From Provence, With Love – CARGO :: SRQ Magazine Article by Brittany Mattie
Sorry Kenzie Fisher’s French, she swears on the silent and seductive power of perfume.
SRQ Review | October 2021
Photo of Kenzie Fisher, taken by Wyatt Kostygan
As a famous Coco once said: “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the ultimate invisible, unforgettable accessory. Kenzie Fisher irrevocably sides with the queen of Chanel. “The scent has a silent power, which we rarely notice but which is always there,” Kenzie says. The Bradenton native remembers the exact moment she fell in love with the insatiable scent and aromatic south of France. Arriving at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport on one of her many solo trips, she decided to stay on a whim at a small romantic hotel located directly under the incredible Chateau de Nice (a old medieval fortress). “Accompanied by a simple bottle of rosé and the song of Edith Piaf Through rose-colored glasses, I had the most magical moment “, she shares.” Looking out of my window on the Promenade des Anglais, the city at night was so calm, but so full of soul, radiance, lust. The intoxicating combination of the Mediterranean, mixed with the sweet bouquet of lavender and violet from the fields of Provence, overwhelmed me with a sense of calm that I had never felt before. The love affair has begun. Kenzie’s wandering soul has taken her to charming chateaux in historic Grasse, France, the perfume capital of the world. Transposing a fragrant allure adored by artists and distinguished writers, fashion luminaries and hopeless romantics, it is here, in the cobbled streets and vineyard-lined hills, that the evocative nature of perfume hit Kenzie right on the nose. The air of Grasse, she said, encapsulated the botanical scents of fresh roses, olive groves and lavender fields, intertwined with a effervescent sea breeze. Taking advantage of its deep connection with water and the coastal laissez-faire way of life, associated with the ethereal imprints of the Côte d’Azur, Élu Parfums was born.
Photos courtesy of eluparfums.com, @eluparfums
SRQ: Curiosity is at bay, what does the name Elected mean?
Kenzie Fisher: Élu simply means “chosen” in French and “full of grace / beauty” in Cherokee. I wanted to pay homage to my Indian Cherokee heritage and to the French history of perfumery.
SRQ: What does the perfume mean to you?
Kenzie: The scent is so powerful that it evokes memories when you spray it on yourself and when others smell you. Once I became more present, I noticed that the olfactory system was working in symbiosis with influential moments from my past to create these vivid reminders in my mind. I noticed that vanilla reminded me of my mother, hot coffee brought me to my grandmother’s house, and the scent of lavender reminded me of the day I vowed to become a perfumer. I start every morning with perfume, it immediately puts me in a good mood. I like to apply a fragrance-free moisturizer first – this helps to act as a binder and prolongs the duration of the scent – on my pulse points (wrists and cleavage), then spray Provence. Dab, never rub.
SRQ: Is the signature fragrance of Élu, Provence, entirely inspired by the terroir?
Kenzie: Absolutely, the whole area is filled with lavender fields, bee farms, cool fruit trees and sunny heat.
SRQ: Looks like your enlightening journey to Grasse has started such a journey. Why do you think the Côte d’Azur speaks so much to you?
Photo taken by Wyatt Kostygan
Kenzie: There is so much history rooted in this small town, so much craftsmanship and the scent that flows through the town is simply intoxicating. After spending some time there, I really discovered what scent and scent were. It was then that I decided to create myself a perfume originating from this region and respectful of its ancient traditions. My fiance (and business partner) and I are currently getting married in the South of France this upcoming rose season (May).
SRQ: So how did it all start?
Kenzie: We started working with suppliers and one of the oldest perfume houses in the Grasse region to find a truly inspiring fragrance. They start with the concentrate and send me samples for me to try. There are iterations and back and forth until you find the right combination of ingredients and lasting notes. Once decided on the scent, the scent itself is made by adding alcohol (this process is called maceration). It is then bottled and packaged in France and shipped to the United States to our distribution center in LA. We also work with other amazing teams: a small, sustainability-focused family box supplier in Canada and our amazing design team in Barcelona. We’ve been building ever since, with sustainability at heart.
SRQ: You touch a lot on sustainability. In what ways are Esustainably produced lu materials?
Kenzie: We try to make everything we do at Élu as sustainable and ethical as possible. Our boxes are custom made by the small Canadian company mentioned above which works with FSC certified paper and has an amazing tree planting program. Our bottles are in recyclable glass, our caps are also in recyclable aluminum, even the labels of our bottles are in recycled paper and vegetable ink. We chose not to use cellophane plastic wrap because it is so bad for the environment. As we continue to grow, we will make even greater investments to position Elected as the most innovative and eco-responsible perfume house.
Photo courtesy of eluparfums.com, @eluparfums
SRQ: How would you best describe your “Scent Playlist” on Spotify and how do these songs correlate / relate to your scent?
Kenzie: I like this question. In my opinion, smell and sound are two of the most important senses – they work together to create and elicit meaningful moments. I handpicked each song to accompany the evolution of the Provence fragrance. It’s a blend that I think clearly identifies with the scent of this region, and immediately transports me when I listen to and vaporize Elected.
SRQ: Can you indulge in any new Chosen One fragrances to come?
Kenzie: There are so many exciting scents in the pipeline, each inspired by a city or region. Then there is an incredible island in Spain. And I would love to create a Sarasota / Bradenton fragrance one day!