Fragrantica Enhances User Experience for 25 Million Website Visitors
with MySQL HeatWave

"With MySQL Heatwave Database Service, we were able to secure our database, ensure the reliability of our application, and provide our website visitors with an optimal experience when browsing for information about their favorite fragrances."

Zoran Knezevic
Chief Technology Officer
Fragrantica Inc.

Fragrantica increases database security and availability with MySQL HeatWave while reducing maintenance time by 50%.

Introduction & Background

Founded in 2006, Fragrantica is an online encyclopedia of scents, a perfume magazine, and a community of perfume enthusiasts. The company provides readers with comprehensive information on perfumes, the latest fragrance launches, and insights into lesser-known scents. Based in the United States, Fragrantica is available in 18 languages and has 25 million active monthly visitors who learn, discover, and share their love for fragrances.

Business Challenges & Goals

Running its MySQL databases on-premises, Fragrantica encountered performance issues that hampered its ability to scale up its infrastructure and accommodate the growing number of users on its website.

With its database requiring extensive manpower and costly maintenance to run, the company also had difficulty in providing resources during peak usage times. Therefore, Fragrantica looked for a database platform in the cloud that would provide elastic scalability, enhance operational excellence, and support its applications.

To prevent spam bot attacks and ensure data privacy, Fragrantica required extensive security features to protect its databases against unauthorized access or malicious attacks and maintain compliance with international directives, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Fragrantica also needed an elastic database platform that would remove the time-consuming and resource-intensive Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) process, enable it to effectively run analytical queries, and store vast amounts of fragrance information. This move would also empower the company to process and present data in an easily comprehensible visual format.

Fragrantica also identified database availability as one of its primary areas of focus due to long-running database backups causing disruption in its application, which required the information to be synchronized in real-time across 18 localized websites.

Business Results & Metrics

Fragrantica migrated its on-premises MySQL to MySQL HeatWave Database Service on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)—reducing maintenance time by 50%, increasing the efficiency of its operations, and enhancing the experience delivered to its website visitors.

Fragrantica uses MySQL HeatWave's on-demand scalability to add computing and storage capacity when more database performance is needed to process intensive workloads. With MySQL HeatWave, the company has increased database reliability and ensures that it can support all processes, even during peak times such as Black Friday.

Having already experienced a spam bot attack, the organization uses the powerful 256-bit AES encryption available with MySQL HeatWave to protect its databases against online attacks. Fragrantica also leverages Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Object Storage to safely store sensitive data, which enables it to maintain compliance with domestic and international data privacy and protection regulations, such as GDPR.

In parallel, the organization uses OCI Flexible Load Balancer to automatically route internet traffic across three fault and availability domains in different Oracle Cloud data centers, increasing its database availability. For internet-facing and internal application workloads, Fragrantica applies OCI Web Application Firewall (WAF) protection on its flexible load balancer for both private and public instances.

Using OCI Block Volume, Fragrantica stores multiple copies of data across OCI storage servers in Oracle’s US-based data centers, with built-in repair mechanisms for increased uptime for its core applications. To bolster data security, the organization implemented automated backups in accordance with its established backup policy.

"Fragrantica has eliminated all ETL processes since MySQL HeatWave can run both online transaction processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP) workloads. As a result, the company is able to deliver real-time analytics directly from MySQL HeatWave, without having to index data beforehand." Said Zoran Knezevic

The organization utilizes the low latency and high volume of queries powered by OCI Block Volume to support the geographical spread of its core application. As a result, Fragrantica efficiently manages data collected from its application, providing in-depth insights and recommendations to its website visitors in eighteen languages.

Fragrantica also decreased total cost of ownership (TCO) with MySQL HeatWave.

Why MySQL Heatwave

Fragrantica selected MySQL HeatWave since Oracle provides the highest credibility in terms of reliability, security, and scalability. Consumption based pricing, on-demand scalability, high availability across multiple availability and fault domains in Oracle Cloud data centers, and technical expertise were critical factors that led Fragrantica to choose Oracle over other cloud database providers, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

MySQL HeatWave offered the most advanced security capabilities essential for the protection of the company’s databases. Moreover, Fragrantica chose MySQL HeatWave since it is a managed database that enables quick resolution of any technical issues. Additionally, compliance with major international data privacy regulations such as GDPR was also a key factor for Fragrantica.

"With MySQL HeatWave, all the complex configuration and management tasks were handled by the experts at Oracle, freeing us to focus on delivering the best possible user experience for our visitors. The turnkey solution allowed us to achieve significant improvements in performance, availability, and cost savings, without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure," declared Zoran Knezevic.


To migrate from MySQL on-premises to MySQL HeatWave Database Service, Fragrantica enlisted the help of the MySQL support team. The migration was completed on time and on budget, following a very structured and well-constructed onboarding process.