Aaah… Amaffi

Making scents

By Cindy Clarke | Photos courtesy of AMAFFI Perfume House

Purveyors of priceless perfumes that literally bottle the rarefied lifestyles of the French Riveria and secret them into jeweled crystal for “scentual” safe-keeping, AMAFFI Perfume House is as uniquely distinctive as the fragrances it creates. Its creator, Madame Amaffi, founded the exclusive French perfumery in tribute to a storied tale from centuries past about an intoxicating fragrance and a fated encounter between a mysterious maiden and Emperor Napoleon. As Madame tells it, her grandmother shared it with her years ago, revealing a long-held family secret about an Amaffi ancestor who crafted a signature scent for the emperor himself. Then as now, AMAFFI perfumes linger longer than other brands, scenting the skin, clothing and air of person who wears it and intoxicating those who happen by with its invisible aromatic gems. As the unknown perfumer behind the Emperor’s exclusive elixir, the maiden too was awash with the scent he alone could wear, so enraging him that he ordered her killed when he detected it on her person. She escaped with her life to never again practice her gifted art – that is until her Madame Amaffi stepped in to revive her ancestor’s treasured talent.

In France, the art of perfumery was traditionally a family affair, handed down through the generations with a reverence and lock-and-key secrecy that continues today. Master perfumers, the expert sommeliers of fragrance, train for years to learn to distinguish at least 3,000 different scents to become a noted “nose,” with most of them honing their skill in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. Here fields of flowers — jasmine, May rose, tuberose, lavender, hyacinth and more – grow in abundance, supplying pounds of hand-picked petals to perfume houses for their products. The costs of producing a perfume are high. In addition to the time it takes to delicately pick the flowers petal by petal, it takes thousands of petals to make just a few drops of oil, which makes French perfume like AMAFFI’s, able to transport you to a place of heavenly bliss, a precious commodity worth its weight at the highest cost.

At the heart of every AMAFFI fragrance is one of a team of distinguished master perfumers, each hand selected by AMAFFI Founder Madame Amaffi for their extraordinary talent. Their deep understanding of fragrance chemistry, coupled with their refined sense of smell, enable them to create scents that are works of art. AMAFFI sources its materials from highly experienced farmers around the world; places such as Egypt, South Africa, Indonesia, and Australia, and incorporates its own proprietary technology to meticulously age and ripen its ingredients to the desired composition. Each element has a story and a special connection back to a farm in an incredible part of the world that triggers indelible emotions and memories for its wearer. As a result, the creation of a single AMAFFI perfume can take more than two years from inception.

Once each fragrance is created, it is housed in a bottle of exquisite craftsmanship, reflecting the character, mood, and name of each fragrance. AMAFFI’s in-house design bureau oversees the production of a patented high-quality bottle, meticulously decorated by hand with precious stones and crystals and embellished with gold and silver plating and are treasured as collectible works of art on their own.

Adding to their collection of limited perfumes in 2024, AMAFFI just launched two new fragrances, Maracoca for Women, developed by Master Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and featuring a seductive harmony of sensual jasmine, sweet white gardenia and spicy frangipani, and Maracoca for Men, an equally euphoric fragrance combining sagebrush, lavender and amyris with spicy notes of ambrette, vanilla and musk, created by internationally recognized Master Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer.

We had the opportunity to speak with Nathalie about her passion for petals and her nose for noteworthy scents, eager to discover any insights she might share about her profession and preferences in perfume. What we learned had us reimagining our scent wardrobe in hopes that we too could be as irresistible and unforgettable as the award-winning fragrances she has formulated through her extraordinary career as one of the best “noses” in the world.

As a fragrance creator, she told us, she aims to create something unique and original for her clients, using high-quality ingredients without any limitations and relying on her intuition and her clients’ unique preferences. Her process involves experimenting with different combinations of ingredients until she finds the perfect blend. The end result is an original fragrance that is both original and pleasing to the senses and designed to get even better with time.

