOT MEAN TO WRITE A BOKK........but the topic is what it is all




    Speak soon!


    Love SisselXXX

  2. by Nick Knight .

    VIOLENCE. Reciept of second scent prototype

    Dear Sissel,

    The Violence 2 is a lot more interesting than the first prototype.

    My first impression was that there was something more animal about it. It smelt more menacing/ dangerous and I wondered if it was my desire to feel this or wether there was the beginning of a instinctive reaction to the smell.

    Our theory is that when men (or indeed women,but that is part two of this project) fight they release pheromones that are only released when the "fight or flight"response is activated. Furthermore the pheromones we are trying to isolate are the one that would be released if the individual opts for the "fight" option rather than the "flight" option.

    Now, are we supposing that these pheromones will have a smell and it is that that our scent would predominantly smell of? Or are they an ingredient within the overall scent and that we create a "pleasing" scent that may smell mainly of pleasing  but appropriate smells, such as leather or brick dust for example and that the pheromones that we isolate are undetectable and are there to trigger a behavioral response in the wearer or the people that the wearer comes into contact with?

    I am talking to a fighter and friend of mine about organizing a two day shoot in London at my studio. We would have 4 bouts , with eight contestants all different forms of combat.

    The shoot would be broadcast live on SHOWstudio and would I will film it and photograph it as-well .It would be crucial to have you there so we can be sure of getting the pheromones extracted immediately after the fight has taken place. Also you can stipulate exactly how you want the fighters prepared for each fight. For example should they be freshly showered and with no other scents on them at all?

    I am looking at dates around the beginning of March, probably the first week.

    Can you tell me when you would be free to come to London around then and also can you bring the "Headspace " technology to London or will the Tshirts have to go back to Berlin?

    Anyway there are lots of other exciting ideas i have about the shoot but I will talk to you later.

    Look forward to hearing from you.




    SORRRYYYY for the late respond! I was travelling.

     First I wanted to discuss dates in London,

    the rest will come today on a separate mail :-)

     The ONLY time I could possibly make it to London could be 7th,8th,9th of

    March and may be the 6th. Then only after Eastern ( mid April).

    In case I manage to get the possibility to bring headspace, this also would

    need time and organization,

    So PLEASE give me some potential dates from your side ASAP11

    All the very best!



  3. by Nick Knight .

    violence.The first test arrives.

    Dear Sissel,

    yes I received it this morning as I was leaving the house.I had a quick smell. Interesting.A lot of chemical smell which I guess is some sort of solvent.

    Under that was a bit sweaty man. Old and a bit unpleasant and musty.I didn't detect anything dangerous yet.Do you think the fighters should be clean before they start?

    Tell me what did you think? What did you think I should smell.




    Dear Nick, 

    Let me describe how  I precented the first sweat:

    I think the person who "fought" - " " meaning I think he was too

    programmed/too intellectual prepared for the fight. He was TOO clean

    beforehand, kind of fresh from the shower. I could hardly smell ANY sweat,

    and the headspace hardly able to identify any molecules. I could kind of

    smell some chemical, which I identified as having to do with clothes worn

    before fighting. These cloths were rather synthetic......

    Also I think he was fighting without passion - producing no adrenaline.

    The small amount of smell that came over was pretty dull and contained very

    little/hardly any information!

    I think the second one is already much process these days!!

    It is VERY important that the "fighters" do not "overclean" themselves

    before fighting. Also I think that the more professional they get the less

    "REAL" sweat they produce.

    Nick I do not know on behalf of which criteria you choose the fighters, and

    what kind of "rules" you are able to give them in advance?!

    I think we seriously have to discuss these topis before the next fights

    otherwise we might end up with very littel - for our intentions -

    information = smells to work with.

    I am sure we will find a way, this is just the beginning.

    The impossible is nothing!

    Headspace Images will take time, due to IFF Crises!!! SORRRYYYY! But we will

    have them in the end, I HOPE!!!!

    All the very best





    1. oliverpoon
      18:35 8 Jan 2009
      Hi, Sissel and Nick,
      is it possible to get the clothes from the prison? I've watched those TV programmes about the prison. It seems violence appears everywhere everyday. Those people live in danger. Maybe it could get more chemicals about violence. Just a little thought about it.
  4. by Nick Knight .

