Home Page

Archive | PRESS

Women Leaders Define Luxury Today And Tomorrow

Thank you to The CEOForumGroup for including us in the article on Women Leaders defining Luxury. 

Women Leaders Define Luxury Today And Tomorrow

sue phillips house of fragrance

 Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Coco Chanel, the iconic visionary of luxury, once said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” A century later, differentiation is still the hallmark of luxury, as evidenced that the concept of the indelible personalized experience increasingly resonates. To share insights in defining what luxury is today and how it will change, I recently interviewed four of the great luxury women leaders of our time.

  • Annastasia V. Seebohm, Global CEO, Quintessentially Group, the world’s leading luxury lifestyle group with $100 million revenue and over 60 offices globally
  • Edie Rodriguez, Americas Brand Chairman, Ponant, and former CEO Crystal Cruises
  • Robin Tauck, Former CEO, Tauck Inc., the third generation pioneer and leader in luxury travel and tours
  • Sue Phillips, leading fragrance expert and CEO, Scenterprises

Robert Reiss: Define what the concept of luxury means to you?

Annastasia Seebohm: We are all so busy that time has become our most precious luxury. I travel frequently so it’s important to stop and take time, I also think that’s when the big ideas happen.  Ultimately luxury is about living your best life, one that’s rich in experiences and learning, while allowing you time for the things you love the most.

Edie Rodriguez: To me Luxury today, especially in travel, is all about options to do what one wants, when they want it and the manner in which they want it, which includes the ability to see any destination in the world as an authentic experience.  

Christy O’Keefe

Robin Tauck and Robert Reiss, with original 1925 brochure

Robin Tauck: We are living now in the “Golden Age of Travel” historically.  For that aspect of luxury and with booming numbers of 1.5 billion people crossing international borders it is actually less about luxurious hotel rooms, pampering and self indulgence. Luxury in my field I define as having Extraordinary, exclusive and stress-free access to special, unique or educational experiences that enrich and transform our lives and the lives of others. 

Sue Phillips: Today, the definition of Luxury is not just the state of great comfort and extravagant living, but creating your OWN PERSONAL BRAND by reflecting WHO you are with CONFIDENCE, INDIVIDUALITY and creating YOUR OWN SENSE OF STYLE; it will include all aspects of YOU: Personal, Home, Company

Reiss: How will luxury change over the next five years?  

Tauck: Technology is changing our lives by the moment; travel is ready to soar beyond anything we have experienced. I am so excited about to uniquely personalize and craft “immediate” experiences exactly to the individual wherever he or she (or they) may be.  To match ones inner desires, quests and dreams with a faster, easier, more meaningful and personalized result – beyond our wildest imaginations.

Read the article here

Continue Reading

Oprah.com – fashion and beauty – how to appreciate the power of perfume

How One Writer Learned to Appreciate the Power of Perfume

Alix Strauss goes to scent school to learn to tell a story through fragrance.

Unlike many women, I’ve never had a love affair with fragrance. In the past 25 years, I’ve worn only two: Clinique’s Calyx and The Scent of Peace by Bond No. 9. I was drawn to them because…I liked their smell. Surely, it’s not more complicated than that, I thought. Yet I’ve interviewed perfumers who discuss their creations as if they were works of art, talked to friends who rhapsodize about their favorite fragrances’ je ne sais quoi. Was I lacking a certain scents-ibility? 

This question lingered like eau de cologne on a pillowcase. So I was intrigued when I was invited to a one-on-one training class at International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) in Manhattan, where master fragrance makers learn their craft, typically over the course of three years. With any luck, a two-hour session would give me at least a sniff. 

On the appointed day, the teacher, senior perfumer and IFF consultant and trainer Ron Winnegrad, is decked out in dueling colors, from his mismatched socks (one red, one cream) to his rainbow crocheted sweater to his floral shirt and tie. Like many experts, he believes smell is the strongest of our five senses because the olfactory bulb, where smell is processed, closely connects to brain regions responsible for storing memories and recording emotions. Yet smell is the one sense we typically don’t actively refine. We deepen our appreciation of music, painting, and food by studying the artistry behind their creation. Today I’ll attempt a bit of the same thing with fragrance. 

But first Ron tells me I need to learn to smell scented blotters the right way. Apparently, holding one steady under your nose and breathing in is the wrong way. Instead, I’m advised to move the strip of fragranced paper back and forth under both nostrils. This is because at any given time, a person might be relying on one nostril more than the other. “Each nostril will have a different airflow, and if you’re favoring one, you may be missing some of the important nuances of a fragrance,” says Ron. Once I’ve mastered the strip sniffing, I’m ready to hear about colors and emotions and how crucial they are to appreciating perfume. The perfumer’s job, Ron says, is to create something people feel a connection to—a connection that’s often quite hard to articulate. “If you can talk about a scent emotionally, using colors and descriptive words, everyone can relate to it,” he explains. 

To drive this point home, Ron gives me a scent strip that he’s just spritzed, then tells me to close my eyes and visualize the colors I smell. It feels a little kooky, like I’m trying to read someone’s aura, but I take a stab. I detect something a little airy and slightly floral. “Green, blue, orange,” I tell him. When I open my eyes, Ron is holding a print of a Monet painting that features a lush outdoor scene with a garden—and the colors I’ve just named. He’s impressed. “You’re really in touch with your intuition,” he says. I feel myself beam with pride. 

Three more Monet prints are placed in front of me: a misty river scene, water lilies in a green-blue pond, and what looks like an orangy sunset reflected in water. I look at the photos, smell three new blotters as I’ve been taught, and place the strips where I think they match. I put the light, fresh scent with the river; the almost-verdant fragrance with the water lilies; and the woodsy, spicy aroma with the sunset. My score: three for three. 

Then Ron shows me three photographs: a shirtless man doing laundry, a woman holding a laughing baby, another woman ready for a night on the town. He asks me to smell two fragrances and match them with the pictures. The first reminds me of detergent and something clean. Easy: the laundry guy. The second smells of baby powder. Even easier. The point, Ron says, is to get me thinking about scent in a more emotional way. It’s not just about smelling good; it’s about choosing fragrance that conjures specific images and feelings. 

These exercises are like circuit training for my nose and brain: I started on the treadmill and advanced to the StairMaster, and now it’s my turn on the stationary bike. Ron tells me that fragrance makers often pull from as many as 1,500 ingredients to create one scent. But he restricts himself to about 300. “In my perspective, less is more elegant,” he says. Some notes, he says, are more intense or immediately recognizable; others take longer to develop—the perfumer strikes a balance between them, depending on his vision for a scent. With a keen emotional understanding of scent, he can also select notes that help evoke a feeling or a state of being. “Recently, a major fragrance brand wanted me to replicate a specific evening,” Ron says. “The client told me about a cold, wet November night when it started snowing and you could see the moon sparkle. She wanted to create that evening and the sentiment that went with it in a smell.” 

Suddenly, I understand. A perfumer isn’t simply combining smells and ingredients in a pleasing way. He’s telling stories, using scent to evoke scenes and feelings. 

Armed with my newly sharpened olfactory skills, I take myself to Sephora to attempt to find a perfume I can experience, rather than just like. With eyes shut, I try something slightly reminiscent of a stable, though not unpleasantly so. I pick up the aroma of leather and dirt, so it’s no shock when I examine the bottle and see that the scent is from Hermès, a brand known for its equestrian heritage. 

I move down the aisle and pick up a clear, nondescript flacon by Dolce & Gabbana. I reach for a scent strip, give it a spritz, close my eyes, and suddenly envision myself taking off on a flight to somewhere warm; it smells like fresh air and clouds and makes me feel excited and optimistic. I realize in one deep inhale that this is what Ron and my friends were talking about: perfume’s ability to transport and transform. I promise myself that when I get paid for writing this story, I’ll come back and buy this vacation in a bottle. Ah, the sweet smell of enlightenment. 

Customizable Fragrance 
Fill out perfumer Sue Phillips’s questionnaire (“What is your favorite fabric?” “What do you prefer to drink?”), and she’ll create a special scent based on your answers. Sue Phillips House of Fragrance by Scenterprises Luxury Perfumes ($85 to $145; scenterprises.com

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/fashion_and_beauty/how-to-appreciate-the-power-of-perfume#ixzz5Dx3Jes5y






Continue Reading

Brooklyn’s Power Women shine at annual gala

brooklyn reporter logo


BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Corazon Aguirre and Arthur De Gaeta
Brooklyn’s Power Women shine at annual gala

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Outside, the rain was already coming down but inside El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin the stars were shining brightly during Schneps Communications’ annual tribute to the Power Women of Brooklyn, women who have made their mark in business and the community.

sue phillipsJust in time for Women’s History Month, the awards and networking event, held March 1 at the 5945 Strickland Avenue venue, highlighted 40 amazing women from the borough, including Orly Amor, Business Coach for Public Speakers, Orly Amor Enterprises; Dorothea Avery, Co-Founder & Principal, Node; Joan Bakiriddin, Business Systems Training Manager, Elsevier Inc.; Khadine Barakat, CEO, Vedette Beauty & Skin Care; Dr. Rekha Bhandari, Chief Medical Officer, the Allure Group; Grace M. Borrino, Esq., Partner, Abrams & Fensterman; Irina Botvinnik, Premier Banker, Flushing Bank; Kim Capone, Owner/CEO, Lu Bella Boutiques; Laura DePalma, Producer and Supervising Editor, DeSales Media; Dr. Monalisa Ferrari, CEO, Ferrari and Associates International, LLC; Jessica Gargano, Owner/CEO, Sugar Coated Bakery; Rayma Garraway, CEO, Never Happier Inc.; Karisma Jay, Executive Artistic Director/ Founder, AbunDance Academy of the Arts, Inc.; Loretta Y. Jones, Second Vice Chair to the Board of Director, Municipal Credit Union; Theresa Grillo-Landy, General Manager, St. Joseph Chapel & Columbarium; Sharon Devonish Leid, CEO, NetStrucPR; Alfonsina Vendra Messina, CEO, Lady Lair By AVM; Grace Mo, Co-Founder, Dorcas Ministries; LaZetta Duncan-Moore, CEO, Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center Inc.; Maria Nitti, Owner/CEO, Isabella’s Creations, Operation Birthday Party.Org; Tonya Ores, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Brooklyn CDC, Inc.; Ann Marie Perrotto, President, Christopher’s Reason; Alexandra Pina, Project Manager, Programming, DeSales Media; Melissa Powell, Chief Operating Officer, the Allure Group; Jocelynne Rainey, Chief Administration Officer and SVP, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation; Margaret M. Stanton, Esq., President, Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, Law Office of Margaret M. Stanton; Xiomara Wallace, Assistant Director, Community Affairs & Intergovernmental Relations, NYC Health + Hospitals | Kings County; Katie Wu, Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker, Keller Williams Realty Empire; and Linda Zou, VP, Business Relationship Manager III, JP Morgan Chase Bank.