Said Feisthauer, “When I set out to create Maracoca for Men, I wanted a fragrance that weaves together a symphony of notes to create an identity that is elegant and inviting. This perfume blends the freshness of citrus with the allure of woodsy tones. The delicate touch of orange blossom adds depth and dimension to the scent, evoking a sense of mystery and intrigue.”

Her formulations also create a long-lasting impression of the scents people wear, an experience that, in fact, drew her to her chosen career when she smelled Opium by Yves St. Laurent for the first time as a teenager.

“When I smelled Opium, I literally stopped in the street. It turned out to be the first day of my new life. It was a revelation and the start of my life’s avocation,” she remembers, sharing memories of the day her passion for making perfumes started. “At the time it was more than 40 years ago and I didn’t know the first thing about how to become a perfumer. I ended up writing a letter to the company to tell them how much I loved their product. Not long after, I received a telephone call from the man who actually created Opium and he offered to send me to Grasse to learn about the art of perfumery.”

She was 18 when she started her multi-year training in Grasse, perfecting her “nose” along with her craft and starting a love affair with aromas that have made her one of the most recognized perfumers in the industry.

“When you spray perfume, she said, “something magic happens. Luxurious perfumes have personalities that make you remember the first time you smelled them, no matter how many years have gone by. These flashbacks are quicker than words and even more powerful as they are invisible reminders of something that touched you in some way. When you are wearing perfume, you have the sensation that you are unique and the most exquisite woman in the room. For me it represents the ultimate luxury.”

She feels the same way when she works with AMAFFI, comparing the elite family-owned workshop to a museum where masterpieces are created.

The AMAFFI brand exclusively uses natural ingredients sourced from farms around the world, eschewing the synthetic molecules that are a mainstay in even the most luxurious fragrance collections. While this practice can be prohibitively expensive, it yields particularly rich scents with unrivaled staying power. The floral scents at one of their elegant boutiques, located only in New York, Singapore and London for instance, are extracted and distilled from several tons of flowers carefully tended, grown and hand-picked. Their formulations forgo the use of water, which can also weaken a fragrance’s impact, and average a 20 percent concentration of pure perfume. Because each perfume is produced in strictly limited amounts, you won’t find any Eau de Toilettes or sample bottles of their fragrances, but you can sniff the paper ‘mouillettes de parfum’ for a memorable whiff, before making an investment that quite literally turns heads – and noses.

Adding to their allure, AMAFFI’s new Maracoca fragrances are bottled in a lyrical sculpture of high-quality frosted glass and housed in a lavish lacquered box, finished in a pristine pearl white hue and adorned with an abstract multi-colored motif, a medallion bearing the fragrance name and a lock with the AMAFFI Perfume House logo. The interior of the box is lined in removable plush pink velvet that allows the box to be repurposed as an elegant jewelry case.

As we spoke, I told Nathalie about a still unknown fragrance that captured my attention at an exclusive Palm Beach club a few years ago, describing a powdery bouquet of florals that lingered seductively in the air after an elegantly dressed woman walked by a few minutes before. I spent weeks, no months, seeking out that scent in nearby stores to no avail. To this day, not to sanction Napoleon’s ancient threat of executing the maiden Amaffi, I would kill for the name of that perfume, it was so beautiful. Nathalie suggested that it may be an AMAFFI scent, noting that residents of Palm Beach, and its New York counterpart in the Hamptons are among AMAFFI’S most loyal customers.

