I sold a name for a perfume last month so naming fragrances has been very much on my mind. I've started to think about developing new names and I'll probably put more effort into it in the future than I've ever done in the past.
Think of it this way. A large number of fragrances are now being launched each year by a handful of large companies. Then there are the dozens upon dozens of fragrances being launched by smaller companies. Each one of these fragrances has to have a name -- a unique name -- but the name also must be appropriate for the perfume you are selling.
Finding a great, original name for a new fragrance is challenging, and sometimes names collide -- two marketers hitting on the same name. If this happens to you, hope that you were the first to use that name and have some backup showing the first date on which you made sales. It could become important.
The issue of originality is tricky and you can never be 100 percent sure that a name you have chosen isn't already in use somewhere else with another person or company having the right to that name and the potential power to block you from continuing to use it.
Still, if you do some Google searches for the name you want and nothing remotely like a fragrance comes up, and then you do a TESS search at the U.S. Patent and Trademark and nothing shows up in the fragrance category, you can be pretty comfortable that the name is available for your use. But it doesn't become yours until you use it -- ahead of anyone else.
For a few more notes on naming a perfume and the rights you acquire, read "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Perfume's Name."
Also, I've written a bit on this topic in my "Perfume Strategies You Missed This Month" newsletter and back issues are available here.