    VIOLENCE. .Subject: Fragrance Violence - wholesale inquiry


    Subject: Fragrance Violence - wholesale inquiry
    Hi Nick
    I am inquiring about your upcoming Fragrance, Violence.
    Are you offering it for wholesale?
    We are a specialy boutique in Hollywood, specializing in rare, artisan
    perfumes from around the world. Our store, Scent Bar, has been open for 3
    years, in response to our popular website,, now going on 8
    I would love to learn more and see if you can perhaps send a sample for
    Also, I can help organize a shipment with our shipping company.
    Best regards,
    Franco Wright
    Co founder



    1. eleutherius
      11:12 13 Feb 2012
      HELLO! GREETINGS!!!!!!
      NEW STORIES ON THE WAY!!!!!!!!!
  6. by Nick Knight .

    VIOLENCE Bottle


    Dear Kev,

    I have just sent you an email regarding a perfume bottle.

    It is part of an ongoing project on SHOWstudio and for this I am  

    producing a blog/diary following every step of producing this scent.

    I would like to put your response to my email on SHOWstudio, would  

    that be ok?




    Hi Nick

    We can make a prototype of the perfume bottle, I would suggest the most cost

    effective route would be to use a rapid prototyping (3D Printing) method

    known as SLA this is a liquid polymer cured with an Ultra Violet laser.

    SLA is very similar to clear Perspex.

    The first things we need to establish are as follows.

    1) The fist, female or male? The best route would be to take a cast of a

    real person making a fist using dental alginate and plaster and then scan


    2) The outer shape of the bottle, you specified 2.5 inches square, am I to

    assume the outer shape is pure 2.5 inch cube?

    3) The cap, is the cap to form part of the entire outer shape? Or is it to

    be a different shape? A quick sketch of what you envisage would be a good

    place to start.

    4) What size would you expect the fist to outer shape relationship to be?

    I.e. small fist with lots of wall thickness, large fist with thin wall

    thickness, again a quick sketch would be a good idea or we could prepare the

    fist and produce some renders with the fist different sizes within the cube

    for you to decide the inner outer size relationship.

    5) Does the cap need to be removed and the bottle fully functional?

    6) Do you expect to be able to put liquid in the bottle? If so it may need

    to be a coloured water as a real perfume may affect the acrylic because it

    contains alcohol.

    If you want it to be made in actual glass then I would suggest you deduct

    the SLA cost and talk to someone like Swarovski or Saint Goban.

    Saint Goban are a Parisian glass company that make perfume bottles for most

    of the known perfume companies as well as a huge percentage of Europe's


     Approximate costs.

    Initial 3d concept model and renders. L300:00

    Casting the fist.

    Assuming you send someone to me to use for the cast. L250:00

    Scan the fist.


    3d model the bottle.

    Assuming it has a screw cap and will be fully functional. L350:00

    SLA model of the Bottle.

    Very approximate we can only get an accurate price when the 3d model is

    ready to send to the RP Company.




    Yes it is fine to blog it.


    Kev Stenning

  7. by Nick Knight .

    This Charming Man

    SHOWstudio is put together by a very small team of amazing devoted and highly inspiring individuals. A hand full of real diamonds that I have been privileged to have worked with. Never has the sheer ambitiousness or size of a project or the fact that it has never been done before or that it would normally only be attempted with 10 times as many staff or 100 times the budget ever stopped them from creating the most brilliant projects.

    In such a small team the character of the individual members is all-important. Paul Bruty has for seven years been one of the most consistently positive and delightfully enthusiastic people I have worked with. His willingness to accept any challenge in a calm and elegant way made working with him a total delight for myself and everyone else at SHOWstudio. I knew that inside he was wrestling the difficulties of each project just like the rest of us but not once did he allow it to darken his mood or manifest itself in a negative way. No dramas, no tantrums just a constant outpouring of elegant and and intelligent problem solving. Paul helped take the feelings of anxiety and worry out of equation for me. He made enjoyable events that in other hands could have been nerve-wracking and stressful. He helped make SHOWstudio an addictive pleasure for me by unassumedly removing the difficult parts, only to turn them into beautiful, refined and modern layouts. The internet can be an ugly place and Paul helped us make SHOWstudio beautiful.

