Custom Essence was founded in 1981 by Felix Buccellatto and Raman Patel, 2 entrepreneurs who ventured out to follow their passion for perfumery and build relationships with clients who valued their creativity, technical expertise, and thoughtful attention to the fragrance design process.
Felix reflects on his approach to the business at an early stage – “We always looked at fragrance design from 3 angles. The first is quality – are we using the best fragrance ingredients available that will allow us to formulate with depth, character and fidelity. The second is artistry – how can we use our expertise to design fragrances that are intriguing, long-lasting and have a creative edge. And the third is how can we leverage our scientific background as organic chemists to build fragrances that excel technically and work in specific product forms. We were always focused from day 1 on how we can rely on these 3 elements to meet the clients’ economic expectation.”
In the early 1980’s, Felix and Raman identified a hole in the marketplace and sought to fill it. They recognized that the larger, multi-national fragrance houses were focused on other large consumer products companies and helping their brands, such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson and Johnson. These large fragrance houses were not interested in working with smaller brands and entrepreneurs who did not meet their minimum order quantities. As entrepreneurs themselves, Raman and Felix could identify with Indie brands and small business owners who were striving to create a product with few resources. As such, they not only saw themselves as strictly perfumers, but also as partners to their clients who could help refer them to contract manufacturers or other vendors in their network that could help their clients. This highly collaborative approach remains at Custom Essence and is often cited by clients as a unique value-add CE brings to the client experience.
Raman explains, “We looked at each client with fresh eyes. We took the time to invest in the relationship to uncover what is driving this individual to create their product. At the heart of it, we invested a bit ourselves in each of our customers and we cared. We were able to lend our expertise of science, art and commerce to our customers who were always looking for high performing, complex fragrances for their products with strength, beauty and safety in mind.”
Their overriding framework always rested on loving the work they were doing. When talking to Felix and Raman, they exude a genuine passion for the company and their craft and that hasn’t abated through the years.
This entrepreneurial mindset is still very much baked into how the company operates today. From how Custom Essence cultivates customers to providing a level of service that meets a varied spectrum of expectations and needs, the DNA of Custom Essence still remains. Speed, agility, attention to detail and ensuring their clients can rely on Custom Essence to provide them with fragrances they trust and will contribute to their success is how the company continues to operate.