Fueguia 1833 is a sophisticated fragrance brand founded by perfumer Julian Bedel in 2010.
Each collection is created in limited quantities, featuring the finest raw ingredients native to Argentina, and takes inspiration from and pays tribute to South American culture.
To understand why Emirates Woman spoke to the brand’s highly reputed perfumer on what it takes to create a niche.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
I very much adapt to the seasons and to the places where I find myself, but mostly, as soon as I’m up, I have an espresso, feed my cat, and go for a walk.
What is at the heart of Fueguia 1833, the DNA?
What lies in the heart of the company is a very conscious approach to everything that we do.
I am an artist, and when I work, it’s as if I was working with a canvas, and a palette of colours. I am very attentive to exploring the variety of what nature has to offer, in particular, in South America.
In this virgin territory, we have a process of outsourcing rare natural botanicals often used for the first time in perfumery. This enables us to explore all the facets of nature, and all facets of the olfactive journey we want to sublimate. This is also why we have more than 100 fragrances to ensure a creative assortment for each individual to be able to appreciate variety, and versatility, but above all, for everyone to find their own scent. I invest significantly in R&D, ingredients production, plants research and technology associated with pharmaceutical business extraction from plants, just to ensure that we preserve the best, and reveal authentic scents. My constant endeavor towards research naturally demands to respect nature and to respect the raw materials during their availability: exclusivity is also what we stand for at Fueguia 1833, this is the reason why we produce only a limited series of fragrances.
Tell us how your past experiences led you to found your own brand?
It all started as an artistic project and installation in a space I rented in Buenos Aires. It was part of my quest back then to experiment and showcase my work in order to express my artistic and creative vision. Like every artist, you tend to keep exploring mediums, pigments, textures, colours, so here I was, as an independent artist with an independent project, taking the first leap to reveal my work to the public, to portray Patagonian landscapes through a unique olfactory experience, distilling rare and exotic botanicals. This was the genesis of the whole concept.
How did you know you were ready to make the leap and launch your own brand?
The gallery showcase welcomed interest and triggered in me an even greater creative and artistic thrill. I realized that what I had created could be explored further and could be layered into many more creative and artistic facets. I was also privileged to meet a woman that thought my project was too cool not to see the light beyond the gallery showcase. She became my first investor, and I began building and creating a bigger canvas: my company Fueguia 1833.
Have you had any mentors along the way and if so, what has been the best advice they have imparted to you?
The beauty of life is that it enables you to meet a lot of people and connect with a lot of minds. I’ve had a lot of mentors along the way. My father is an Artist, I have always been influenced by his vision, along with Victor Grippo (also an Artist) that I have followed closely. My friends are also important. I pay attention to what surrounds me in general. It appeared to me that my important people all had a very conscious approach, from their behaviors and actions – I am also very much the same, hence the combination of my personality and the personality of my mentors lead me to explore the foundations of a company that would be vertically integrated in order to translate my values.
How do the creative and commercial sides of the business work together and do you feel particularly drawn to one side of the business?
I definitely feel that I belong in the creative field, as my entire nature is an endless quest towards expressing my perspective on creativity and artistry. Creativity and commercial are intertwined but I approach them very differently from one another. 100% of my decisions are inclined by my creative direction or sensibility, following that, the business side of things must be stringent in order for the verticality of the company to remain coherent.
The numbers of each fragrance are limited – can you tell us about this strategy and was it a clear goal from the outset?
It was definitely the essence since day one, it was also a reflection of the number of ingredients we could tackle in our creative process given that each of the ingredients are available according to a certain limit.
400 bottles are created per batch: each creation features the year of production and a serial number and is manufactured in accordance with the availability of the natural ingredients. There are no expiration, nor preservatives used in the creations, which lead the fragrances to evolve with time, to mature and macerate, providing exclusive scents. Some of these exclusive scents have witnessed 10 years of maceration and were carefully selected to be included within the “vintage cave” of the company, at the flagship store in Milan.
What has been the biggest challenge since launching the brand how did you overcome it?
I’m not sure that I can mention one major challenge particularly; I believe that managing a company brings you challenges continuously. The fact that we are a vertically integrated company puts us at the forefront of every single business and creative angle that we need to address meticulously and with all fairness. I come from Argentina, where we do not have many resources, this is also a big part of my decision in creating the company in Argentina because the lack of resources demands us to think outside of the box and makes us creative in finding solutions when we face challenges.
The last year was a time that saw brands change strategy. Have you had to pivot as a business?
Covid has impacted the world in shaping a new form of social thinking and behavior, however, we remained focused and consistent in keeping the same strategy and creative direction.
How has social media affected the business and which platform has been most useful?
We take pride in growing a community of connoisseurs and of people that really understand and appreciate the essence of the brand. Our social media is very low key on purpose: we appreciate taking the time in growing a platform where progressively we will nurture and engage more.
Do you see any buying trends globally in terms of scents and if so which?
At Fueguia 1833 there are no particular trends in the purchase behaviors, I would say it very much depends on seasons, mindsets or cultural preferences. I truly believe that the quest in discovering different or new ingredients is constant as it enables to create new emotions and memories. In the company, we do not create scents according to preferences or aromatic families, our creations are not influenced by trends.
We adapt our creations according to what nature has to offer, and this is why our olfactive journeys can change and offer a lot.
Which is your personal favourite and why?
I do not have a personal favorite as it always changes. I believe seasons have an impact on my preferences. Currently, I wear Negus as I love resins and wood. I love nature, I love trees. Negus is the best illustration of those.
This is The Integrity Issue- what does integrity mean to you?
Integrity is not only a way of seeing things but more of our actions in the world. I believe that my integrity is seen in the way I have shaped and formed my company and integrated into it all of the values I stand for. I am very attentive to what surrounds me and very cautious in the way I explore things, this is why the products we offer need to remain true to what we believe in, nothing that can harm nature. My art is about exploring nature and sublimating the beauty of nature. All this has energy, and I am very mindful of everything that has energy. I always try to respect it and protect it.
My investment, my consumption, and my behavior are very focused, meaningful and as much relevance as possible. I buy old guitars, I work with a craftsman from Venice, I live in a house built in the XVII Century. I like everything that has a soul, as I think that it is everything that integrity stands for.
April’s – ‘The Integrity Issue’ – Download Now
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