Photos courtesy of, @eluparfums

As a famous Coco once said, “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.” Kenzie Fisher sides irrevocably with the queen of Chanel. “Fragrance has a silent power, one that we rarely notice but is always there,” Kenzie says. The Bradenton native can recall the exact moment she fell in love with the insatiability of fragrance and the aromatic south of France. Upon flying into Nice Côte d’Azur airport on one of her many solo trips, she decided to stay on a whim at a romantic, little hotel located directly under the incredible Château de Nice (a former medieval fortress). “Accompanied by just a bottle of rosé and Edith Piaf singing La Vie En Rose, I had the most magical moment,” she shares. “Looking out from my window at the Promenade des Anglais, the city at night was so quiet, yet so full of soul, sparkle, lust. The intoxicating combination of the Mediterranean, mixed with the sweet bouquet of lavender and violet traveling from the fields of Provence, overwhelmed me with a sense of calm that I had never felt before. And that’s when the love affair began.” Kenzie’s wandering soul led her to rendezvous down to charming chateaus in the historic town of Grasse, France—the perfume capital of the world. Transposing a redolent allure adored by distinguished artists and writers, fashion luminaries and hopeless romantics alike, it was here—on the cobblestone streets and vineyard-lined hills—that the evocative nature of parfum hit Kenzie right on the nose. The air in Grasse, she says, encapsulated the botanical scents of fresh roses, olive groves and lavender fields, intertwined with an effervescent sea breeze. Harnessing her deep connection to the water and the laissez-faire way of coastal living, paired with the ethereal imprints of the French Riviera, Élu Parfums was born.  

Photo of Kenzie Fisher taken by Wyatt Kostygan

SRQ: Curiosity is at bay, what does the name Élu mean?

Kenzie Fisher:  Élu simply means “chosen” in French and “full of grace/beauty” in Cherokee. I wanted to pay homage to my Cherokee Indian heritage and to the French history of perfume making.

SRQ: What does perfume mean to you?  

Kenzie: Perfume is so powerful, it evokes memories when you spray it on yourself and when others smell you. Once I became more present, I noticed the olfactory system working symbiotically with influential moments of my past to create these vivid recalls in my mind. I noticed that vanilla reminded me of my mom, warm-brewed coffee brought me to my grandmother’s house and the smell of lavender took me back to the day I vowed to become a perfumer. I start every morning with perfume, it immediately boosts my mood. I love to first apply fragrance-free moisturizer—this helps act as a bonder and makes perfume last longer—on my pulse points (wrists and décolletage neck area), then spray Provence. Dab, never rub.

SRQ: Is Élu’s signature scent Provence entirely inspired by the locale? 

Kenzie: Absolutely, the entire region is filled with lavender fields, honey bee farms, fresh fruit trees and sun-drenched warmth. 

SRQ: Sounds like your illuminating trip to Grasse began such a journey. Why do you think the French Riviera speaks to you so? 

Photo taken by Wyatt Kostygan

Kenzie: There is so much history rooted in that small town, so much craft and the scent that goes through the town is simply intoxicating. After spending time there, I really discovered what fragrance and perfume was all about. That’s when I decided I wanted to create a fragrance myself that originated from this area and gave respect to its ancient traditions. My fiancé (and business partner) and I are actually getting married in the South of France this coming rose season (May).

SRQ: So how did it all get started? 

Kenzie: We started working with suppliers and one of the oldest perfume houses in the Grasse region to find a truly inspiring scent. They start with the concentrate and send over samples for me to try. There is some iteration and back and forth that goes on until finding just the right combination of sustainable ingredients and notes. Once decided on the scent, the perfume itself is manufactured by adding alcohol (this process is called maceration). It is then bottled and packaged in France and shipped to the US to our distribution center in LA. We work with some other incredible teams as well: a small, family-owned, sustainability-focused box supplier in Canada and our amazing design team in Barcelona. We have been building ever since, with sustainability at the core.

SRQ: You touch on sustainability quite a bit. In what ways are Élu’s materials sustainably manufactured? 

Kenzie: We try to make everything we do at Élu as sustainable and ethically conscious as possible. Our boxes are custom made by the small Canadian company, mentioned above, which works with FSC-certified paper and has an amazing tree planting program. Our bottles are made of glass which are recyclable, and our caps are made of aluminum which are also recyclable, even the labels on our bottles are made of recycled paper and vegetable ink. We opt out of using cellophane plastic wrap as it is so bad for the environment. As we continue to grow, we will make even bigger investments to position Élu as the most innovative, eco-conscious perfume house.

Photo courtesy of, @eluparfums

SRQ: How would you best describe your “Scent Playlist” on Spotify and how do those songs correlate/connect to your perfume? 

Kenzie: I love this question. In my opinion, scent and sound are two of the most important senses—they work together to create and elicit meaningful moments. I hand-picked each song to go with the evolution of the fragrance Provence. It's a mix that I think clearly identifies with the scent of that area, and immediately transports me back when I listen and spray Élu.

SRQ: Can you indulge in any new Élu scents coming in the pipeline? 

Kenzie: There are so many exciting fragrances in the pipeline—each inspired by a city or region. Next up is an amazing island in Spain. And I would love to create a Sarasota/Bradenton scent one day!