Just as clothing styles change from season to season, so are new perfumes always going on the market. Fashion houses, cosmetic companies and celebrities are constantly developing them, and perfume sales associates exist to move them. The role is suited to fragrance lovers who excel in sales and have an interest in current fashion trends. Perfume sales associates also need to enjoy working with the public and possess a keen sense of smell.
Perfume sales associates work in department stores, beauty boutiques and mall kiosks. Drugstores and supermarkets may also carry perfume lines in their beauty sections. Some companies require perfume sales associates to wear a uniform or adhere to a dress code. As with any sales job, maintaining a presentable appearance is mandatory. The general working environment for perfume sales reps is good, with comfortable working conditions, little to no heavy lifting and regularly scheduled breaks.
Customer service and product selling are the most important aspects of this job, but the responsibilities do not end there. Perfume sales associates perform many tasks. They are responsible for knowing all aspects of each perfume to answer customer questions. This can be challenging, since perfumes contain complex blends, so reading product information and promotional materials from the manufacturers is essential. Perfume sales associates can also be responsible for processing financial transactions, doing inventory, cleaning the sales area and pricing merchandise.
The median wage for retail sales associates, including perfume sales representatives, was $12.20 an hour as of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In high-end establishments, associates may also have the opportunity to receive commission, plus salary, as well as bonuses for reaching sales targets.
Perfume sales associate positions are entry level and do not require any formal training; however, a background or interest in sales is essential. Since fashion houses, beauty companies and celebrities create most perfumes, knowledge of current trends and pop culture is valuable for a perfume sales associate. Interpersonal skills and communication abilities are also important to the job.
Though perfume sales associates are entry level, they can eventually work their way up to positions like staff supervisor or store manager. At higher levels, a certificate or degree in retail management is sometimes required, but often it's not essential.