Meet  Susan Suh of LMS Fragrances in Santa Barbara, CA

Today’s recession has left families feeling vulnerable about their finances – both for their present circumstances and their outlook for the future.

Susan Suh, founder and president of LMS Fragrances, has created a fast-growing company that has given about 2,500 women and men across the US an opportunity to earn, or supplement, their families’ incomes. She expects to double the number of people earning an income with her company within the next year.

Susan’s business, Santa Barbara, California-based LMS Fragrances, is the only direct-selling company in the US with a line of luxury perfumes known as d’essense – a collection of 80 designer-named fragrances priced as much as 80 percent below similar perfumes sold in department stores. She and her independent consultants provide high value and great customer service to consumers looking to treat themselves to a splurge of luxury by making perfumes that contain 28 percent essential oils – among the highest concentration of fragrance in the perfume world.

Helping to improve families’ financial picture isn’t the only benefit Susan has given her team. Today’s tough times have also pushed people to re-evaluate their values. And the high ethical standards that Susan has set for her company, and everyone associated with her, has had a tremendous impact in not only attracting individuals interested for the first time in a sales opportunity – but seasoned veterans of longstanding direct-selling rivals, who are looking for transparency, accountability and support in the way they conduct business.  Susan’s goal is to create a new standard of conduct for the industry and reverse some of the wrong turns the industry has made over the years.

A big part of what separates Susan’s business from others is that she doesn’t force consultants to buy inventory. d’essense consultants do not have to pay for products out of pocket, and there are no monthly sales requirements. They keep 30 percent of the money they make immediately and potentially double the upfront profits in rebates and bonuses. 

With such policies, Susan has created one of the most generous compensation plans in direct selling, with annual revenue for d’essense consultants averaging about 25 percent higher than the industry.  The compensation plan is designed to offer great opportunities for those looking to simply supplement their current income as well as those looking for a full-time career.

The daughter of a Korean diplomat, Susan lived and worked in cities around the world before settling in California to raise her family. After the birth of her second child, Susan decided to use her MBA and experience in corporate management to start her own business. Before founding LMS Fragrances, Susan had never worked in direct selling or the fragrance industry. But the experience that she and husband Robert had gained from other industries allowed them to re-think, and improve upon, the traditional direct selling model. To assist with strategic planning, they lined up an impressive advisory board that includes Joseph Hardin, Jr., former president and CEO of Kinko’s and COO of Walmart; Robert C. Nakasone, former CEO of Toys “R” Us: Betsy Burton, former CEO of Zales and CEO of Supercuts: and Guy Walker, President of Creative Memories in North America

Susan’s innovative business model is proving to be successful. Over the past three years LMS Fragrances has had a cumulative annual growth rate of 115 percent. Yet the success Susan is most proud of is the meaningful difference she has made in the lives of her consultants by providing a vehicle for them to succeed.  

In addition to the convenient purse atomizers available through fundraisers, d’essense sells perfumes in hand-blown crystal flacons and a variety of shea butters, lotions, candles and more in selected scents. 

The direct selling business model can produce a powerful business engine by channeling a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial energy in a common direction.  However, the industry has been tarnished over the years as Direct Selling has taken some wrong turns by establishing business practices that take advantage of many people for the benefit of a relative few. 

The cornerstone of LMS Fragrances is that they are working to establish a new standard of conduct for the industry by pursuing a set of business practices that enable anyone to be successful.  Their intention is to make money alongside their consultants and not from their consultants.  As such, the company does not encourage any of its consultants to stockpile inventory, has no monthly requirements to remain Active and provides marketing materials and sales tools to its consultants effectively at its cost, including the initial starter kits.  The company and its consultants only make a profit when products are sold to end users.  

On the personal side, Susan is a wife of nearly 25 years, a mother of two, an accomplished pianist, speaks several languages and has lived in seven countries around the world.

Learn more about Susan Suh and LMS Fragrances at