In addition, several women received special awards. They were Woman of the Year Lisa Evers, TV News Reporter and Talk Show Host, Fox 5 News; Empire State Bank Exceptional Woman Award for Community Service Linda Carlton, Guild for Exceptional Children; Health Hero Karen Burke, MD, Ph.D, Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine; Outstanding Service to the Community Cecilia Clarke, President and CEO

Brooklyn Community Foundation; Innovator of the Year Sue Phillips, President and CEO, Scenterprises; Entertainer of the Year Cristina Fontanelli, Award-Winning Singer and PBS-TV Host; Dynamic Duo Angella Cavallo and Tara Toye, OLGCA / Horizons Dance Center; and Rockstar of the Year Deborah B. Curtis, VP, Global Partnerships and Experiential Marketing, American Express Company.

Also, three women were inducted into the Hall of Fame. They were Ana Oliveira, SVP, Market Executive, Investors Bank; Karen DiTolla, Principal, Mark Twain Intermediate School; and Michelle Rosa-Patruno, Mortgage Banker, United Mortgage Corp.

The event was started after Schneps Communications founder Victoria Schneps attended an awards event at which the dais was filled with all male honorees. She decided then and there that she would change the equation, and began holding awards ceremonies that recognized women’s achievements.

This year’s group of honorees, Schneps said, was “spectacular. They will shine tonight,” she told the crowd, “as they walk the red carpet.”

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams agreed. Stopping by to congratulate the honorees, Williams noted, with a twinkle, “The best thing a man can do is step aside and let the women do the job.”

Like previous ones, this year’s celebration of the borough’s Power Women was “amazing,” said Oliviera, who praised it for “showcasing how far the women of Brooklyn have gone,” which is especially important, she said, “In today’s world, giving inspiration to future young professionals.”

Bakiriddin concurred. “The event is phenomenal,” she said. “The mere title — Power Women. Women have to be strong. It doesn’t matter where you place a woman, she is the reinforcing cement, the foundation.”

Ores focused also on the empowering aspect of the event. “At this time, especially,” she stressed, “during the #MeToo movement, people are starting to pay attention. We are a force to be reckoned with and it’s good to be recognized as an essential part of the community.”

Organizations that participated in the business expo that preceded the awards ceremony were also pleased.

“It’s a great opportunity for the diocese,” said Craig Tubiolo, director of programming and production for the DeSales Media Group, the communications arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens. “We love being out here with the people, creating relationships and supporting the diocese, the borough and Vicki.”

“We’re very excited to support the event,” agreed Roni Shoyfer, retail district manager at Investors Bank. “It gives us a platform to get to know people, and for people to get to know us, which is the purpose of a networking event.”

During the event, a raffle raised $2,000 for the Brooklyn Community Foundation, a not-for-profit group in the borough that, according to its website, “seeks to mobilize people, capital, and expertise for a fair and just Brooklyn.”

The sponsors of the event were Empire State Bank, the Allure Group, Investors Bank, Flushing Bank, DeSales Media Group, MCU Municipal Credit Union, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Chase, Medcast Plus, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and American Express.

The exhibitors at the business expo were the Allure Group, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Brooklyn Navy Yard, DeSales Media, Empire State Bank, Flushing Bank, INternational Business Coach Orly Amor, Investors Bank, Isabella’s Creations, Lady Lair by AVM, Never Happier Inc., Scenterprises, St. Joseph’s Chapel and Columbarium and Touchstone Jewelry.

Read the article online here: Brooklynreporter.com

Continue Reading

Scent Branding for Retail

commercial observer logoRetail Details: The Dollars & Scents of Giving a Store an Aroma

Unpacking the power of scent in retail

Exquisite bottles

Exquisite bottles at The Scentarium NYC

In the swimwear department of big retailers like Bloomingdales, the smell of coconut gently envelopes the customers so they’ll already envision themselves on vacation, as Douglas Elliman’s Faith Hope Consolo told Commercial Observer. Basking in the comforting smells, customers linger, return and spend.

But we should let these two pros explain why giving a store its own unique aroma has become more in demand, and why it can keep shoppers in stores longer.

Read the article online here: commercialobserver.com

Continue Reading

8 Fragrance Trends Experts Say Will Be Big in 2018

Here are eight eye-opening perfume trends experts say to keep an eye on this year

by Courtney Leiva
20 ml Sue Phillips Black atomizer with gold sachet

20 ml Sue Phillips Black atomizer with gold sachet

Sparkling citruses are popular notes this season Although citrus is practically a spring fragrance mainstay, Scenterprises CEO Sue Phillips says that citruses will get brighter and more sparkling this year, as uplifting notes of lemon, lime, bergamot, neroli (the fragrant flowers of the bitter orange tree) and grapefruit are gaining traction. Citrus blends with earthy notes (think grass or moss) are also buzzworthy this spring, as Phillips says it helps gives a fragrance a sexy and unique finish. “There is nothing that reflects the scent of spring more than the invigorating, fresh, sprightly wake-up, sporty, crisp, natural, newly mown fresh-cut grass and the lovely scent of spring blossoms, after rain,” she says.

To give your citruses a major twist this spring, try indulging in Sue Phillips Sparkling Citrus Perfume, $75-$125, as it delivers a vibrant spin on the usual go-to fragrances of springtime.

Read more at http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/slideshows/fragrance-trends-2018-180306/page2#hO2GT0rSCzxRK55D.99

Read the article on-line here – www.beauty.com

Continue Reading

Innnovator of the Year 2018 – Sue Phillips


Sue Phillips to Receive Schnepps Communications’ Power Women in Business Innovator of The Year Award

NEW YORK, NY February 8, 2017:  & The Scentarium, a bespoke perfumery in Tribeca, is being awarded Innovator of the Year at The 28th Annual Power Women in Business Event on Thursday, March 1st at El Caribe in Brooklyn New York from 6-9 PM. This Event celebrates some of the most influential and notable individuals in Business, honoring them for their continued success and achievements. As Innovator of the Year, Sue Phillips has spearheaded fragrance and brand partnerships and initiatives with some of the largest businesses in the world such as Lincoln, Goldman Sachs, and The Ritz Carlton.

About Sue Phillips

Phillips has extensive experience consulting with brands, helping them create their own perfumes, and has worked for leading fragrance companies, holding executive positions such as Elizabeth Arden, Lancôme Paris, and Tiffany & Co. As Vice President of Tiffany & Co, she created “Tiffany,” and “Tiffany for Men,” and as General Manager for Royal Brands she created “Society” by Burberry, and “Burberry for Men” fragrances. Sue also developed the original three eponymous Trish McEvoy fragrances, and has developed brands for Avon, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lancaster and many other fragrance initiatives. She has appeared on HSN and TV discussing fragrance trends, and is a leading fragrance expert and adjunct Professor at LIM College. Sue has worked with researchers and Professor Rudy Tanzi at Harvard Medical School on the role of scent in memory, attraction, and emotions in individuals.


About The Scentarium

Sue Phillips created The Scentarium in TriBeCa in 2014 as a luxurious perfumery and ‘oasis’ in the heart of the city, where you can create your own scent. Sue walks you through the entire perfume-making process, from taking her olfactory personality quiz to guiding you on a fragrance journey to discover original and exquisite scents, to help you create the perfect “bespoke” scent for you.

The Scentarium has been visited by A-list stars and celebrities including Jamie Foxx, Katie Holmes, Won-G Bruno, Zendaya, Susan Sarandon, Dirk Nowitzki, Lisa Vanderpump, and Fortune 500 Clients. Recently featured in The New York Times and O Magazine, Sue Phillips maintains her reputation by providing personalized attention and delightful scents to anyone seeking a unique and memorable experience, for all of her guests and clientele.

The Scentarium with celebrities and sue phillips

Media Inquiries: Tammy Fellus tammy@heraldpr.com and Jillian Mushman jillian@heraldpr.com


Continue Reading

Schneps Communications Events invites you to an Evening Honoring Power Women in Business.

Schneps Communications Events invites you to an Evening Honoring Power Women in Business. 

Come and join us for a Scentertaining evening honoring women in business and starring Sue Phillips – Scentrepreneur and President & CEO of Scenterprises™.
Sue is an industry leader – having pioneered the concept of custom scents – empowering thousands of individuals to create their very own personalized scents which express their individuality and lifestyle.
Sue will also touch on the subject of scent as a branding tool for your business and or brand – how to embrace your customers with the enticing aromas of a beautiful perfume that reflects your company’s philosophy and brand identity.
Whether you’re in fashion, retail, entertainment, event planning or any other type of business, perfume can be a powerful marketing tool to increase your brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Sue has been nominated for a Power Women in Business Award by Schneps Communications and has a career spanning many years in high profile companies and is recognised as one of the world’s foremost Fragrance Experts.
Tickets are available at:
$175 each
$200 at the door
$1650 for a table of 10
$1800 for a table of 12
To book contact:
CALL LORI ON: 718-238-6600 X110

Continue Reading

Custom Fragrances with The Scentarium and Sue Phillips by Dapper Confidential

Custom Fragrances with The Scentarium and Sue Phillips

As I descended into The Scentarium in Tribeca on a rainy Friday evening, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect for my “sensory journey”. However, after two hours in a sumptuous perfumery, I left with my own custom fragrance and had learned about the history of scent itself with one of New York City’s most fascinating women, Sue Phillips.

Sue, a South African former singer, actress, and Head of Marketing for Tiffany & Co. has created the first ever custom fragrance studio in the iconic Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan. With tufted leather couches, beautiful glass vials, and books that inspire her, Sue’s entire studio was a sensory experience. The Scentarium is all about customization and personalization, Sue took me through my scent personality quiz which helped me identify which scent families I preferred the most. I smelled over 17 different scent blends from The Four scent families to explore my own unique olfactory palette. Sue is a well of deep knowledge on the history of scent; teaching me the origin of the word perfume, which is derived from the Latin word, “per fumus,” meaning “through smoke”, to how the iconic fragrance, Chanel No. 5, came to be (hint: it was an accident).

I preferred the Woodsy, Animalic, and Amber scent families the most and from there Sue helped me blend my own custom scent. The 4 scent blends I chose for my fragrance were Balsamic Vanilla, Mellow Musk, Smooth Amber, and Tonic Sport. Once you select your 3-4 scents, Sue gets to work blending your custom scent right in front of you! While she does that, you get to name your custom scent which is both fun and nerve-racking! My fragrance brought back memories of the small mountain resort town in the Rocky Mountains I used to visit every winter growing up named McCall, and my scent name was born.