    One facet that might have gone by unmentioned but seem in some way to give a fuller picture of Paul, it is a constant regret I have that I could never quite find a project that allowed me to broadcast on SHOWstudio Paul's amazing Bird-Feeder-Cam. He lived in Central London, but the range of beautiful birds that he had images of feeding at this device was a total joy to see, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Finches and Goldfinches all came and preformed for Paul's camera.

    Paul is leaving with his lovely wife Tamara to live in her home country of Australia. My hope is that I can invent the project that allows me to persuade Paul to set up the Australian version of his Bird-Feeder-Cam and so we can see what must be a truly wonderful selection of antipodean birds and in so doing also gives me the pleasure of working with this utterly charming man again.

    Thank you Paul.


    1. joanneK
      00:29 4 Nov 2008
      'Roo-Cam PB! Dooo it!
  8. Recent comments

    1. bamia
      15:12 22 Oct 2008
      urgh this project is so nineties
    2. marian
      17:01 22 Oct 2008
      i really cant wait to smell violence. its such a clever idea. how is this project 90's when it's never been done before?
    3. dromedary
      17:01 23 Oct 2008
      forgive my ignorance but how are you going to make the smell of sweat etc smell good? or is that not important? i am so excited to find out what violence actually smells like but i cant imagine it being a "pleasant" scent- perhaps this is to do with the fact that i once watched a documentary program that had accounts of American soldiers that were fighting in Iraq and even though I only watched 3 mens accounts, all three of the men mentioned SMELL in one way or another. Smell in all 3 cases was mentioned in a negative context, referring to some kind of "SMELL OF VIOLENCE" or stenches of the fighting and peoples' wounds
    4. dromedary
      17:37 23 Oct 2008
      This book talks about how peoples raw contents eg bile, sweat etc all smell the same regardless of where they are from or how old they are or what they do... I havent read it but it got tons of great reviews
    5. dromedary
      17:48 23 Oct 2008
      also Suskind's book - Das Parfum is quite an amazing story about SCENT AND VIOLENCE. The main character thinks he is born lacking a personal odour so he gets obsessed with making the perfect scent that will make him fully human. He creates perfumes—based on pheromones—that manipulate human emotions, murdering 25 girls to take their scent.
    6. bamia
      09:05 24 Oct 2008
      i think i saw the same programme - this guy was talking about how the smell of war and combat is akin to rotting flesh, blood and shit. Nice. Sorry Nick, but I think you picked the wrong time for this: this ain't exactly no credit crunch perfume!
    7. unnamedproducer
      21:16 24 Oct 2008
      hey, you guys have got me thinking, how about a perfume called 'RAPE'?!!
      You could send a hooker a pair of vacuum-fresh knickers, pay someone to rape her and sample the quimmy tones her vag secretes on enforced penetration! Then you could get mad Sissel to develop it in a white pseudo-lab with *process* pictures of her grimacing, 'thatz good cunt, good cunt, do you smell zat?!!' Another trademark loooong and pointless interview will follow for a legion of poor education-starved fashion students to take notes on for their po-mo theses - talk about a service to education. And don't forget, it would all be for free!!!
      Then you could flog the stuff online while keeping us all informed on the challenges to face anyone selling ugly smell-concepts during periods of economic downturn.. and even have a studio back-and-forth blog about it...and perhaps a party where everyone can wear the perfume and with any luck, induce sexual predation on the way home! Yay!
      I guess we'll have to settle for 'violence' perfume instead because it's so much more tasteful. It's just the kind of thing I'll be buying my daughter for Xmas - no doubt you too?
    8. GalileosUniverse
      06:06 25 Oct 2008
      FASCINATING , IMAGINATIVE , CLEVER and TOTALLY FULL of eloquence at its best !... I'm wondering whether you enjoy writing such denigrating 'fantasy' or if you indeed care about your daughter's choice of perfume .... let's hope she doesn't have to read such a " CHEERFUL " ..... " taste " and "CONCERN" about VIOLENCE against woman ..... and in the matters of what her father ' doesn't enjoy ' writing in a public forums, when it comes to disagree with someone's else RIGHT to PRODUCE what he or she wants ........ never mind who is involved in the project .
      GOT me curious about what you produce ? ... Not that it matters at all .... LOL !!
      I'm wondering what is worst .... your depicting of gory details or the
      fact that you seem to be a rather VIOLENT character as in ... full of ANGER as to commit verbal VIOLENCE for whatever reason hiding in TOTAL ANONYMITY ....
