The Inspiration Behind Fumerie

The Frugal Repast, Pablo Picasso

As a young girl I remember being completely transfixed by Picasso’s first major effort in printmaking, “The Frugal Repast.” As the rest of my family wandered the cavernous halls of the Miami Art Museum, I stood alone in motionless awe, experiencing for the first time the transformative power of art. Years later I was to have a similar experience. This time, however, the catalyst was not a print, but a perfume. Thus began my love affair with fragrance—a journey that began with a few drops of liquid from a slate-black bottle.

Working in the fragrance industry for over twenty years has afforded me the opportunity to explore and experience the vast world of fine fragrance and familiarize myself with some of the finest fragrances ever created. My appreciation and respect for the skill and artistry involved in the creation of these scents runs deep. Unfortunately, waves of reformulations have left many classic fragrances mere shadows of their former selves. From the smoky greens of Bandit to the animalic purr of Shalimar, these changes have, in many cases, fundamentally altered the structure of true works of genius. These reformulations have, for the most part, coincided with acquisitions by corporate giants like Proctor & Gamble and Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH). Once gobbled up by these companies, the fragrance lines inevitably lose their integrity and quality.

Formed as a direct response to the culture of mass appeal, the niche fragrance movement has exploded over the past two decades. It began simply, as many smaller fragrance houses sought to distance themselves from the monotony of copying the latest success. The resulting lackluster fragrances had, by this time, flooded the market, frustrating perfumers and savvy consumers alike. Niche perfume houses served as a much-needed creative outlet for perfumers. They pushed back against the boundaries created by focus groups and unending monotony, creating works that were without artistic restrictions and made with the highest quality materials. At the same time, independent perfumers began creating fragrances in entirely new ways outside of the stifling influence of mainstream fragrance.

Fumerie was born of a desire to create a platform to feature the work of niche and independent perfumeries who present fragrance as art rather than simply a commodity. This concept has been in development for many years and is very close to my heart. Once I moved forward I was overwhelmed by the enormous amount of support from the independent fragrance houses, distributors and perfumers. Representatives from both Lubin and Serge Lutens have praised our treatment of their lines and the way that we approach presenting fragrances to the public. It is our hope that our unique perspective and novel approach will continue to gain the attention of creative forces in the fragrance community and send a powerful message that people still appreciate those who think outside the box. We are honored to be able to share with others what we consider to be the height of artistry in perfumery. These incredible fragrances have once again stirred within me a sense of wonderment and joy. It is my sincere hope that they do the same for you.

Warmest regards,

Tracy Tsefalas