Armed with a name for my scent, Sue presented me with my fragrance in a matte black atomizer and velvet satchel. I learned the top notes in my fragrance were sporty, fresh juniper with herbal tonic and bergamot. The other 3 blends of Mellow Musk, Smooth Amber and Balsamic Vanilla built my middle and base notes which provided woody, sweet & creamy notes without being overly cloying. Because of the high quality of the perfumes at The Scentarium, the scents are rich and long-lasting. Since wearing my custom scent, I’ve gotten so many compliments and I can’t sing Sue’s praises enough!

A trip to The Scentarium with Sue makes for a luxurious gift for you or a significant other. Sue’s clients include Jamie Foxx, who crafted a custom scent for Katie Holmes birthday, Zendaya, and Action Bronson to name a few! I absolutely love my scent and can’t wait to head back to The Scentarium to spend more time with Sue and blend more custom fragrances!

To learn more about The Scentarium or book your own sensory experience, visit their website.

Read the article in Dapper Confidential

Continue Reading

The Bride Wore Satin and a Woodsy Scent



Is love in the air or is that a personalized wedding perfume?

For some brides and grooms the answer is yes to both. In a quest to make their weddings even more memorable and distinctive, they are ordering up custom fragrances to wear on their big day, hoping to leave an aromatic impression with their guests and new spouse.

“Once a memory association is created from a scent — and is then connected with a person, place and event — it’s hard to associate it with something else,” said Dr. Pamela Dalton, an olfactory scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

“People are recognizing how useful it can be in recreating and triggering these emotionally potent events, and they want to do it with something that bonds them in a meaningful way to that experience.”

Just as no two weddings are exactly alike, neither are bespoke perfumes and colognes, with prices varying widely. Brides and grooms can each have their own fragrances created or opt for one designated scent. The cost can range from $90 to $35,000, depending on the ingredients used and services provided. One can have a therapy-like experience to discover your scent, or merely answer a handful of questions. Some sessions are one-time consultations, others are multiple meetings.

Several businesses offer individualized formulations that will be kept on file and the couple is given the honor of naming their fragrance. 




Sue Phillips, the chief executive and founder of the Scentarium, in New York. (CreditPeter Koluff)


Sue Phillips, the chief executive and founder of the Scentarium, a perfumery in TriBeCa, says business has tripled from last year, with same-sex couples making up about half her clientele.

“The 90-minutes experience is about personalization and authentically reflecting who they are,” she said. “It’s how do you want that fragrance to reflect what someone feels on that special day?”

Clients are first asked to fill out a short questionnaire. Among the questions: Describe your dream house. What kinds of foods do you like? What is your favorite season? Ms. Phillips then places clients in one of four fragrance families: fresh, floral, woodsy or Oriental.

She has already created 18 fully blended perfumes, which showcase a full fragrance palette. Each is smelled, and placed in order of preference. Then the top choices are combined together. “I’m looking to create a complete character, something smooth and consistent with no jagged edges,” she added. “I don’t want one particular note jumping out over another.”

Cost: $125 for an 20- milliliter atomizer scenterprises.com


Read the article on the NYTimes.com

Continue Reading


South African native and world-renowned fragrance expert Sue Phillips took BeautyMatter on a scentsational journey in her TriBeCa space, The Scentarium. As we descended the stairs we were amazed by the vast collection of beautiful paintings, perfume bottles, books, and wooden furniture that filled the room. It was as if we had been transported to a Parisian perfumer’s creative workplace—every item in The Scentarium has a story. But what intrigued us the most was the self-made scentpreneurial woman who took us on a multisensorial voyage while simultaneously giving us an in-depth history lesson on the fragrance category. Below are our questions for Sue Phillips, and her illuminating responses:

One Of Your First Jobs Was Working As A Fine Fragrance Trainer For Elizabeth Arden In 1978. Can You Describe What The Fragrance Landscape Looked Like At This Time?

My first foray into the fragrance industry was with Elizabeth Arden in 1978 and the beautiful CHLOE fragrance with the bottle design inspired by the Calla Lilly. Karl Lagerfeld was the master designer for the House of Chloe and the fragrance was complex, beautiful, sophisticated, feminine with tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, bergamot, jasmine, narcissus, and Orris root at the heart of this distinctive perfume. After my orientation at retail stores to learn about “sales,”  I was promoted to National Training Director for the designer fragrance division, and at that time the European designer “wars” were in full force with Chloe, Chanel (of course), Shalimar, Calèche, Calandre, Lanvin, and Givenchy perfumes.

Arden promoted the perfume brands under their “designer” division Parfums Lagerfeld which also included Lagerfeld for Men. My job as National Trainer was to train, “motivate” and “inspire” the fragrance consultants behind the counters to understand, love, and to sell the perfumes from the House of Chloe. With all the European designer fragrances on the market, we had to differentiate our training, and I always created a memorable MOOD and a CHLOE “ambience” with lovely music, beautiful peach color displays (to match the packaging design), and gave everyone an overview about the world of fashion and fragrance from Karl Lagerfeld and the House of Chloe. When the consultants left our training breakfasts and cocktail parties, they were so psyched that they couldn’t wait to get back to their counters to impart their newly found knowledge to their clients. They were so motivated and inspired about the “world of Chloe” and we noticed an increase in sales thereafter. What I discovered then was that in order to stimulate sales, it was important to tell a fragrance story and to weave an interactive experience about the connection between fashion and fragrance.

Also in the 1970s, American designers, not to be outdone, launched their own perfumes: Oscar by Oscar de la Renta, Halston, Charlie (named after Charles Revson, originally launched to compete with Estée, a fragrance released by Estée Lauder). The rivalry was fierce and all the perfumes were distinctive, bold, filled with distinct character, and appealed to women who relished their femininity.

The ’80s Gave Rise To Opulent And Bold Fragrances Such As Opium And Poison That Reflected The Fashion And Lifestyle Of This Era (E.G., Power-Shoulder Scents). How Do Time Periods Impact The Evolution Of Fragrance?

The opulence and exuberance and state of the economy of the 1980s was reflected in perfumes. Everything was bold, sumptuous, opulent, wealthy, extravagant and uber luxe, from big hair to big shoulders (remember Dynasty and the wealthy families who feuded over their fortunes and their children?). Conspicuous consumption, designer clothes (Louis Vuitton’s iconic LV Logo bag), excess, sex, drugs were all reflected in the social, political, and economic morés of the time, and distinctive fragrances like Opium (heavy spicy oriental); Poison (strong bold blackcurrant); Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion (the first “celebrity” scent—strong floral oriental), Obsession (spicy, oriental) were the rule of the day. Giorgio Beverly Hills was an American brand founded by Fred and Gayle Hayman. Named after the luxury boutique whose sunny yellow- and white-striped awning inspired the perfume’s packaging, the fragrance of the same name would go on to become one of the most iconic fragrances of the 1980s. The fragrance was so distinctive, recognizable, and sought after but was actually banned in restaurants because it was so overpowering!

The ’90s went through a period of retrenchment and rethinking in art, fashion, perfume and economy—the value of everything was being questioned. The psychology of the ’80s was excess; in the ’90s it was about reduction and conservatism. Ozonic, watery, discreet fragrances were emerging as a reversal from the luxurious ’80s, as consumers were now disregarding their extravagant designer duds, logos, and flashy jewelry. The first of these was L’Eau d’Issey, launched in 1992, which reflected “the pure scent of water.” How original to create a fragrance which embodied a perfume that was “as clear as spring water” combining a waterfall, fragrance flowers, and the scent of springtime! It symbolized timelessness, purity, and movement. Its sparkling “watery,” airy, fragrance, with its floral, fresh, and woody notes, was a revolution after the bold fragrances of the ’80s.

You Eventually Became VP Of Marketing At Tiffany & Co In 1987. What Was Your Creative Process In Developing New Fragrances For Tiffany? How Does It Differ From Your Process Today?

Launching the Tiffany perfume was both a surprise and a dream come true. If you would have told me growing up in South Africa, that I would one day develop and launch the Tiffany perfume as VP Fragrance Marketing, I would never have believed it! I had been at Arden for 6 years (in Training, Product Development, and Marketing), then to Lancôme as Marketing Director for Fragrance and Men’s Skincare) and then I was hired by Tiffany & Co to develop and launch their new perfume for their 150th anniversary.

At the time several submissions had been developed and were contenders for the launch. When I arrived as VP Marketing, I felt that some of the contenders did not reflect the quality, originality, and heritage that Tiffany embodied as a brand. Tiffany had signed a joint venture with Chanel, and in order to create a fragrance that reflected all the hallmarks of Tiffany, I was given the mission to develop the fragrance with Chanel’s chief perfumer Jacques Polge in Paris, and ultimately the fragrance we created was original, luxurious superb quality, feminine, distinctive with a heady floral impression of tuberose, jasmine, and orange flowers.

In order to enlist and engage the comments from Tiffany clientele, I felt it was important to conduct a qualitative and quantitative market research focus group for the final 3 submissions, and also to be fair to the fragrance houses who had spent so much time developing their submissions. We invited Tiffany customers to participate in a focus group to evaluate the new Tiffany perfume and they were so delighted to be part of the process. Ultimately, the results concluded that the submission that Jacques created was the leading candidate. That particular research process was very unusual, but I felt that instead of a focus group with anonymous participants, it was important to involve the Tiffany clientele. This particular strategy was effective and conclusive, and the fragrance was launched and exceeded sales expectations in the first full year.

In The ’90s, Calvin Klein Became The First Brand To Release A Unisex Fragrance, CK One. How Did This All-For-One, One-For-All Scent Impact The Industry?

CK One was the first brand to be positioned and marketed as a “unisex” fragrance and followed the “ozonic, airy” direction of the Issey Miyake fragrance which was launched in 1992. The popularity of the Japanese designer fragrance did not go unnoticed by the American designer Calvin Klein, who realized that a citrus aromatic fragrance for women and men would tap into that “dual” audience, unisex market, after his 1980s dance with Obsession and Sex. CK One was launched in 1994 and was the fragrance that projected the current socio and economic trends—a retrenchment from the bold excesses of the ’80s.

Snowballing Off The Above Question, Many Of Today’s Niche Fragrances Have Unisex Positioning. Do You Think Fragrances Are Gender Specific Or Is This The Result Of How Fragrance Was Traditionally Marketed?