      BRAVE VERY BRAVE ! ... A very BRAVE PRODUCER !.... I suppose the man's fragrance " MANLY and COURAGEOUS " is your preference and choice .... Perhaps you would care to tell us where can we find that one for FATHER"S DAY ? ...
      I wonder , indeed , what is the difference between PHYSICAL VIOLENCE and VERBAL VIOLENCE ... I suppose verbal violence must have the smell of bad breath as to make you sick ... or not ?
    9. GalileosUniverse
      08:41 25 Oct 2008
      May 11, 2007,
      Cocaine (the Drink) Banned; Is Opium (the Perfume) Next?
      Several months ago, we blogged about a controversy over a high-caffeine drink called Cocaine. Now it has been pulled from shelves nationwide. Its producer, Redux Beverages of Las Vegas, was disappointed — and, based on this quote Redux partner Clegg Ivey gave to the Associated Press, a bit confused: “[W]e intended for Cocaine energy drink to be a legal alternative the same way that celibacy is an alternative to premarital sex.” Huh?
      Anyway … shortly after blogging about Cocaine, I came across an expensive little ad insert for Opium, a line of perfume created in 1977 by Yves Saint-Laurent. Here is one description of its allure: “Opium arouses the senses with an exotic blend of lush florals, rich spices, and deep wood notes.”
      While it is true that Opium has been the source of controversy — see this Wikipedia article — that controversy was in fact centered on an ad picturing a naked woman, and not the druggy name.
      So here’s my question: If Cocaine the energy drink is pulled because it’s supposed to have a bad influence on the teenagers who drink it, shouldn’t Opium the perfume be pulled because it’s supposed to have a bad influence — deep wood notes, remember — on the well-heeled women who anoint their bodies with it?
    10. GalileosUniverse
      09:35 25 Oct 2008
      Nothing is ever PERFECT EVER of course .... but I'm really puzzled by certain minds that attribute themselves the label of being an "ARTIST ' and yet do manage to interpret such concept as the fragrance in the making titled VIOLENCE so literally that any space for using a little fantasy seems to be banished from every space in their ability to reinterpret things .... I personally don't believe that anything is absolutely " ORIGINAL' .... Rembrandt was a GENIUS of a painter and yet all his themes were never that 'original' or were they ? ..... The key lies on how can you make something look new , refreshing, inspiring, different, etc ... but before one can judge ANYTHING the best is to give any ARTIST the benefit of the doubt ..... at least be a little 'generous' .... however much anyone dislikes the project or might disagree with it ... without RUSHING TO CONCLUSIONS before using the senses to factually judge the final product !!
      When I heard of the project , details of t-shirts, sweat , fights,blood, etc aside ... my first thought was .... ok let's wait and see what will the result be ! .... And by using my personal imagination I was thinking .. the result must be something that doesn't stimulate VIOLENCE but on the contrary .... it must work against violence !!..... totally the opposite . But what I found even more interesting is the attention that is being given to the subject as to make us reflect on our behaviour towards how we treat our fellow humans ...
      What is the point of pretending to care about what the scent smells like while
      being verbally abusive towards others just because we don't like them or can agree with them? .... rather contradictory and DOUBLE STANDARDS .... isn't it ????
      Opium caused a stir with its controversial name and brought accusations that brand designer Yves Saint Laurent was condoning drug use.[5] In the United States, a group of Chinese Americans demanded a change of the name and a public apology from Saint Laurent for "his insensivity to Chinese history and Chinese American concerns." They formed a commitee called the American Coalition Against Opium and Drug Abuse, which expressed outrage at the choice of a name representing "a menace that destroyed many lives in China."
      [6] But such controversies rather helped the perfume to be well-publicized, which soon became a best-selling scent.[4]
      For its launch party in 1977, a tall ship Peking was rented from the South Street Seaport Museum in New York's East Harbor, and writer Truman Capote sat at the helm of the ship at the party.[4] The ship was draped with banners of gold, red, and purple, and the Oriental theme was displayed with a thousand-pound bronze statue of the Buddha, laden with white cattleya orchids.
      [4] YSL carried the Oriental theme into its packaging design as well—the red plastic container holding the perfume's glass vial, designed by Pierre Dinand,[2] was inspired by inro (印籠, いんろう?), the small Japanese lacquered cases that were worn under kimonos and held perfumes, herbs and medicines.[7]
  9. by Nick Knight .

