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What's That Smell?

With the fragrances (like tomato and dirt) this fashion-student-turned-fragrance-mogul has concocted, it could be anything. But we're betting it's the sweet smell of success.

Vital Stats: Christopher Brosius, 39

Company: Fragrance maker (with partner Christopher Gable, 37)

2000 Sales: In the seven figures, with a
25 percent boost from Demeter's first retail store, opened in New York City in 1999

The Nose Knows: "It's a skill . . . or a freak of nature. Not trained as a perfumer, it made me nervous when I was like, 'OK, I think this is right.' But as time's gone by, I know I'm really accurate."

Making Scents: "I still get a lot of
fragrances from childhood things,
traveling, places I love to be [like England and California]. Also reading history and art history."

Stress Level: "[The fragrance industry] certainly can be [stressful], and [Demeter] frequently is. Growing at such a rapid pace means constantly rethinking how everything's done."

De-stressing Tactics: [laughs] "I don't know. If you find out, I would dearly love to know! I took the first vacation I've had in 10 years in January 1999, and I haven't [taken one] since."

Perfection: "I won't do things that are not very, very good. [He worked on the Snow scent for five-plus years.] But if we all waited around for everything to be absolutely perfect, nothing would ever get done."

Demeter Philosophy: "What's in the bottle is far more important than the bottle itself."


Contact Source

  • Demeter Fragrance Library, (800) 482-0422

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This article was originally published in the July 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: What's That Smell?.

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