Fragrances, perfumes, colognes are completely different, although many men, unknowingly, use them interchangeably. Men typically have used after shave, which has less perfume oil and more alcohol giving a bracing, stinging sensation. By adding soothing, cooling ingredients such as aloe vera to help soothe the skin after a shave, this also acts as an astringent to “close” the pores, and therefore the fragrance is not very long-lasting. Cologne was saved for special occasions, as the fragrance concentration was higher in cologne and, after shaving, a man would spray a little cologne on his neck.

Perfume is used mostly for women, whereas Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette were used by both genders, and cologne referred to men’s fragrances. Lately the definitions have become slightly blurred. Many times, a fragrance house will call an Eau de Toilette fragrance a cologne. Nine times out of ten, in men’s fragrance a cologne will be of EDT strength. The difference in all of these terms  is merely the strength and concentration of fragrance oil as a percentage to water and alcohol.

You Mentioned That Today More And More Men Are Using The Word Perfume Instead Of The Traditional Masculine Word Cologne. Why Do You Think This Shift Is Happening? And What Do You Think It Indicates For The Category?

It is interesting that many men contact us and say they want to create their own “perfume.” Millennials particularly refer to “perfume.” More and more companies are offering a selection of concentrations, whereas previously, men’s fragrances were available only in the EDT or EDC strengths. However, in recent years, some finer men’s scents have been offered in Eau de Parfum and even extraît de parfum concentrations. More and more men are now requesting “perfume” for themselves and I always explain that the difference lies in the strength of the concentration.

Within The Past Decade, We’ve Seen A Move Away From Signature Celebrity Scents And Toward Niche As The Segment Driving The Fragrance Market. Why Do You Think This Shift Occurred And What Does It Mean For The Future Of The Category?

Yes, there has been a proliferation of celebrity scents since the ’80s, and in 2015 WWD commented: “The (Un)Death of Celebrity Fragrance. The American beauty industry’s 13-year love affair with celebrity fragrance is turning sour.” The business wilts as the field of new entries narrows.

Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds is still selling, but not every celebrity scent has been successful. Why? Too many celebrities jumped on the celebrity fragrance bandwagon, launching fragrances at the rapid pace of 18 fragrances over a decade (Jennifer Lopez); and Paris Hilton with 24 perfumes—the earliest edition was created in 2005 and the newest is from 2017; Britney Spears has 23 perfumes—the earliest edition was created in 2004 and the newest is from 2017. Rihanna has 10 perfumes—her earliest edition was created in 2010 and the newest is from 2017. Justin Bieber, who now calls himself a “Designer,” is a new fragrance brand with 7 perfumes. The earliest edition was created in 2011 and the newest in 2014. The consumer has become so confused with all the “me too”-type fragrances, and literally went back to their old favorites e.g., the classics: Chanel, Shalimar, etc., to avoid confusion.

Indeed, many of these celebrities racked up billions of dollars, but the bloom is off the rose in the USA. With the lower price points and many fragrances purportedly giving headaches and allergies, (because of lower-quality synthetics), consumers are looking for higher-end designer and artisanal brands, offering greater quality, and offering more originality, rather than following the “me too” trend of celebrity scents.

You Like To Take Fragrance Out Of The Bottle And Create Multisensorial Experiences, Yet Newer Brands Are Releasing Scents Exclusively Online. Do You Think E-Commerce Is A Feasible Approach To Fragrance Marketing?

The new metrics for commerce are “personalization,” “interactivity,” “multisensory,” “education,” and “entertainment,” or what I call “SCENTERTAINMENT®.” Retail is being challenged right now because e-commerce is so robust. Consumers are looking for transformational experiences and products that will help them connect with the brand. The interesting discovery is that consumers are realizing that they can create their own fragrance online by taking a Scent Personality quiz and then we analyze the results and actually select perfume blends and create a signature scent for someone whom we have never actually met. The response has been positive and fascinating. By taking our quiz, they are engaged in the process of self-discovery and they name their scent and we send it to them. Social media has helped as consumers are seeking authentic products, and if reviews are good, then the trust factor paves the groundwork for the purchase.

We Live In The Digital Age Where Changes Rapidly Transpire. How Do You Think Technology Has Impacted (And Will Impact) The Evolution Of Scent?

There are apps and devices offering digital fragrance “experiences,” and this will definitely accelerate in the future. For example, setting your alarm to wake up to your favorite scent; or when you go to the movies or watch TV to be able to experience scent in the theater; or even at your own TV or computer with a set-top box that diffuses scents based on software technology. It is the final sensory barrier to be conquered and I am confident that just the way consumers stream Netflix and their programs at will, we shall be able to have a subscription for fragrance diffusion in your home with your favorite TV shows.

With Your Depth Of Knowledge In The Category, What Do You Believe Has Been The Biggest Transformation To Occur Within The Fragrance Sector?

It’s all about personalization and customization. Millennials have paved the way for this as they don’t want to wear what everyone else wears. This demographic is confident in their own decisions, and they don’t follow the trends … they create them. Companies are now offering the consumer a personalized experience. We have been at the forefront of this for 7 years, and people asked me quizzically if we were doing ‘Tupperware parties” for perfume? It’s gone way beyond that. Major corporations are now presenting corporate and team-building events with fragrance—e.g. Lincoln Navigator, Zurich Financial—as they realize that there is a strong connection between fragrance and memory, and by incorporating a sensory strategy, it cements the brand to their consumer.

You Were Ahead Of The Times In Your Belief That The Future Of Fragrance Would Live In The Land Of Customization And Personalization. Using Your Crystal Ball, Where Do You See The Fragrance World Going? What Will It Look Like In The Decades To Come?

As we know, trends come and go, and at some point, customization and personalization will be saturated with everyone having their own unique fragrances. People want newness and, based on current socioeconomic, and political factors I believe that relevant social causes for fragrance initiatives will lead the way to create meaningful brands … e.g., social causes that resonate and link to a brand and that are meaningful and authentic. In the same way that Breast Cancer Awareness has been a cause that Avon and Estée Lauder have embraced, there are many problems in our society and consumers will gravitate towards brands that offer a difference and are compelling.

We know that some of the major social issues that are prevalent in the US will eventually be integrated with fragrance brands to make a difference. While some of these issues are the complete antithesis of “sexy,” it is my belief that the consumer of tomorrow will still want beautiful products and fragrances that will help raise awareness of issues and causes that are relevant. Going back to those early lessons about storytelling: if brands can tell a story to engage with consumers authentically, the sea change will occur, and we will be able to take fragrance out of the bottle and create magical fragrance brands and experiences for people … and by spraying, applying, dabbing, and spritzing, their purchases will help the cause—drop by drop!


Continue Reading

The Comeback of Unisex Fragrances in Scents – interview with Sue Phillips

But, was it really always like this? The short answer, according to perfumer Sue Phillips of The Scentarium, is She explains, “the trend towards different fragrances for men and women started in the US in the early ‘70s. In the ‘60s, the flower children wore musky and patchouli oils in an effort to “commune” with nature, but once the ‘70s rolled around, men wanted to smell ‘like men.’ This brought about the rise of bracing, refreshing, sporty scents. Around the same time, a trend towards woodsy, amber, and mossy fragrances for men had started in Cologne, Germany, and with it, the birth of the term “cologne.” Interestingly enough, this took particular hold in the US, while European men remained comfortable wearing a range of fragrances, including florals.” 

“Thankfully, the trends are changing now and more and more men are not really asking for cologne anymore. They actually use the word ‘perfume’,” explains Phillips.

Now, those trends are changing and we’re seeing more and more men, particularly millennials, wearing formulations that are light and floral. And the reverse has proven true, too, as women want to wear deeper, woodsy fragrances that have traditionally been viewed as men’s fragrances. 

Unisex Fragrances Created by Sue Philips

Scenterprises Ozonic Blend

This scent blends the refreshing breeziness of the ocean and the crisp mountain air with notes of mandarin, bergamot, and geranium. 

Scenterprises Tonic Sports 

The sportiness and exuberance emanating from the notes of bergamot, galbanum, juniper, geranium, lemon, coriander, and lavender will have you feeling invigorated from the moment you put it on.

Read the article in www.dapperconfidential.com

Continue Reading

Uncovering The Scent Of Yourself With Perfume Designer, Sue Phillips

Scentarium bottles

Your favorite perfume has the ability to turn your day around, evoke a memory and finish off a look.

But even your favorite perfume isn’t truly yours. That Dior, Chanel, Marc Jacobs in your bedroom – they’re made for the public – mass produced and widely distributed. While they’re wonderful – they’re not unique to you.

The Scentarium

Sue Phillips, who started her career with Elizabeth Arden, then went to Lancôme, and then on to Tiffany as VP of Marketing – having grown within the industry ranks – realized there was an opportunity to go out on her own and tailor scents to your liking. “Being in the industry, and being a woman in an industry predominantly run by men, I felt it was very important to make a statement and to start doing one on my own,” she says. “Now, customization is everywhere.”

We met with Phillips in her “Scentarium” where she walked us through her formulation techniques and how our personality quirks would come to define our custom scents.

The Scentarium

“For fragrance, much like in life, in food, in music, there’s a beginning, middle and an end,” she begins. “In food you have your appetizer, main course and dessert. In music, you have your overture, your main theme and your finale. In fragrance there’s a beginning, middle and end. So when you first spray a fragrance you smell the top note for the beginning and usually they’re the light, bright citrusy notes, and you can smell them from about 10-15 minutes on the skin. And then it mixes with your body chemistry and then come the middle notes: the florals, spicy and fruity. And then, after about two hours, the base notes begin to kick in and it should last for about 4-8 hours.”

The session with Phillips in her Scentarium (a magically-lit room filled with the potions, perfumes and scents of the world) is intended to be both engaging and educational, during which we build our perfume from beginning, to middle and end. We discover that the biggest difference between men and women’s fragrances is the base notes are much more prevalent and bolder in men’s. Where a woman’s fragrance is lighter, more floral letting the top agents do a lot of the work – the big base notes of men’s cologne define their scents.

Sue Phillips Scentrepreneur

She also informs us as we roam through her collection of bottles that one of the world’s most beloved perfumes – Chanel No.5 – was created entirely because of a perfumer’s mistake. Coco Chanel’s perfumer’s assistant, Jacques, put too much of the ingredient “aldehydic” (a powdery scent) in the perfume and with that, became the most profitable mistake in fragrance history. It will celebrate it’s hundredth anniversary in three years, and is still in the top ten best-selling scents every year.

“This is all about you and your DNA and what matches your personality” she says. 

Upon arrival, we take the scent quiz. “I do the scent quiz for several reasons,” she says. “It’s to determine your olfactive personality. It’s a lifestyle quiz: it has nothing to do with fragrance, I’ll be able to tell from the answer whether you like fresh, floral or oriental.” And that she does. After collating our answers she’s able to direct us in the path of our preferred flavors and intuitively points out what these answers mean for our taste profile. 

