Tammy Frazer the granddaughter of Oil of Olay inventor, Graham Wulff, is making waves in a different sector of the beauty industry. Tammy is the woman behind the organic, natural and handmade perfume brand, Frazer Parfum. We caught up with the perfumer to find out more.
Where did your love for perfume develop from?
I’ve always had an acute sense of smell and an inquisitive curiosity and wonder when it comes to beauty products. I’ve read their labels for as long as I can remember being literate! Coupled with the environment of being around a family that, on both my mother and father’s side, were as fascinated by the beauty industry played a role in my childhood impressions and natural understanding of what women want, how to communicate it to them and ultimately deliver something very special for their needs.
You’ve said your fragrances are inspired by places you’ve visited and experienced. What kind of scent does Cape Town remind you of?
Cape Town has the most diverse floral kingdom in the world, but as a natural perfumer I seek plants and flowers that have oil. Our floral kingdom, while diverse, does not have many plants that hold oil – because these beauties have access to fresh water for survival – and so I rather look to the fynbos that is rich in oil for the fragrant scents that make up the odour profile of Cape Town. Some that come to mind that are more perfumed (in low concentrations of course!) are the Cape snowbush, pelargonium and even buchu for a fruity blackcurrant note.
Your bottles are truly beautiful and unique. Please tell us the story behind these glass creations.
When I first moved back home to South Africa I decided that I wanted my suppliers to be local, for a number of reasons. Not only does it make business sense in terms of logistics and distribution, but building a relationship with my artisans allows a close design aesthetic as well as quality control. Part of Frazer Parfum’s ethos is about supporting local, and the decision to work with world-renowned glass artist David Reade was based on his incredible ability and skill. It is an honour working with him. From a design perspective I wanted my perfume bottles to represent the concept of organic, and so the organic form coupled with how it fits in the wearer’s hand was paramount to the design. Another functional design element was ensuring the juice is protected by light and we achieved this with a coloured glass well where the juice sits.
What are the main steps to finding one’s signature scent?
For a woman, it’s about selecting the right flower, or flower combination. Even if they do not want a floral fragrance, the flower makes up the heart of a signature fragrance. For a man, it is often a wood, root or resin that is the first decision. Overall, it’s about coming up with a creative concept, theme, or how the user wants to be portrayed that is paramount to a bespoke fragrance design. Technical elements also come into it, like how it performs on the skin, and the lifestyle of the wearer.
Do you have any expert tips when it comes to wearing perfume?
Ensure your skin is not dry when wearing fragrance, then it will last longer by clinging to the oils produced in healthy skin. It’s a personal preference, but I think the trend is that we are living in a time where subtlety is key to the fragrance you wear. It’s not about overpowering someone close to you, it’s about a sophistication in scent, that is often produced by the more unknown creative perfumers that design more unique fragrances. Be experimental and try something you might not usually go for, in order to broaden your knowledge of fragrance, it will reap cerebral and emotional rewards.