In a city that has its share of scent players (e.g., Apothia, Lisa Hoffman, EB Florals by Eric Buterbaugh, Kai and Strange Invisible Perfumes), the company is taking a rare multibranded and multichannel approach with a retail plan that calls for some 10 stores in the next five years. That plan is well under way with the opening of Orris Perfumery, a new store on Melrose Avenue showcasing its expanding flotilla of brands currently standing at five and going on six.
“We see ourselves as having many more brands, and we wanted a place where they could be under one roof. We thought it would be ideal to put the perfumery in L.A. We are from L.A. and dedicated to building brands in L.A.,” said Linda Sivrican, cofounder and perfumer at Capsule Parfumerie. “My perspective is uniquely L.A. I have a very different point of view from a perfumer based in Europe or New York. Once you smell the fragrances, you get a better idea. They have a more laid-back feeling to them.”
Sivrican and her husband, Mike, started Capsule Parfumerie in 2014 with Fiele Fragrances, which today is its largest brand in sales and assortment. Plant essences are the heart of Fiele’s eight offerings priced at $98 for 50 ml. Its best-selling scent Juniperus contains junipers from native Himalayan shrubs grown in Nepal, and the runner-up Pogostemon revolves around Indonesian patchouli. “It’s a natural, luxe line. People have said we a modern-day Santa Maria Novella. It is modern but has an old-world feel to it,” Sivrican said.
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Another brand in Capsule Parfumerie’s stable is the progressive Capsule Parfums that takes its cue from L.A.’s street culture and diversity. Out of the five scents from Capsule priced at $90 for 50 ml., Covey is the leading performer. A blend of almond, jasmine, lime and herbal spearmint, Sivrican described it as fruity and leathery at the same time. “When people smell Capsule, they usually say, ‘I’ve never smelled something like that before’ or they say, ‘it’s interesting, but not off-putting.’ It’s very bold,” Sivrican said.
Although gender doesn’t usually enter the equation in Sivrican’s fragrance development process, the four-scent brand Musc et Madame intentionally gives masculine twists to feminine materials. Priced at $110 for 50 ml., the brand’s chart-topper, Ylang Tabac, pairs ylang ylang with jasmine, tonka bean, almond, oakmoss and tobacco, among other notes. “I used floral absolutes to make the fragrances, and I dirtied them up with animal musks. It’s disheveled and very sensual,” Sivrican said. “People who don’t usually like florals like these fragrances.”
The brand Litoralle Aromatica puts a California spin on traditional Italian colognes. Each priced at $105 for 100 ml., its two scents are Luce Del Sole and Onde Biancha. “They conjure up the feeling of the seaside when you smell them. I believe they will take you there,” said Sivrican said. The latest brand, Saguara Perfumes, evokes the opposite of the ocean: desert. Named for the saguaro cactus, it’s three fragrances priced at $90 for 50 ml. are Coyote Mint, Desert Lavender and Cactus Bloom.
Inside the 800-square-foot Orris Perfumery, the brands are placed on their own to both communicate their distinct stories and to not overwhelm customers. The store’s walls are white, the floors are wood, there are gray accents throughout, and there’s a record player and espresso machine. Designed with the firm Open for Humans, Sivrican emphasized the store provides plenty of space for customers to explore. “We wanted a perfumery that wasn’t typical. We wanted something warm, inviting and engaging. They designed the space to reflect our personality and our aesthetic,” she said, adding, “If you look at our aesthetic, everything is minimal. I’m not about fluff at all.”
Sivrican envisions spreading the Orris Perfumery concept, but also eventually erecting stores dedicated to individual Capsule Parfumerie brands. Outside of its own store, the company has a wholesale network of in excess of 100 retail doors, and its brands sell at fashion and beauty stores including Erica Tanov, Veer & Wander, Poketo and Elaine Kim. Sivrican said Capsule Parfumerie’s business has been doubling annually. “A lot of people are into niche perfumery now because they are looking for something different and unique,” she reasoned. “We make everything by hand. We keep our quality really, really high. We use tons of natural ingredients. It’s very artisanal. It’s labor intensive, small batch and fresh.”