There lay 18 different perfumes with which she uses to create our scents. Each of them are individually hand-made by her with an array of flavours falling into eight different categories: citrus, fruity, oriental, ozonic, chypre, woodsy, lavender and musk.

Phillips’s title is that of Perfume Designer – rather than perfumer (which involves a little too much chemistry and not enough personal interaction for this entrepreneur), which means that she can deconstruct your favorite perfumes into these 18 different flavor profiles and explain them back to you. For this reason, she has been commissioned by an array of corporate companies for events that invite an audience to participate in perfume deconstruction or creation.

Using scent strips, we co-ordinate our formulas. She informs our decisions based on how robust or round the collection of aromas are to her. If our top note is too sweet, she adds a musk, if bottom is too spicy, she adds a lavender note, all while keeping in mind our tastes and likings from the quiz.

“Isn’t it amazing how out of these blends you can find something that totally fits your personality, and out of these 18 we can find millions of scents.” – Sue Phillips.

Phillips’s “Scentertaining” experience is really just that – a funw ay to understand what your nose likes and why it likes it. Your personality is fully reflective in the vial of liquid you walk away with.

It’s no wonder that her Scentarium has played host to guests such Katie Holmes, Zendaya and Jamie Foxx among others – this really is a most unique and fun experience for anyone that loves fragrance.

Read the article in www.swaay.com

Continue Reading

How a “Scentrepreneur” is Reinventing the Retail Experience

How do you ensure each shopper remembers her visit? What makes your brand stand out?

Sue Phillips, “Scentrepreneur” and founder and CEO of Scenterprises, has made it her job to answer these questions for fashion brands. Attended the Women’s Wear Daily CEO Summit, Phillips heard industry leaders discussing the issue in depth. And knew that she had the answer.

“Every single presenter was talking about experiences, interactivity, customization, personalization,” she said. “It was music to my ears because that’s what we do.”

A veteran of the beauty and fragrance industry, Phillips began her career at Elizabeth Arden conducting Beauty Training Seminars before joining Lancôme as Marketing Director of Fragrance. Next, Phillips joined Tiffany and Co. as Vice President of Fragrance Marketing to develop the house’s first iconic Tiffany perfume.

Phillips went on to launch perfumes for Burberry, Lagerfeld, Chloe, and Trish McEvoy. In 2008, observing the rise of celebrity fragrances, Phillips smelled the next great opportunity.

“I saw the saw that customization was going to happen. Today, it is the biggest trend in fragrance.”

(Learn more: Making Underwear an Experience – and Other Examples of Experiential Marketing)

“Sensploration” and Digital Natives

Experts in the retail industry believe the next big trend in consumer goods is “sensploration” – when brands take shoppers on a multi-sensory journey to create a stronger experience and a better emotional connection with the product. At a time when omnichannel retailers strive to deliver personalization on every channel, that connection is important.

Phillips delivers on both online and offline personalization by mixing individual perfumes for each and every client.

Clients can visit Scenterprises.com or the Scentarium, an appointment-only perfumery in New York, and  create custom fragrances by answering questions on Phillips’ carefully constructed “Scent Personality Quiz.”

18 fragrances to create your custom blend

The results of the quiz have been so accurate that, out of more than 20,000 personalized perfumes, only one has ever been returned.

“And that was because her name was Sean and we had made her blend lean more masculine,” Sue says with a smile, “But we fixed that and she was very pleased with it.”


“A Fragrant Oasis”

Sue Phillips Scentarium in Tribeca

But for Phillips and the lucky clients who’ve entered the New York City-based Scentarium, it’s the in-person “custom scent experiences” that takes personalization to the next level.

“Retail is not dead,” says Phillips, “It’s just going through a transition. Brands have to turn the ship around and start to offer experiences. It can’t just be transactional.”

Decades after her time as a beauty training director at Elizabeth Arden, Phillips has kept her best tactics and taken them to the next level.

“I always incorporated beautiful sensory aspects to my training seminars,” she explains. “I would set up my schools with lovely ambiance – lovely music and beautiful visuals. The idea was that the trainees would be so motivated by the beautiful ambiance that they’d be motivated to go out and sell. And that stayed with me.”

Outfitted with plush furniture, cozy fabrics, and eye-catching art, the Scentarium is a perfume-lover’s dream. Here, Phillips uses sensory strategies to sell custom fragrances. With Phillips herself leading most appointments and interviewing each client to get the right scent, it also builds brand loyalty through a unique, interactive and in-person experience.


A Journey Through Scent

Moving into 2018, Phillips is strategizing on how to expand Scenterprises.com as an e-commerce platform and bring the Scentarium, along with her expertise, to a larger audience.

Phillips plans to draw once again from her early days as a Training Director at Elizabeth Arden.

Sue Phillips Scentrepreneur mixing custom fragrances

“Now the question I get asked the most is, ‘How do you clone Sue?’” Phillips says with a smile. “But with my background in beauty training, we’re ready to expand. We’re so excited to be at the forefront of this amazing trend of interactive, personalized experiences.”

Omnichannel retailers of all sizes planning 2018 marketing campaigns can learn from the Scentrepreneur. While in-store and online experiences go hand-in-hand, brick-and-mortar can still engage customers in ways that the online experience, simply can’t. And if done well, the result is the sweet smell of success.

Read the article in Criteo.com here

Continue Reading

The 7 Trendiest Fragrances Everyone Will Be Wearing This Fall

 It’s officially time to haul your booties out from under the bed, drop off your favorite coat at the dry cleaner, wrap yourself up in a cozy scarf, and pick out a new fragrance to wear all season long. That’s why we enlisted the help of perfume gurus to detail the top Fall fragrance trends and dish on fresh launches to help you narrow down your (many) choices.

“Traditionally, Fall is a time when we want darker, woodsier, patchouli scents, reminding us of gatherings around the crackling fireplace, sipping brandy or mulled wine, and crisp mornings with glorious colors of foliage,” said Sue Phillips, a fragrance trend forecaster.

It’s true that scents tend to lean warmer in the colder months, but this isn’t a roundup of the same old stuff you see year after year. Both indie and mass perfumers have become increasingly clever and experimental with their scents, and the trends outlined ahead are proof of that.


Continue Reading


Hi Sue,

It is my goal to be different and right. I used to try to be different for the sake of being different, but I now realize that being different and wrong is just stupid and annoying (thanks, Meredith). In truth, there are few opportunities in life for most people to accomplish this in meaningful ways. John Paulson famously was different and right when he bet against the housing market and made a fortune. President Obama famously was both when he voted against the war in Iraq and used this platform to ultimately became President. 

Somehow (I don’t know how) I became curious about the multi-billion dollar perfume/cologne industry which is predicated on selling the same aspirational scent to everyone. Stick with me here. One simple way to be different and right is to wear a bespoke fragrance that is distinctive and smells great. People are spending their hard-earned dollars on flavored oils that will conjure images created by intensive marketing and advertising. I know if I wear Ralph Lauren Polo Red I will immediately be an 8 Chucker, or better the next time I play polo! Of course, if I wear Tom Ford I will have to fight back the waves of 10’s approaching me at the bar. However, I would go a step further, and say that for the man/woman who has everything, they need their own scent! In this week’s Loupe, I show you how to smell differently (in a good way) and smell right! 

You Nose

Waft Lab

If you don’t require the sniffer of a seasoned pro, then you can refine your tastes and produce a scent using the Waft Lab system. The website brings you through a series of questions to help you find your smell. They will ask is the scent for you, or is it a present. Deep thought: I think a present may be a bit much, as perfume/cologne is a very personal thing, despite the fact that it is naturally shared with everyone, the receiver may take the gift the wrong way (like buying someone a scale)! Then you narrow it down based on sex, orientation (masculine, feminine, or unisex), when you plan on wearing it (day or night), the activity you see yourself doing while wearing it (sport, socializing, work, etc.). They delve further into your mood, the potency, specific ingredients that you respond to, and then other colognes/perfume that you know you already like. The net result is a scent engineered just for you. You can even design the bottle and title the scent. There is some excitement and anticipation because you really don’t know what you are going to get, or whether you will like it. Of course, I named mine The Loupe! Next time you see me (if you do), feel free to comment on how I smell! 

You Don’t Nose

The Scentarium, by Sue Phillips
85 Franklin Street New York, NY 10013

Maybe determining your scent should be left to a professional since not everyone has a good sense of smell (like I do). It is also true that you may have a different association with the smell than most people do, and therefore you are sending a wrong signal to a friend, colleague, and/or loved one. In this case, you may want to take a visit to Sue Phillips, who may have invented the category of Bespoke Perfumes. She has worked at Elizabeth Arden, Tiffanys, and more. She has designed fragrances for A-listers who want (dare) to be different. Make an appointment and spend an hour in her laboratory in Tribeca. She will give you a quiz that will flush out the general category of scent that suits you. Then she will walk you through the various scents (16 in total), and you will sort through what you like. After which, you will combine 4-6 and make your very own scent. It is a fun process, and she will teach you the history of the scents (she was an adjunct professor), as well as various stories from the perfume world. In the end, you will have your very own fragrance, named, bottled and cataloged for future use! Perhaps, you have a brand that needs its own scent (like La Loupe), or maybe you want to walk into a room and everyone to know (via smell) that you are there! 

Let’s find ways to be different and right, starting with the way you smell. Consider challenging your olfactory system and the Waft Lab and The Scentarium by Sue Phillips Found!

The Loupe

Continue Reading

Why the idea that perfume is for women and cologne is for men is an archaic mindset

Published by 

Why the idea that perfume is for women and cologne is for men is an archaic mindset
A peek at some of Sue Phillips’ oils at her Scentarium in New York City.
Source: Sue Phillips
 Perfume is for women and cologne is for men — that, for many, is what we’ve been taught for most our lives. Walk through a department store and you will likely see strict gender lines. The colognes are in displays with male models or a heterosexual couple in deep embrace, with the cologne itself being stored in a black or industrial-looking bottle. Perfumes, meanwhile, are advertised with images of women or a couple that looks loving and sensual, with the perfume itself in a bottle that is white or pink or purple.

That’s just perfume marketing for you. But the truth is, cologne isn’t necessarily concocted to appeal to men, nor is it solely for men. The real difference between perfume and cologne is merely how the fragrances are formulated, and the concentration or amount of oils in the fragrance.