    Questions to Sissel

    Dear Sissel,

    I was just wondering, once i send you back the Tshirt, what exactly are the next steps? How long before we have our first results?

    I enjoyed being able to post your link to the Evil lecture ,if you have any other reference material please send it through and i will post it on the process blog.

    I am looking forward to receiving the first tshirt. Do we have to credit Zimmerli?





    Dear Nick!!! YES I am very happy to have started!!
    As soon as the shirts arrive they will be analyzed, formula made and step by
    step sampling of the smells.
    What we have to discuss is if we are going to produce a serie of smells =
    one from each person OR if we in the end, when we have all - choose only
    one?! WE should discuss this ASAP

    PS. YES Zimmerli should be with their Logo on our webpage!!!! I promised
    them. I sent Charlotte  the wesite from Zimmerlin, where you can find the



    1. JacquesWeyers
      17:57 13 Oct 2008
      Something quiet interesting. I'm sitting going through the SHOWstudio News and my 2 year son is watching quietly over my shoulder. We get to the Image representing Violence and he was very disturbed by it (the Image) saying not that one daddy, not that one, switch off. For some one who cant read what did he see???
  11. by Nick Knight .

    VIOLENCE: Email from Sissel Tolaas

    Dear Sissel,

    How are you? I hope you have seen that the project blog is open.

    I have contacted Frank in Sweden who has agreed to organize a fight and I have contacted someone who boxes for the English team who I think will do it too.

    I will put out a general note on SHOWstudio and see what response we get. I know we only need a few but I would like enough of a choice to take the best ones.

    I am asking anybody who takes part to film the actual fight if possible. I don't know what I will do with the footage yet but I would like to have proof that they actually fought in the tshirt.


    How do we proceed? It might be best if you send me the tshirts in their sealed bags and I send them on to the fighters with instructions and get them to return them back to me with their video. Then I courier the tshirt in its bag straight back to you in Berlin for you to start your chemistry? Anyway email me back your thoughts.

    All the best



    Dear Nick ,YES I got all and it looks GREAT!!! I am collecting some great stuff I will send the next days. Also I am on the T-Shirts, and I agree the best would be toT-Shirt in process ASAP as I have them I will pack them in Plastic bag with a short instruction: TO USE!

    And the process of RETURN.

    And they should be send me ASAP after used, and I will immediate start the tracking of the molecules etc. and slowly the making of the samples. The exact process of work and also the act of receiving etc. I will document and send you, also to be put on the blog , or what do you think?. I have found some interesting material/links on the topic of violence and also one interesting talk on the topic of evil......what do you think shall we also put these things on the blog = the process/the research/the search etc.

    Speak SOOONNNN!



  12. by Nick Knight .

    VIOLENCE. Getting fighters.


    Dear Simon,

    I am creating a scent from the chemicals men release when they fight(!) and I wondered if that boxer friend of yours that modeled in the Brutality story would be interested. All he would have to do is wear a teeshirt when he next fights. Do you think you could approach him on my behalf?

    Many thanks,


    Hello ,No problem Nick , his name is **** and he boxes for England
    I'll give him a call about it today , I'm sure he will oblige.
    Is he the only one you want ? I have a number of other friends who also fight.



  13. by Nick Knight .

    violence.project blog. selling online

    Dear Dorian, Ross, Paul, Alex and Greta,
    As you know I would like to sell this Violence scent directly from our site. Can you indicate to me what the possibilities are. It might be just one bottle or 10 or thousands, there is just no way of telling.
    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


    I think a big point of the fragrance is to develop, market and sell it online - this is the unique aspect.
    However, the difficulty that immediately arises is that no-one can smell the fragrance online. Very basic, but fundamental. We should consider how we will go about getting samples of the fragrance out to potential customers or maybe if we are planning to feature it
    I like the idea of the perfume being in a limited edition - maybe we could number each one individually with an initial run of 100? This would also give us the opportunity to send some out as gifts - we can gauge the response and see if the numbers should be increased with a second run, third run etc.
    This is not my forte but that's my initial view on the matter of the 'hard sell'.  