In closing our conversation, she told me how lucky she feels to be doing what she loves most. We’re pretty sure that everyone who wears AMAFFI’s new Maracoca fragrance or any other of their precious perfumes feels lucky that she is doing that too. ☐ of priceless perfumes that literally bottle the rarefied lifestyles of the French Riveria and secret them into jeweled crystal for “scentual” safe-keeping, AMAFFI Perfume House is as uniquely distinctive as the fragrances it creates. Its creator, Madame Amaffi, founded the exclusive French perfumery in tribute to a storied tale from centuries past about an intoxicating fragrance and a fated encounter between a mysterious maiden and Emperor Napoleon. As Madame tells it, her grandmother shared it with her years ago, revealing a long-held family secret about an Amaffi ancestor who crafted a signature scent for the emperor himself. Then as now, AMAFFI perfumes linger longer than other brands, scenting the skin, clothing and air of person who wears it and intoxicating those who happen by with its invisible aromatic gems. As the unknown perfumer behind the Emperor’s exclusive elixir, the maiden too was awash with the scent he alone could wear, so enraging him that he ordered her killed when he detected it on her person. She escaped with her life to never again practice her gifted art – that is until her Madame Amaffi stepped in to revive her ancestor’s treasured talent.

In France, the art of perfumery was traditionally a family affair, handed down through the generations with a reverence and lock-and-key secrecy that continues today. Master perfumers, the expert sommeliers of fragrance, train for years to learn to distinguish at least 3,000 different scents to become a noted “nose,” with most of them honing their skill in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. Here fields of flowers — jasmine, May rose, tuberose, lavender, hyacinth and more – grow in abundance, supplying pounds of hand-picked petals to perfume houses for their products. The costs of producing a perfume are high. In addition to the time it takes to delicately pick the flowers petal by petal, it takes thousands of petals to make just a few drops of oil, which makes French perfume like AMAFFI’s, able to transport you to a place of heavenly bliss, a precious commodity worth its weight at the highest cost.

At the heart of every AMAFFI fragrance is one of a team of distinguished master perfumers, each hand selected by AMAFFI Founder Madame Amaffi for their extraordinary talent. Their deep understanding of fragrance chemistry, coupled with their refined sense of smell, enable them to create scents that are works of art. AMAFFI sources its materials from highly experienced farmers around the world; places such as Egypt, South Africa, Indonesia, and Australia, and incorporates its own proprietary technology to meticulously age and ripen its ingredients to the desired composition. Each element has a story and a special connection back to a farm in an incredible part of the world that triggers indelible emotions and memories for its wearer. As a result, the creation of a single AMAFFI perfume can take more than two years from inception.

Once each fragrance is created, it is housed in a bottle of exquisite craftsmanship, reflecting the character, mood, and name of each fragrance. AMAFFI’s in-house design bureau oversees the production of a patented high-quality bottle, meticulously decorated by hand with precious stones and crystals and embellished with gold and silver plating and are treasured as collectible works of art on their own.

Adding to their collection of limited perfumes in 2024, AMAFFI just launched two new fragrances, Maracoca for Women, developed by Master Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and featuring a seductive harmony of sensual jasmine, sweet white gardenia and spicy frangipani, and Maracoca for Men, an equally euphoric fragrance combining sagebrush, lavender and amyris with spicy notes of ambrette, vanilla and musk, created by internationally recognized Master Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer.

We had the opportunity to speak with Nathalie about her passion for petals and her nose for noteworthy scents, eager to discover any insights she might share about her profession and preferences in perfume. What we learned had us reimagining our scent wardrobe in hopes that we too could be as irresistible and unforgettable as the award-winning fragrances she has formulated through her extraordinary career as one of the best “noses” in the world.

As a fragrance creator, she told us, she aims to create something unique and original for her clients, using high-quality ingredients without any limitations and relying on her intuition and her clients’ unique preferences. Her process involves experimenting with different combinations of ingredients until she finds the perfect blend. The end result is an original fragrance that is both original and pleasing to the senses and designed to get even better with time.

Said Feisthauer, “When I set out to create Maracoca for Men, I wanted a fragrance that weaves together a symphony of notes to create an identity that is elegant and inviting. This perfume blends the freshness of citrus with the allure of woodsy tones. The delicate touch of orange blossom adds depth and dimension to the scent, evoking a sense of mystery and intrigue.”

Her formulations also create a long-lasting impression of the scents people wear, an experience that, in fact, drew her to her chosen career when she smelled Opium by Yves St. Laurent for the first time as a teenager.