Sue Phillips’ Scentarium

Source: Sue Phillips

“How fragrances are made is that they get the essential oils, whether it be from flowers or plants or animals and so on. You extract the absolute oils from things like the rose, or the lemon or lavender,” Sue Phillips, a fragrance expert and the founder of Scenterprises, which specializes in custom perfume, said in an interview. “Once they take the oil, it is very heavy, it is like a solid perfume, like an olive oil texture. So they’ve felt they had to lighten it, and what they did was take the essential oil, then mix it with some alcohol and water, and that was the perfume.

What you call a fragrance, whether it’s perfume or eau de parfume or eau de toilette or eau de cologne, is entirely based on the ratio between fragrance oil and alcohol and water. Cologne, which was created in Germany in the 18th century, is the most diluted, with the least amount of fragrance oil in the formula (usually around 2 to 4%) and more alcohol and water, while perfume has the highest concentration of fragrance oil, at about 20 to 30%.

Sue Phillips

Source: Becky Yee

It’s just all about that equation, and nothing to do with even how a scent smells. A man can wear a perfume just as a much as a woman can wear a cologne. One is not inherently more attractive to men, or women.

So why does the perfume industry remain so gendered? Back in the 1700s, for example, Napoleon was known to wear an excess of perfume himself, which he’d use to cover up his natural and understandably strong body odor after months on the field.

According to Phillips, modern marketing had a big effect.

“American men were always seen slapping on cologne as an aftershave,” Phillips said. “In the mid to late 70s, when the perfume craze was happening for women, men felt they wanted to have some kind of fragrance. So cologne came to be known as, after you shave, you dab some cologne on. It wasn’t called perfume for men, it was cologne.”

Sue Phillips

Source: Becky Yee

Then with the celebrity perfume craze in the 1990s and early 2000s, male celebrities released colognes (not perfumes) as well.

“The trend over the past few years was that it was the designers, then the celebrities, and suddenly every celebrity had a fragrance,” Phillips said. “Men started to get grooming essentials, so they had aftershave, cologne, deodorant and so on.”

Perfume, meanwhile, was marketed with female celebrities, despite the only difference between the two kinds of fragrances being the amount of oil in them.

The Scentarium

Source: Maria Linnea

But Phillips feels a change happening. At her fragrance studio The Scentarium in New York City, which she’s had for the past seven years now and where she helps people create custom fragrances based on their preferences in scents, she sees men growing more comfortable using the word “perfume.”

“The word perfume used to only be for women, but now do you know how many men come to me and go, ‘I want to make my own perfume?’” Phillips said. “So the word perfume is now becoming more generic. It doesn’t apply to feminine anymore.”

And that, she thinks, comes from this particular generation’s obsession with self-expression, and reluctance to care about labels.

“The reason I think there’s less of a gender differentiation is this idea of selfies. The selfie syndrome is not just with iPhones and pictures, it’s also happening in the aspect of self-expression. That men and women can say, I want to create something for me that reflects what I am. I don’t care about the latest celebrity fragrance. People are really literally wanting to express who they are.”

And if who they are ends up being a man who wears a perfume, or a woman who wears a cologne, then so be it.

Continue Reading

SUE PHILLIPS – What is the core message of the fragrance?

SUE PHILLIPS (PRESIDENT AND CEO, SCENTERPRISES): “What is the core value? What is the core message of the fragrance?”

Sue Phillips - CEO of Scenterprises




“The first thing you have to figure out is, ‘What is the core value?…What is the core message of the fragrance?…Whatever that core essence is.’” That is the first thing that Sue Phillips considers when designing a fragrance. Sue is crystal clear about her core essence. She is the queen of scent. Her company is “Scenterprises.” She calls herself a “scentrepreneur.” She offers “scentertaining” experiences. She even signs her emails, “Scentfully Yours.” Sue is all in. And she has a serious and illustrious pedigree that anchors her playful branding. Sue’s iconic fragrance creations include fragrances for TIFFANY & CO (Tiffany for Women, Tiffany for Men), and BURBERRY (Society by Burberry for Women and Society by Burberry for Men). Sue has also spearheaded key fragrance initiatives for AvonDiane Von Furstenberg, Lancaster and Trish McEvoy.

Sue Phillips Fragrance expert

We meet at Sue’s perfumery in TriBeca, New York: The Scentarium. Our interview starts a little later than planned as Sue wraps up some urgent meetings. “I am extremely time-challenged and put in a great many hours in the day. However, I am totally passionate about what I do, and I’m forging all kinds of alliances to build a team around me,” she would later say. We descend a flight of stairs to an elaborately adorned salon. This is the space where Sue has worked with notable celebrities to design their custom fragrances. Her client roster includes Jamie FoxxKatie HolmesZendaya and many other entertainment and media personalities.  So, how did this all begin?

“As a little girl, when my mom would kiss me goodnight, her perfume would linger. And I would always remember her leaving, and her fragrance was in the air. I always felt comforted by that,” Sue says. “I always loved perfume but never thought that I’d be in the fragrance industry. I always wanted to be a singer and an actress. I was singing and acting in South Africa. Moved to New York in my very early 20s,” she adds. Sue came to New York on vacation and fell in love with the city. She worked with an immigration attorney and over time secured a green card. Sue obtained three job offers: one at a bank, the second at a design company, and the third was in cosmetics at Elizabeth Arden. She took the job with Elizabeth Arden to be the executive assistant to the President of the company

Sue Phillips at the Scentarium

“When I got the position at Elizabeth Arden, I thought, ‘That’s very similar to showbiz, as the idea of cosmetics is very akin to showbiz!,’” she says. “Because of my acting background, I was able to speak and make presentations to people, so the management at Arden felt that I’d be good in training. And I said, ‘What’s training?’ They wanted someone who could inspire and motivate the consultants who were selling behind the counter. Teach them…about the product…and how to sell. …I ended up at Macy’s for 3 months as an orientation to learn about retail and motivating consultants. It was the best training I ever had because it teaches you to never judge a book by its cover. Never think that just because someone isn’t well dressed that they don’t have the money to spend. Or that if someone is well dressed they will shower you with thousands of dollars. It was a way of understanding who your customer is and talking to your customer in a thoughtful and compelling way,” Sue adds. She rose the ranks to become the national training director at Elizabeth Arden, and then in a sequence of promotions, moved on to Marketing in Color Cosmetics, and then later to Marketing Director for Fragrances.

After 6 years at Elizabeth Arden, Sue received a call from Lancôme. The president at Elizabeth Arden was not at all pleased to be losing his rising star. “I said to him, ‘Joe, I started at this company as your executive assistant. I will always be remembered as your executive assistant and will never be fully integrated into this company as a senior executive.’ And he agreed with me,” Sue says. She was at Lancôme for 4 years before receiving a call from another head hunter to be vice president of fragrance at Tiffany.

Sue Phillips Scentrepreneur

It was while at Tiffany that Sue developed the iconic Tiffany fragrances. But not until making some initial major strategic changes. When Sue joined Tiffany, the team there had been working with two independent consultants to develop the Tiffany fragrance. The entire process had been going on for two years. When Sue tested the fragrance prototypes, she realized that they were “awful.” “They seemed synthetic and chemical. They didn’t typify or represent any of the hallmarks of the quality of what a Tiffany fragrance should be,” Sue says. It was a difficult starting position at a new job but she proceeded with a politician’s prowess. Sue reached out to industry veterans and asked for their candid feedback on the fragrances that were under development. These well respected, industry hands sided with Sue. Armed with this data, Sue approached her future boss before her first day on the job and diplomatically told her what she thought about the fragrances. Her future boss marched Sue to the chairman of Tiffany & Co, “‘Sue doesn’t think the fragrances that we’ve been working on over the past two years are good enough,’ my new boss told the chairman. The chairman goes, ‘Well, we hired her to fix it. Go fix it!’” Sue says laughing.

But how would Sue handle the fact that there would be displeased consultants and a new team to deal with? A team that had spent two years designing the previous Tiffany prototypes? At that time, Tiffany was in a joint venture with Chanelwho would be manufacturing and distributing the fragrance, and so Sue set up a meeting with the owner of Chanel, Alain Wertheimer, who tried the original submissions and agreed with Sue. “‘Sue, I want you to work with my chief perfumer in Paris, Jacques Polge.’ So that was my leeway to working in Paris, with a perfumer. …I spent 4 weeks in Paris,” she says. After returning from Paris, Sue, the chairman of Tiffany, and Sue’s future boss selected the fragrance that Sue brought back from Europe. Sue and her team then arranged for focus groups so that they could compare the newly developed Parisian scent to the two previous scents that had been developed by the independent consultants. The focus groups were comprised of 300 typical Tiffany clients and included qualitative and quantitative assessments. The fragrance that Sue had developed with Jacques Polge in Paris clearly won out. It ended up being a favorable outcome for all involved. “I wanted to be fair to the consultants, the house, and the brand,” she says.

Sue Phillips Fragrance Expert

The art of designing a scent is subtle but deliberate. “What is the core brand positioning?” Sue asks. “I was asked to spearhead the fragrance design for Burberry, and the company has a tremendous heritage and history,” she starts, holding the bottle containing the Burberry fragrance that she designed. “Burberry’s bottle was based on an antique toothbrush holder. It was very much a symbol of British tradition. …Whenever royalty would travel, they would have their little grooming kit. …So taking the idea of heritage and history. …At the time, Burberry was considered a men’s brand. We wanted to launch a woman’s fragrance first to ‘shift’ the positioning of the brand so as to make it more ‘female-centric.’ So we developed a distinctly bold floral, with some bright sparkling green notes…Thinking of the English lawn, and fields, and lavender,” Sue continues. Sue created Burberry fragrances for men and women which became “Society by Burberry.”

Designing fragrances for individuals follows a similarly detailed inquiry. Sue sets out to understand the core values and personality of the individual. “To develop a fragrance from scratch can typically take about a year or two,” she says. However, at Sue’s perfumery in Tribeca, she takes clients through a “scentertaining” creative experience over the course of an hour or two. This is because Sue has developed a range of 18 perfume blends which can be combined and matched so that she can tailor a fragrance to an individual’s style and palate. “I give clients a scent personality quiz…Based on your answers, I can tell you what fragrance direction you should be heading into,” she says. The quiz assesses lifestyle preferences and is comprised of 12 questions that range from, “what fabrics do you prefer to wear against your skin?” to, “what is your favorite time of day?” After completing the quiz, Sue categorizes your scent preference among four categories: Woodsy, Oriental, Floral, and Fresh.

