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A Scentful Experience at Fueguia 1833

Capturing the exotic wealth of nature in South America, Fueguia 1833 takes you on a trail of discovery through its fragrances

Fueguia 1833 New York SoHo store 

When was the last time you had a scentful experience focusing on sniffing fragrances to find out which one, or ones, best define your personality and smell perfect on you? If you are a wine taster, you’ll agree with me that the best times to taste wine is in the morning when olfactory senses are the most “alert.” The same goes for fragrance sniffing. I noted the similarity while walking to the prestige fragrance house Fueguia 1833 in SoHo recently. 

Stepping into the jewel-box boutique, I was greeted by a symphony of sensuous aromas wafting around me. The company’s clever use of glass “sniff” caps on top of each of artfully crafted glass fragrance bottles is one of the most efficient and successful ways I’ve encountered to sniff and absorb fragrances. 
Three long rows of glass bottles with their caps were lined up on a magnificent wood slab table. I was instructed to slowly move around the table, lifting each glass cap to sniff a fragrance. Fragrances are identified in sections such as “flora” and “woodsy” and labels adorn each bottle with top notes to help guide the sniffer to smell what you think you’d like or didn’t like. Spoiler alert: the aroma or fragrance you think you’ll like may not be the one you chose in the end! 

Each bottle is wrapped in an onion-skin vintage map of the lower half of South America and placed in a wooden hand-carved box with a modified diagram of the “notes” of the fragrance on the inside lid.  

Fueguia 1833 was founded in 2010 by botanist Julian Bedel in Buenos Aires for the sole purpose of creating fragrances as if they are a wearable canvas, a surreal, scentful accessory appreciated by the wearer and those who step into the wearer’s perimeter. 

“Fueguia appeals to wandering spirits,” says Mr. Bedel, “sensitive to the call of reminiscence.” For Mr. Bedel, it’s a roaming, sensory journey through the heritage of South America with complex results appreciated by those seeking a scent that matches their characteristics and personalities. His eau de parfums contain 15% to 20% of oil concentration, averaging about four to five hours of fragrance on the skin, with a low amount of alcohol for skin tolerance. 
There are 100 fragrances available per year, depending on the availability of ingredients, and all of them are produced in limited quantity (bravo for freshness!) of up to 400 bottles per fragrance, numbered and available in 100ml, 50ml, 30ml, and as essential oils in 8ml. There are some available for home fragrance use. Some scents, to the dismay of customers, become discontinued when the ingredients become too scarce for continued production (it could be the one you select!). 

Patagonia South America
Patagonia's dramatic, virgin landscape serves as inspiration to Fueguia 1833  

Synonymous with craftsmanship, innovation, unique ingredients and sustainability, Mr. Bedel turns to the dramatic, virgin territories of Patagonia and uses the most precious and rare natural materials, often for the first time in perfume production, to create exclusive olfactory “symphonies.” 
This year’s fragrance introductions include Darwin, which summarizes the company’s vision perfectly, albeit in a fragrance. As Charles Darwin explored species in Patagonia, we imagine the fragrances surrounding him as observes, writes and sketches his observations. This fragrance is “wood citric” with notes of cedarwood, vetiver and grapefruit. 
Amalia, a “floral jasmine” scent, is a delicious aroma of Uruguayan and Asian jasmines, civetone and amber gris and connotes an homage to friendship (it is the one I liked best). 

Amalia Fueguia 1833 fragrance
Like all the fragrances, these are made using biodegradable ingredients such as musk of plant origin, ethanol of organic origin and exotic essences which undergo a long maturation process to bring out their aroma. All fragrances are free from synthetic dyes and preservatives, and are made from 100% wind power. Each bottle is wrapped in an onion-skin vintage map of the lower half of South America and placed in a wooden hand-carved box with a modified diagram of the “notes” of the fragrance on the inside lid.  
Fueguia is vertically integrated in every step of the manufacturing process, from the meticulous search for the raw, botanical ingredients to the production of essences and the creation of final products in the company’s headquarters with its in-house scent atelier. 
I departed the boutique in a haze of fragrance “memories”, not knowing which one would be best suited to me, and I’m still deciding! 

Isabelle KelloggIn addition to a career in communications and marketing focused on the luxury lifestyle sector, including co-authoring and lecturing a case study on French heritage jeweler Mauboussin with Harvard Business School, Isabelle continues to share her experiences about fine art, wine, travel, jewelry and culture as a freelance writer for internationally based digital publications.