Mum who built who is elijah perfume empire after Coachella find celebrates biggest success yet EAU

Raquel Bouris has celebrated her company’s biggest product launch yet

A busy mum who started a multi-million dollar perfume empire from her garage after becoming obsessed with an intoxicating scent at Coachella has celebrated her most successful launch yet.

‘Who is Elijah?’ founder Raquel Bouris, 28, told FEMAIL the recent launch of her seventh scent, EAU, smashed records for the home-grown company.

The mum-of-two from Sydney has been quietly working away at the fragrance in time for summer, after her sixth scent ‘Nightcap’ earned $58,000 in launch week.

‘I pinch myself that our fragrances are loved by so many,’ she told FEMAIL on Sunday.

‘Our product launches grow each time, and we are proud to say the EAU launch are close to doubling the results of the Nightcap launch,’ she said.

A bottle of the new perfume has been sold every 40 seconds, keeping warehouse staff on their toes.   

But the launch success is no accident, according to the businesswoman who said she spends a lot of time working out how to get samples of her fragrances into the public’s hands.

The busy mum-of-two said a cheeky sale's tactic helped secure success with the launch of her seventh 'summercentric' fragrance

The busy mum-of-two said a cheeky sale’s tactic helped secure success with the launch of her seventh ‘summercentric’ fragrance

People were obsessed with 'EAU' before it even dropped with thousands ordering it within 24 hours of it becoming available

People were obsessed with ‘EAU’ before it even dropped with thousands ordering it within 24 hours of it becoming available

‘From roughly four weeks out from launch, we start to put 2ml samples into all online orders – which means 1000’s of people are receiving samples in the lead up to launch date,’ she said.

‘It was a big and very fast response and we had an influx of emails to our customer service, most along the lines of: “Why can’t I find EAU on the website”, “When is EAU launching, I can’t find it on your website or Adore Beauty’s” “Can I please order EAU now, I need it!”,’ she added. 

The EAU scent has been ‘in the works’ for 16 months with Raquel holding off for the ‘perfect time’ to introduce it to her followers.

‘I love that EAU is unlike any other of our creations. Summer tends to be the favourite season for most, and I wanted to encapsulate an endless summer into a fragrance – think coconut milk, fig, pear when dreaming of EAU,’ she said.

Raquel started her perfume empire after a visit to Coachella in 2017 and says gender neutral fragrances are important to her – as she has never really ‘loved’ scents aimed at women.

Raquel pictured with her family enjoying some 'off time' during the development of the recent overnight success

Raquel pictured with her family enjoying some ‘off time’ during the development of the recent overnight success

Her sixth scent 'Nightcap' which reminded her of her husband was the last 'best seller'

Her sixth scent ‘Nightcap’ which reminded her of her husband was the last ‘best seller’ 

Her last launch, Nightcap, was dubbed an overnight success which meant a lot to Raquel as the perfume reminds her of her husband. 

They sold 70 per cent of their stock in the ‘sexy and moody’ scent’s launch week. 

‘My husband and I have spent a lot of nights out together and they are memories and fun things that we continue to want to relive and remember and this is where the initial inspiration came from,’ she said.

'My husband and I have spent a lot of nights out together and they are memories and fun things that we continue to want to relive and remember and this is where the initial inspiration came from,' she said

‘My husband and I have spent a lot of nights out together and they are memories and fun things that we continue to want to relive and remember and this is where the initial inspiration came from,’ she said

Raquel Bouris, 27, from Cronulla in Sydney's south-east launched her perfume business in 2018 after she was inspired by a visit to Coachella

Raquel Bouris, 27, from Cronulla in Sydney’s south-east launched her perfume business in 2018 after she was inspired by a visit to Coachella

‘Adam (my husband) and myself are homebodies by nature but we are also nighthawks and night owls that like to go out and have fun.’

Raquel has always been drawn to more masculine scents and found there wasn’t really anything on the market which appealed to her taste completely.

So when she came across ‘the most amazing scent’ on the dancefloor at Coachella in 2017 she was instantly obsessed. 

‘She was just wearing a cheap fragrance oil from India – when I got home I couldn’t find it locally so ended up buying 40 bottles wholesale,’ she laughed. 

It has been a busy four years for Raquel who worked full time for the first two years as she built her business and also started a family - having two children with partner Adam, pictured

It has been a busy four years for Raquel who worked full time for the first two years as she built her business and also started a family – having two children with partner Adam, pictured

After realising it appealed to almost everyone Raquel decided she wanted to see if she could bottle the scent as a perfume rather than an oil.  

But creating an exact match was impossible owing to the complex nature of the fragrance.

Far from disheartened the young woman kept working with her perfumer, and they came up with His/Her a scent she ‘absolutely fell in love with’ – despite being completely different to the smell that had inspired her.

This perfume which combines traditional masculine and feminine notes became the flagship scent for ‘Who is Elijah?’.  

Raquel now works full time for herself and sells 3500 bottles of perfume each week

Raquel now works full time for herself and sells 3500 bottles of perfume each week

His/Her was launched in October 2018 – it took three months to sell the first 150 bottles.

But Raquel had faith in her fragrance and had already poured $20,000 into the company so was determined to make it work.

‘I realised it would be very hard to sell a perfume based on a photograph and a very small social media following,’ she said.

What are Raquel’s top-three tips to starting your own business? 

1 – Don’t wait until everything is perfect – When I started the only thing that was perfect was the scent. The bottle’s aesthetics definitely weren’t and neither was the packaging – I hand stamped each box! 

2 – Ask for help and advice – but don’t be afraid to pick and choose from what’s offered

3 – Triple whatever you think you need for your budget – I didn’t pay myself for two years because I poured everything back into the business 

Source Raquel Bouris, Who is Elijah? founder 

Raquel's trip to Coachella, pictured at the 2017 festival with now husband Adam, inspired her leap into the perfume market

Raquel’s trip to Coachella, pictured at the 2017 festival with now husband Adam, inspired her leap into the perfume market

‘But I wanted to make it work, so I poured all of my spare time into the business – ever lunchbreak and hours before and after work.’

In 2020 David Jones put her brand on the shelf and she experienced an explosion of growth.

Then in 2021 it was adopted by Adore beauty and soon developed a huge following.

Raquel, pictured here with Adam, became inspired after smelling an 'amazing' oil at the festival

Raquel, pictured here with Adam, became inspired after smelling an ‘amazing’ oil at the festival

Raquel is pictured here with her daughter who was born on Christmas Day in 2021 and says raising a family and business at the same time meant she had to sacrifice sleep

Raquel is pictured here with her daughter who was born on Christmas Day in 2021 and says raising a family and business at the same time meant she had to sacrifice sleep

The success has meant Raquel and Adam have been able to leave their previous careers to focus on the company’s growth.

The couple are ‘earning more than ever and also have a flexible lifestyle which is perfect for raising young children. 

‘It hasn’t been easy, especially when our son was little and always in day care, but it has been worth every sacrifice.’ 

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