The Scentarium bespoke fragrances

The next step in creating your custom scent is a tour of scent profiles. Sue walks the scent creator through 18 blends that range in spectrum from fresh, fruity florals to warm woodsy, musky, and spicy perfumes. The creator then picks 4 out of the 18 that most resonate with him or her. After selecting your favorite scents, Sue prepares a custom fragrance which you get to name. And there you have it. You now have a signature scent. Sue’s goal is to create a “fun, enjoyable, and scentertaining experience.” Throughout the fragrance creating experience, Sue speaks about her passion for scent, “Our most powerful sense…after sight, is our sense of smell…It’s the only sense we have that connects memory and emotion, and correlates our sense of smell to taste ….so food and flavor are totally related,” she says. “You know, when you get a cold, you can’t smell or taste!”

“With the construction of fragrances, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. When you first spray on a fragrance, you get the top notes; then it mixes with your body, the middle notes come out; and then finally, the base notes are longest lasting,” Sue says. The base notes from her childhood still linger on. Sue still remembers the lasting scent of her mother’s perfume as she faded off to sleep as a little girl in South Africa. “I do a lot of work in the area of Alzheimer’s because scent and memory are so entwined, and sadly my mother had Alzheimer’s. Those are her paintings on the walls,” she says, gesturing wistfully towards her wall art. For Sue Phillips, scent is more than just smells, business, and clever wordplay. It is how she remembers herself. Her mission is “to take fragrance out of the bottle, and to create magical and memorable experiences for [her] clients…drop by drop.”



Continue Reading

Indie Spotlight: Sue Phillips – House Of Fragrance. And other press

 I am delighted to share with you the recent spotlight from the Indie beauty show in which we were featured and had a wonderful response to our custom Fragrances;  in addition I just came off the Emmys in California where we created Fragrances for Susan Sarandon Tiffany Phillips Somma Ray and many many different any nominees …the response to all our Fragrances was fantastic. I also just did the Lincoln navigator launch for their 2018 navigator series at the South St., Seaport for 1000 people. And recently created a Scent Dinner for The Housewives of Potomac… been a busy girl!
Love to chat about business opportunities!!


Excited to share a recent article in FORBES in which I was asked to comment about Retailers incorporating SCENT to create lasting and memorable “experiences” for their clients.  If you want information please contact us: info@scenterprises.com


From the Emmys gifting suite





A message from IBE NY Exhibitor Sue Phillips

View this email in your browser

IBE – Next Stop: Los Angeles


ATTEND        |        EXHIBIT        |        SPONSOR        |        NEWS









Sue Phillips, Fragrance Expert, SCENTREPRENEUR®, President & Founder of Scenterprises and The Scentarium is passionate about Fragrance!  After pioneering the Custom Scent trend at her perfumery in Tribeca, The Scentarium, Sue Phillips is now launching two new Fragrance Kits, Sparkling Citrus and Glamorous Floral, each with 3 new Perfume Enhancers. See the full press release here.



Sue’s innovative spirit is well-known, and she has created custom scents for many celebrities such as: Jamie Foxx, Katie Holmes, Zendaya, Lisa Vanderpump, as well as The Housewives of Potomac.



In addition, Sue has developed her fragrance business single-handedly, and has also presented innovative, interactive, SCENTERTAINING® events for Fortune 500 companies such as AOL, AMERICAN EXPRESS, BULGARI, COTY, DUFF & PHELPS, MERRIL LYNCH, METLIFE, WELLS FARGO,ZURICH FINANCIAL and most recently, with LINCOLN MOTOR COMPANY for the launch of their 2018 Lincoln Navigator with a Multi-Sensory Experience.



“My mission is to take fragrance OUT of the bottle and to create a magical perfume experience for my clients…..drop by drop” says Sue Phillips. “Why wear what everyone else wears, when you can create your own?”



For more information: 

Please email Sue Phillips at info@scenterprises.com or 
Click here to shop online

Continue Reading

Backstage at the Pre-Emmy’s Gifting Suite with Guest Editor Sue Phillips

Backstage at the Pre-Emmy’s Gifting Suite with Guest Editor Sue Phillips


 By Sue Phillips

Last week in LA was EMMY fever! Gifting Suites were the place to be with Celebs, publicists, photographers, media and handlers walking the ‘red carpet,’ and entertainers guiding the activities and doling out the incredible SWAG bags for all nominees.

Celebrity Connected was one of the more popular Gifting Suites and I was thrilled to participate with our beautiful perfume blends and to launch our Sue Phillips House of Fragrance collection.

We set up the Fragrance Display with four specially custom blended complex fragrance creations – Fresh, Floral, Woodsy, Amber and the response was fantastic. Typically I would have thought that Californians would have loved the “FRESH” family, but in this instance the general consensus for Women and Men was that our “Woodsy” and “Amber” blends were the most requested.

Susan Sarandon actually loved the combination of Woodsy and Amber, while Shanola Hampton, Pamela Jean Noble and so many others loved FLORALS and FRESH. The atmosphere was alive with excitement , loud music, fabulous give-aways, bottles of champagne ‘on the go’ , ice slurpees, and so many other fabulous gifts.

I learned a new term e.g. ‘SLATES’ -which are the people who display the pictures of the nominees on slates, with the name of their shows, so that media and all the vendors know who they are!

One thing was clear, both men and women were fascinated with our Fragrance Selection and loved the interactive activity and ‘experience’ of evaluating our different Fragrance Families and ultimately selecting the one they really loved. So much so, that I received a call from the president of a major company wanting to create fragrances for his employees! Ahhh! The power of Fragrance!

Sue Phillips at the Emmys


Continue Reading

Retailers, Time To Brand Your Store With A Signature Scent – Pumpkin Spice, Anyone?


Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s fall when Starbucks welcomes the change of season with new drinks and food flavors to tempt customers in. Personally, I am a coffee purist. I take it strong, dark and black. But every now and then, I want something different, in which case I will order one of their high-priced, hand-crafted concoctions whipped up by a barista, like the Pumpkin Spice Latte or the new fall Maple Pecan Latte it just announced today.

Starbucks claims its PSL, launched in 2003, is its “most popular seasonal beverage of all time.” Starbucks has long used seasonal drinks to anchor its marketing throughout the year, like frozen Frappuccinos in summer and Peppermint Mocha for the holidays.

While PSL may be its bestselling seasonal offering, to me, the PSL’s taste isn’t all that appealing. But then, I don’t believe it is the taste that drives people mad for PSL; it’s the scent. And MaryAnne Drake, a food scientist at North Carolina State University, agrees, saying, “The aromas in these holiday products are crafted to trigger emotions and feelings.”


Pumpkin spice fragrance is strong and emotionally evocative. It is the quintessential fragrance of fall. Catherine Franssen, assistant professor of psychology and director of the neurostudies minor at Longwood University in Virginia, says, “Since these are popular spice combinations, it’s very likely we would have encountered some or all of them combined in a favorite baked good in a comforting situation, like a family gathering, early in life. It’s not just the pumpkin spice combo, but that we’ve already wired a subset of those spices as ‘good’ very early in life.”

It’s customers’ emotions and memories that Starbucks and other brands connect with through the pumpkin spice scent. Since scent is hardwired into people’s memories, retailers need to explore the tremendous possibilities found in tapping into their customers’ olfactory sense.


What can retailers learn about the popularity of pumpkin spice, which Forbes pegged at being a $500 million industry in 2015, to achieve greater success? Do retailers need their own signature scents, or seasonal fragrances, to brand their stores?

Those are the questions I asked Sue Phillips, president & CEO of Scenterprises & The Scentarium.Phillips’ firm creates custom signature scents for people and brands, like its recent work with Lincoln Motor Cars to introduce its new Navigator model at New York City’s Seaport District. Scentarium contributed the scent to the “The Navigator Experience.

How Lincoln’s Navigator smells success

In working with Scentarium, Lincoln wanted to link the consumer’s lifestyle to the car in a multi-sensory way through scent, taste, visual and tactile initiatives. “We gave Lincoln’s guests our Scent Personality Test, which determines the consumer’s Lifestyle Personality, and based on their answers, it revealed whether the consumer liked our fresh, floral, woodsy or amber fragrance family,” Phillips explains.

“Lincoln adapted our quiz to add the ‘taste’ quotient and highlighted the taste of chocolates the consumer liked ― e.g., white, milk, semisweet, bitter. Based on those responses, they guided the consumer through the Lincoln Navigator app ― to showcase the type of car they liked, colors and texture.  It was truly a multi-sensory event, and it all pivoted around the Scent.”

Sue Phillips, Scentarium

Lincoln Navigator App from Lincoln Navigator Event

In creating the Lincoln Navigator experience, the brand led with scent, not the other four senses, since scent has a direct connection to customers’ emotions. “Fragrance is one of the most powerful aspects of ‘experiences,’ linking memory and emotion to an event,” Phillips says, noting the current trend in retail is to bring experiences into the consciousness of customers, “so much so that Nordstrom is rolling out an ‘experiential’ store without inventory.”

Retailers need their own sweet smell of success, too

As retailers prepare for fall and the buildup to the holiday season, it’s time to think about engaging that most powerful yet largely overlooked customer experience offered with a signature scent. It could create a whole new dimension to the shoppers’ experience that will translate into more sales.

“Traditional retailers get ready for fall with in-store decorations, eye-catching window promotions and colorful displays reflecting the changing seasons,” Phillips says. “Seasonal scents such as pumpkin spice are traditional fall scents in the USA that can be diffused through candles or different scent diffusers. Eucalyptus, burnt orange and cinnamon spices also bring to mind fall. Peppermint reminds us of the crisp smell of winter snow, and evergreen, cranberry, mulled spices and sage are the smell of Christmas. There is nothing more entrancing than linking all the elements atmospherically in a consistent way in a store ― colors, architecture, ambiance, displays and aroma ― so that the look, feel and scent are all related.”

Phillips believes that retailers are ignoring the tremendous power that a signature scent, perhaps rotated on a seasonal basis, could bring to their store. “Retailers should focus on offering thoughtful, comprehensive ‘experiences,’ and scent is a pivotal characteristic of the look, feel and smell of the new season,” she says.

“Fragrance is personal branding,” Phillips says regarding the work she does creating signature scents for her clients. But, she stresses, fragrance can be powerful branding for brands and retailers, too. “Scents make memories and recall memories from the past. Retailers need to realize that tapping into those emotions and memories makes for a better retail experience, and numerous studies have shown that when there is a pleasant aroma in the store, consumers linger longer and sales increase.”

In my book, Shops that POP! 7 Steps to Extraordinary Retail Success, I stress the need for retailers to imprint their stores on the customers’ memory. Based on science, one of the best ways to do that is through their nose, not their eyes. Once the store is in the customers’ memory, it truly becomes part of the customer, embedded in their imaginations.

