We are Sfumato Fragrances, a husband and wife collaboration making natural fragrances in Corktown, Detroit. Kevin is the nose of the company, engaging olfactory skills honed by culinary studies to blend our compositions. Jane is the eyes, using her background in art and design to create the visual aesthetic.
There are a few things that we think are very important, and these things make us different from most fragrances you would buy at a mall with a famous person’s name on them. They are: using natural ingredients, offering a unique olfactory experience, and exploring the world using our noses. We also like paying attention to little details.
All of our fragrances are entirely natural, made from essential oils, absolutes, and tinctures. We think natural components give a much more subtle, complex, and interesting product than what is typically available at a department store, where almost all scents include some synthetic components. Some synthetic fragrances are quite wonderful, but our preference for natural materials is mostly philosophical: because many of our natural ingredients have been in use for millennia (e.g. frankincense, jasmine), and because olfaction is tied to memory in many strange ways, breathing in our scents is like a time bomb from pre-history, wafted and whiffed for untold generations, with a shock wave resonating across ten thousand years and a terminal node in your nostrils. Don’t you want to inhale a 10,000 year shockwave?
Letting the aura of our fragrances envelope you is a singular experience. Because we are using only natural ingredients, Sfumato’s fragrances are ephemeral (lasting about 2-3 hours), stay close to your body (they don’t extend much beyond arm’s length), and evolve noticeably as you wear them. Our scents do not have a gender and we believe anyone can wear any scent that is appealing to them. Although different from many modern fragrances, we think subtlety and complexity are the highest ideals in a scent. We craft our fragrances to hover at the edge of conscious awareness and evolve in time. I like to think of each application as a personal stroll through a lovely scentscape, which you can then share with those close to you.
We are constantly asking ourselves, what does the world look like when we look through our noses? This brings up all kinds of interesting questions. How can scent be used as a medium for communication? How do you give form to a structure-less medium like fragrance? Is scent the ideal medium for encapsulating an emotional state? Have natural scents been usurped by synthetics? What does outer space smell like?
Sfumato was founded as a way to offer sophisticated and unique natural fragrances while exploring the questions that drive us. We hope you’ll catch a whiff of what we’re up to.