“When I smelled Opium, I literally stopped in the street. It turned out to be the first day of my new life. It was a revelation and the start of my life’s avocation,” she remembers, sharing memories of the day her passion for making perfumes started. “At the time it was more than 40 years ago and I didn’t know the first thing about how to become a perfumer. I ended up writing a letter to the company to tell them how much I loved their product. Not long after, I received a telephone call from the man who actually created Opium and he offered to send me to Grasse to learn about the art of perfumery.”

She was 18 when she started her multi-year training in Grasse, perfecting her “nose” along with her craft and starting a love affair with aromas that have made her one of the most recognized perfumers in the industry.

“When you spray perfume, she said, “something magic happens. Luxurious perfumes have personalities that make you remember the first time you smelled them, no matter how many years have gone by. These flashbacks are quicker than words and even more powerful as they are invisible reminders of something that touched you in some way. When you are wearing perfume, you have the sensation that you are unique and the most exquisite woman in the room. For me it represents the ultimate luxury.”

She feels the same way when she works with AMAFFI, comparing the elite family-owned workshop to a museum where masterpieces are created.

The AMAFFI brand exclusively uses natural ingredients sourced from farms around the world, eschewing the synthetic molecules that are a mainstay in even the most luxurious fragrance collections. While this practice can be prohibitively expensive, it yields particularly rich scents with unrivaled staying power. The floral scents at one of their elegant boutiques, located only in New York, Singapore and London for instance, are extracted and distilled from several tons of flowers carefully tended, grown and hand-picked. Their formulations forgo the use of water, which can also weaken a fragrance’s impact, and average a 20 percent concentration of pure perfume. Because each perfume is produced in strictly limited amounts, you won’t find any Eau de Toilettes or sample bottles of their fragrances, but you can sniff the paper ‘mouillettes de parfum’ for a memorable whiff, before making an investment that quite literally turns heads – and noses.

Adding to their allure, AMAFFI’s new Maracoca fragrances are bottled in a lyrical sculpture of high-quality frosted glass and housed in a lavish lacquered box, finished in a pristine pearl white hue and adorned with an abstract multi-colored motif, a medallion bearing the fragrance name and a lock with the AMAFFI Perfume House logo. The interior of the box is lined in removable plush pink velvet that allows the box to be repurposed as an elegant jewelry case.

As we spoke, I told Nathalie about a still unknown fragrance that captured my attention at an exclusive Palm Beach club a few years ago, describing a powdery bouquet of florals that lingered seductively in the air after an elegantly dressed woman walked by a few minutes before. I spent weeks, no months, seeking out that scent in nearby stores to no avail. To this day, not to sanction Napoleon’s ancient threat of executing the maiden Amaffi, I would kill for the name of that perfume, it was so beautiful. Nathalie suggested that it may be an AMAFFI scent, noting that residents of Palm Beach, and its New York counterpart in the Hamptons are among AMAFFI’S most loyal customers.

In closing our conversation, she told me how lucky she feels to be doing what she loves most. We’re pretty sure that everyone who wears AMAFFI’s new Maracoca fragrance or any other of their precious perfumes feels lucky that she is doing that too. ☐

ABOUT AMAFFI PERFUME HOUSE

AMAFFI is an internationally-renowned perfume house that produces fragrances – unequalled in quality or originality – and eagerly sought-after by connoisseurs. Conceptualized and founded by Madame Amaffi and headquartered in Geneva, with boutique locations in London, Singapore, and New York, AMAFFI is committed to achieving the highest standards in the time-honored art of perfumery. With the finest ingredients in hand, AMAFFI allows its expertly chosen master perfumers to have complete creative control and access to unlimited resources in order to develop their unique, intoxicating scents. Housed in unique bottles, meticulously decorated by hand with precious stones and crystals, each vessel serves as a collectible work of art, meant to last forever. With all fragrances manufactured in France and sold only in AMAFFI boutiques and online. AMAFFI guarantees the quality, ingenuity, and exclusivity of all its products.

For more information visit: www.AMAFFI.com

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