Growing up Black means having some form of relationship with fragrance.
Someone in your life – be it your nana, old lady at the grocery store, swagged out cousin, or teacher, had a perfume that turned heads and noses when they entered a room and lingered long after they left.
It could be Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflowers, Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar, or some luscious perfume oil purchased at some street fair or boutique; either way, the relationship typically ends with consumerism.
Research shows that the Black community is the largest consumer of fragrance, responsible for 24% ($151 million) of the market while making up 14% of the population. Despite these numbers, Black people are underrepresented in adverts or retail spaces in the industry.
The President of The Fragrance Foundation, Linda.G.Levy, expressed the need for inclusivity in the fragrance universe (she even proposed and helped kick off an initiative known as #FragranceForwardTFF to amplify perfumes diversity conversations).
Currently, Chris Collins is one of the only Black perfumers in luxury retails like Bergdorf and Nordstrom.
But that doesn’t mean Black talent is nonexistent.
There are plenty of artsy and savvy Black perfumers and retailers on the market.
With that, and as conscious consumerism demands level up, here are some of the few Black-owned fragrance brands trying to push the industry forward and whose scents hit all the right notes.
After the global and sustained success of Fenty Beauty, it was evident that there was no stopping the Fenty Empire.
According to reviews and Fenty products enthusiasts, the Fenty Eau de Parfum ($130) brilliantly combines diverse notes of blueberry, Bulgarian rose, geranium, magnolia, musk, patchouli, and tangerine.
Each note complements the other, giving you a bold, daring, and soulful scent. It gives you the confidence to stand out from the crowd without apologies!
Chris Collins spent years as a brand ambassador and the Face of Polo Ralph Lauren before launching his luxury brand.
Today, World of Chris Collins sells an array of romantic scents available to both men and women.
His most preferred and frequently sold-out fragrance is the Chris Collins’ Sweet Taboo Extrait de Parfum ($225), formulated with a range of warm notes, including – cacao, cinnamon, coffee, musk, and vanilla. It is definitely a conversation-starting fragrance.
After having a skin reaction to some of her favorite fragrances, Texas-native, and renowned perfume connoisseur, Chavalia Mwamba launched Pink MahogHany, a luxurious fragrance brand that focuses on gentle, light scents perfect for sensitive skin.
Its Pink MahogHany Pas Encore Nomme ($128) has reviewers expressing their undying love for the fragrance and endlessly stocking up their cabinets.
One reviewer said it practically begs you to wear it for date night with your favorite LBD, a bold lip, and a glass of Merlot in hand.
The sensual, bold, and sophisticated perfume combines decadent notes of malt, pineapple, and vanilla.
After facing numerous obstacles and being ghosted y his partner, artist Chris Classic launched Savoir Faire, a luxury fragrance brand that aims to hook your scent tentacles.
Its most sought-after fragrance, Savoir Faire Whiskey Rose ($135), packs a memorable punch. It is a classy combination of whiskey, rich notes, leather, rose, and vanilla, giving you a subtle but unforgettable scent.
With a background in luxe fragrance retail, Kimberly Walker did not see her culture represented in an industry she devoted herself to for ten years.
With that, she decided to learn about the science behind fragrances and eventually created a signature scent, ‘Artsy.’
Since then, her eponymous line, the Kimberly New York Artsy EDP ($99), has appeared in top publications like Allure, Byrdie, and Cosmo.
According to reviews, the fragrance’s crushed sparkling violet and creamy sandalwood effortlessly melt into red candied apple and marshmallow fluff, giving you a scent that lasts up to eight hours.
Her latest scent Diaspora EDP ($109), is formulated to celebrate Black culture. It is said to be rich and complex with sultry notes of Jamaican rose and rose champagne, making it the fragrance of Black joy.
Kimberley Waters, a skilled and savvy entrepreneur, launched Modern Urban Sensory Experiences or MUSE, the only Black-owned fragrance boutique in New York.
The brand’s mission is to create a space that brings people together and helps shift perspective on fragrance.
MUSE offers a beautifully curated collection of niche, indie, and luxury from across the globe, right to the nape of your neck and wrist for a sniff.
The brand’s most popular perfume is MUSE Silver Musk ($185), which is a part of the Nasomatto project.
The light yet super luxe scent is perfect for individuals looking to stand out from the crowd while simultaneously exploring their layered personalities through fragrance.
While working as a front desk agent of a luxury condo, Darryl X. Simpson II, founder of Zavies, noticed how scent enhanced the confidence of the residents he mingled with.
Soon after, inspired by his mom’s moniker for him, Darryl launched his luxury brand, Zavies.
The brand delivers both feminine and masculine picks, which include a blend of citrus and musk notes.
The perfumes also come in bold, artsy bottles, making them a staple statement piece on your cabinets.
Zavies’ fan-favorite fragrance is the Zavies Enamor EDP ($60). It features citron, d’Anjou pear, and orange notes that pair seamlessly with jasmine, rose, and star anise heart notes. Its finish is cedar duo and warm amber.
Maya Nije Perfumes
Renowned artist and perfumer Maya Nije launched her world-class brand to capture moments in time through fragrance. Every time you spritz some of her luxurious scents, the notes are bound to transport to another dimension.
The most reviewed and popular fragrance in her collection is Maya Nije’s Les Fleur EDP ($123). Minnie Ripperton’s 1970 song inspires it, and its green floral scent celebrates love, life, and creation.
It boasts of a citrusy top note, magnolia, neroli, sweet fig heart notes, and a musky and woodsy base note.