    Hello Nick et al

    Please excuse my 'dragon's den' knowledge of commerce and my over-simplified 'plan'.
    I think if this is being done correctly then there should be a way of telling how many you would sell. You would not make 10,000 bottles of perfume if your research had shown you were only going to sell 10 because it was a very niche market.

    So I think the first step is to speak to someone who knows the market, work out where the product will be advertised (I would suggest it needs to go further than SHOWstudio) and then we could look at some rough figures of projected sales/units.

    Then we can decide how rigourous our e-commerce strategy needs to be.

    For instance if there are only 100 bottles we could just set up a paypal account (or an ebay shop says paul) and handle the whole thing fairly stress free ourselves . However, if we have a lot of product stored in warehouses that need to be shipped globally then clearly we will have to involve outside agencies

    My feeling is that a limited run of 100 is the way to go. It gets the scent out there and works as an easy way of getting press for SHOW. Then, if there is a demand, we look into mass production


    Hi Nick,

    That's quite a big question really. From my point of view we can skip the details of presenting the product on the website - we'll be doing that anyway as part of the project, though the branding and positioning of the product are of course a very important and complex thing, some of which I'm sure you have in hand, and some of which I'm sure is in process.

    The technicalities of selling products online strongly depends on whether you are selling one item, or 1000, or however many. The complexity and cost of the system set up really depends on the amount that's going through, there is no point in using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. Setting up an ecommerce system for one product is likely to loose money, not make it, but if it's something that's going to have more products added to it then you may recoup the investment later.

    The process of taking an order/transaction is quite straightforward, and there are lots of well laid out models and best practises for this 

    1) The Basket: We find out the quantity of the product a person wants.
    2) The Checkout: We find out where they want to ship it to & take payment for the product.
    3) The Processing: We receive the order, label, put postage on it and ship it.

    The devil, as ever, is in the detail, and more importantly the scalability.

    For one item it wouldn't be worth setting up on-line credit card processing facilities, for instance, and we may just have one large price for the item which takes into account packing and shipping costs to the rest of the world. The item could even be auctioned to the highest bidder. The payment could be taken via a method agreed with the purchaser, such as bank transfer/cheque/paypal. 

    For between one an 100 items it would be worth considering a simple payment system, such as PayPal, where overheads on each transaction are higher than some methods, but cheaper than setting up a Merchant account with a bank, and on-line clearing, and a checkout process on our site. However PayPal would not necessarily present the image for the product you want to have, it depends how you want to position it's brand. A customised checkout process and in-line credit card clearing would be a nice experience for the end user, and keep the whole thing more 'on brand'

    For 100+ it is more likely worth investing in a customised checkout process. If we are shipping lots of items then we would need set this up, and to consider how ordered are processed and dispatched, global shipping costs and hanlding charges, how to handle fraudulent transactions, how monies are accounted, how items are packaged for shipping ( that could also reflect back to the actual product design for the container for the scent ), how to manage customer queries and missing/broken items, who takes the items to the post office (or if we get them picked up, or shipped via courier etc.). Working all these details out to be optimal is worthwhile to maximise profit on the product, and to simplify the handling of the orders. 

    A final choice is that you can pass handling the sales of the item entirely off to a third party, who will sell it on your behalf. This way we don't have as much control over the presentation and brand of the product, and a lot of the process becomes on of managing the relationship with the third party, and trying to get the appropriate presentation for your product in their context. This would be much like putting the item exclusively into any shop, like Dover Street or Liberties. You have the advantage (and disadvantage) of having the product amongst other items, in an environment where people are looking to purchase, but you will see return per unit, and won't have the presence within that shop. Generally new brands don't succeed very well on large product sites with many items on them, unless you put them across a number of different retailers : think Dover Street, Liberties and Selfridges, not just Dover Street. 

    There are of course many points in between all of these, but mostly these are driven by the brand qualities of the product you are selling, and of course: where the audience you want to sell your product to are shopping. Because SHOWstudio isn't a shop, or may not have that audience, you double the work in trying to sell your product in also trying to drive the right traffic to SHOWstudio. Equally putting the scent on a generic shopping site may devalue it's brand, and still miss it's target audience. So the place, in my opinion, to start is to research into the customer for the product and how to access them. thereafter the choices will become clearer. 

    I hope that's all of some help. 


    Recent comments

    1. VikramKansara
      18:44 17 Oct 2008
      For scalable e-commerce solutions, have a look at Amazon's web services:
      Re: "SHOWstudio isn't a shop"
      Perhaps it should be. Shopping is one of the most important cultural activities of our age. A permanent "SHOPstudio" that puts project artefacts on sale might be a very interesting addition to the platform.
    2. GalileosUniverse
      07:21 18 Oct 2008
      Roman glass perfume bottle
      Here are some points that may help!
      Point # 1
      The first step in selling perfume successfully from a website it to establish your yourself as a credible merchant. The websites used by successful internet merchants differ radically from "corporate information" websites that may be built around beautiful images, music and animations, all of which delay navigation from one page to the next. To sell on the internet, your website has to function like Google or Yahoo. Navigation must be simple and rapid. Pages must pop up quickly -- with the information buyers are looking for. Ordering has to be functional -- simple -- straight forward -- crystal clear -- and easy to navigate.
      Point # 2
      The next step is building traffic -- traffic from potential buyers. Traffic from non-buyers only serves to help the search engines take an interest in your site. Your traffic mix must include a good percentage of qualified prospects for your perfume.
      How do you achieve this when your perfume is unknown? The search engines can't bring you traffic if nobody is looking for you. Shouting "My New Perfume" at your website won't help.
      Since your perfume -- and, probably, you -- are unknown, you will need some sort of CONTENT at your website that people ARE searching for, and, to be effective, it should relate to the possible internet searches of people who might be good prospects for your perfume.
      Articles, information, solutions to problems all offer you opportunities to build the right kind of traffic on your website. Don't fall for the line that these will make your website look ugly. The only people who tell you that are people who don't have to sell something from a website.
      Point # 3
      Let the customer sample your wares. Unless you are a VERY good advertising writer, or unless there is some VERY special association with your perfume, it is unlikely that you will generate sales without offering samples. Samples will not eliminate the need to "sell" your perfume -- as you now must "sell" the visitor on taking action to request your samples. BUT, if you price your sample order so that it appears "generous" (i.e., you don't appear to be trying to make money by selling your samples!), it will be far easier to sell a few samples for the cost of postage and handling than it will to sell a full size bottle.
      And remember, if they DO NOT like your samples, they are telling your something! Perfume is a VERY personal product and, if a person likes what you are selling, they will PAY. But if your perfume does NOT strike them as being special -- more special than anything they would buy at the mall, they will not order the full size bottle.
      Today consumers have many fragrances to choose from at the mall and, if you are simply trying to imitate a fragrance that is already a success, you have little chance of making a sale. To succeed in selling your perfume or cologne online, it had better be special! -- or your promotion for it had better be special! At least to your target buyer!
      Point # 4
      Once you have, through your samples, attracted a consumer for your fragrance, make it affordable. If you need to get $50 on ounce or more for your perfume, consider selling it in 1/2 ounce -- or even 1/4 ounce bottles, so that, at least for their first order, the customer don't have to shell out such a big chunk of money.
      In the early days of the Coty perfume business, the company prospered by offering its perfumes in a range of different size bottles. Those who had little money could still enjoy a Coty fragrance by purchasing a small (almost tiny!) bottle. Those who had more money could buy a larger bottle. How did rich woman distinguish themselves from their less fortunate cousins? Why they could use MORE perfume and perfume themselves more often!
    3. SAKIS
      00:26 19 Oct 2008
      I think the issue of online smelling is a whole other project in itself,where maybe a type of cmyk idea can be applied to scent where a basic gamut of scents can be contained within a cartridge and "printed" on a special scratch and sniff type of printing paper. essentially an online form of what we have in magazines today.
      as far as the current state of the VIOLENCE project and the issue of marketing, the SHOPstudio idea proposed by Vikram Kansara is a very good idea if you do continue to market/auction other SHOWstudio items.
      forgive me if i sound naive but why sell this product?
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