For a retailer, there is no more powerful space than the customers’ mind to occupy, as Mad Men‘s Don Draper understood when he explained the strategy behind his Heinz pitch: “The greatest thing you have working for you is not the photo you take or the picture you paint; it’s the imagination of the consumer. They have no budget, they have no time limit, and if you can get into that space, your ad can run all day.”


Continue Reading

Q&A with America’s Leading “Scentrepreneur”

Aera Interviewee Sue Phillips

Q&A with America’s Leading “Scentrepreneur”

Sue Phillips is a big fan of merging words. She’s a self-described “scentrepreneur” and she runs a business as a fragrance consultant that she calls “Scenterprises.” But new words aren’t the only thing she creates. At Phillips’ appointment-only, custom boutique in Manhattan’s TriBeca neighborhood, which she calls “The Scentarium,” she helps her customers, including celebrity clients, design custom perfumes to match their unique personalities. Learning how to best perceive and interact with our enigmatic sense of smell is one of our greatest passions at Aera. We spoke to Phillips about how people can better identify their signature fragrance, and what scents people prefer. 

Q: What’s your biggest takeaway about how people should think about their sense of smell?

A: To understand fragrance you must understand its power. Our most powerful sense is our sense of smell. People don’t really think about it unless they encounter a negative smell, but on a day to day basis people take their sense of smell for granted. I would really like people to stop and smell the roses and everything else.

Q: How can a person become more appreciative of fragrance?

A: People’s sense of smell has not been honed, and yet animals have such a powerful sense of smell. I think it’s really a question of self-education. It’s a question of being aware, of remembering past associations with a fragrance. What did my mom wear when she went out? What did my dad wear? And maybe it’s Old Spice – but what does Old Spice smell like?

Q: This raises a good point – what does Old Spice smell like? How do you go about talking about fragrance in a more concrete way?

A: People’s vocabulary is very limited when it comes to fragrances. Most Americans, if you ask them what fragrance do they like, they can’t tell you, but they will tell you “fresh and clean.” But what does fresh and clean smell like? Many people say Old Spice smells like lavender and fern notes. Other people might say it smells like the ocean.

Q: Are there differences between the genders in terms of what kinds of fragrances men and women enjoy?

A: There’s no such thing as a masculine ingredient or a feminine ingredient, it’s a matter of how fragrances are combined. Typically, most men like a sporty citrusy fragrance combined with deep, woodsy, spicy notes. Most women like floral fragrances, with roses and gardenias, for example.

Q: You work with celebrity clients to design custom fragrances at your Scentarium in Manhattan. Can you tell us about some of your highlights and what the fragrances they designed were like?

A: Jamie Foxx’s fragrance was woodsy and spicy with a hint of fruitiness. Katie Holmes went for something light and crisp to start, with a hint of light, fresh florals and some fruitiness. Snooki liked a spicy, fruity and oriental fragrance.

Here at Aera, we work with master perfumers and world-renowned scent designers to create complex fragrances that will resonate with your particular tastes. To find out which of our signature fragrances might best suit your home environment, try taking our fragrance quiz or request a fragrance leaflet!

photo c/o Crain’s New York Business Magazine


Continue Reading

What does the color red smell like?

View Article Here: Fashion Week Online.
Date: September 15, 2017
Unique Visitors per Month: 213,600



Both on and off the catwalk, aesthetics and sensory factors play a huge role in the success of a designer and their ability to resonate with their audience.
Fashion is such a pivotal clue to our lifestyle and reflects our OUTER accessory. Fragrance, on the other hand, is intangible and subtle and reflects our authentic inner ethos. When I founded my create-your-own Scentarium in Tribeca, I wanted to pioneer the idea that the scent connects with feelings and emotions in ways that other senses cannot. This fashion week, I looked at the show as a whole, the same way I do when I envision my fragrances.

The final result: A cohesive, satisfying experience.

With the inclusion of glitter, flowers, sequin detailing, and other sensory delights, the transformation of visual spaces and the overall experience of fashion uses these tactics as enhancement for the feeling and the chicness of the brand. The importance and emphasis of color is essential. What does the color red smell like? What aromatic pleasures do you get from purple? Think about the colors the fashion designer chooses to make a statement.


In bustling metropolitan cities like New York, Tokyo, London and Paris, the dominant color we see is black -– it’s safe, chic, powerful and above all, EASY to wear. However, in this age of selfies, think about reflecting who YOU are with gorgeous arrays of color and textures, and step out of your comfort zone of wearing black.

Put a zing of color in your wardrobe — it is so liberating and delightful to wear bright shades of fuchsia, turquoise, azure blues, and to accessorize them with matching earrings, bags, and shoes for both men and women.


Even in Fall and Winter, when we traditionally wear dark colors and staple black, lightening it up with different colors puts a zing in your step and a twinkle in your eye!

And it’s amazing how the opposite sex is attracted to color! Go ahead, bring out the fashion in you!

## Learn More

For more information on Entreprenuer Sue Phillips, the Fragrance Queen on NYC, visit www.scenterprises.com.

(Photo Credit: Edward James)\

Continue Reading

Beauty DIY: How to Layer Fragrances to Create Your Own Signature Scent

Beauty DIY: How to Layer Fragrances to Create Your Own Signature Scent

With so many amazing fragrances available in the Shop, it can be so hard to pick just one to be your signature scent. Luckily, you don’t have to: Layer a few up to create your own! Mix and match your existing faves or find a new blend to add to your collection and create a scent that’s as unique as you are. Ahead, the best tips and tricks for layering fragrances and ending up with a result that smells eau so good.

  1. Play Chemist
    Mixing and matching fragrances inevitably requires a little trial and error. But that’s the fun part! “This is all about experimentation,” says Carlos Benaim, Master Perfumer at International Flavors & Fragrances. “There are infinite combinations that you can create, and the only way to know if one is going to work is to try it.” Point being, get ready to spend a little time spritzing and sniffing. (Pro tip: If you feel like your sense of smell is starting to burn out, take a break and smell a tissue; its neutral scent can help cleanse your palette, so to speak.)
  2. Look for Contrast
    As a general rule, people are usually drawn to fragrances that fall within one olfactive category, says Sue Phillips, President & CEO of Scenterprises & The Scentarium. That’s why even if you have 10 different perfumes in your collection, they may all be predominantly floral, clean, or supersweet. “But if you mix fragrances that are too similar, they’ll end up cancelling one another out. You want to create contrast,” explains Benaim. The easiest way to do so is to layer lighter fragrances with ones that are a bit heavier or more intense. One pairing we like: Pinrose Secret Genius Eau de Parfum and Pinrose Garden Gansgster Eau de Parfum.
  3. Mix It Up Using Notes
    It’s not just about the predominant scent when it comes to finding complementary fragrances. The top notes (what you initially smell) and base notes (the scent that lingers after application) come into play as well. Look for a fragrance with top notes you love and pair it with a fragrance that has base notes you love, says Benaim. It’s obviously a matter of personal preference, but we found that the crisp and clean Etat Libre d’Orange You or Someone Like You Eau de Parfum mixes nicely with the green lime, neroli, and jasmine base notes in the Juliette Has a Gun Anyway Eau de Parfum.
  4. Embrace “Less is More”
    Phillips likens mixing and matching fragrances to choosing spices when you’re cooking: “Individually, each spice is amazing, but if you were to combine every single one in your cabinet, you’d end up with a blend that’s overpowering and not distinct,” she says. The same goes for perfume. Start with just two scents, and possibly adding a third. “But cap it at three,” advises Phillips.
  5. Test It Out
    Resist the temptation to use your skin as your canvas since our body chemistry can interact with the fragrance and affect the final result. To set up a proper at-home test, spray each fragrance on separate cotton balls, press them together, and then toss them in a Ziploc bag. Then, open the bag and take a whiff. If you’re into the mix you’ve made, then try it on to make sure it smells good on you “This is the easiest way to see if the scents mix well together,” points out Phillips.
  6. Vary the Proportions
    Once you’ve got a combo you like, you can fine tune the formula. “Something as simple as changing the amount of each fragrance that you’re mixing can make the blend even more distinct,” says Benaim. Start with one spray of each, then try two of one and one of the other, or three spritzes to two spritzes. One blend to try: CLEAN Reserve Amber Saffron Eau de Parfum and CLEAN Reserve Velvet Flora Eau de Parfum. Experiment until you find exactly what you’re looking for, and write down exactly how you got there so that you can recreate your new signature scent in the future.
  7. Birchbox.com – read the article


Continue Reading

Celebrity Interview – Sue Phillips

Some of my best shows are ones where I feature guests with inner gifts. Sue Phillips has a true talent in the area of aroma. She can easily match a lady to her own soul’s scent. This is not a feat many can make famous, but she has created a budding business that continues to blossom daily. She has worked with clients such as Chanel, Trish McEvoy and Katie Holmes. Her fabulously famous former employers include Tiffany, Elizabeth Ardin and Lancome. She is one glamorous gal. Please listen in and learn one little lady can turn your persona into perfume!

Listen here

Continue Reading

Scent Expert Sue Phillips chats with Entertainment Reporter Whitney Ullman

Scent Expert Sue Phillips chats with Entertainment Reporter Whitney Ullman about creating your own perfume in her New York City location and some of the fun celebs who have stopped by to try the service…. Check it out!

Continue Reading

Here’s how to create your own custom fragrance at the ‘Scentarium’


Sue Phillips: Perfumery is both an art and a science.

So the quiz will help you determine what fragrance family you like. Many people say they love fragrance but they really don’t know what type of fragrance they like. What type of message would you like to impart when you wear fragrance? Would you like something fresh and clean or smoky and sophisticated or … ?

Business Insider: I think I’d like to try something smoky and sophisticated.

SP: Really?

Fragrance ingredients are found in nature and now in the lab. There are plants such as beautiful petals. Do you know where musk comes from? So, when the deer or the civet cat gets a little frisky, shall we say, they make certain secretions. How or why those perfumers found those secretions, we’re not going to go there, but they did. Today, we don’t use anything from animals in modern day perfumery.

Not too many men, American men, like florals, but what’s interesting is a lot of European men really happen to love florals. We had the top notes, we had the middle notes, now we’re starting on the deeper, the more sort of long-lasting, warm …

BI: So these are kind of like the aftertastes?

SP: Yes, we call them the dry down. So go back through your list and see which ones you like. And what does it remind you of? Does it remind you of anything? Does it remind you of a childhood memory or somebody you want to be? It’s really a question of self-expression, so why wear what everybody else wears when you can really create your own?



Continue Reading

Uncommon Scents: Fragrance Innovator Sue Phillips Understands What Successful Women Want

Sue Phillips can smell a winner.

Her own customized fragrance is “bold, feminine, floral with spicy Oriental and amber woodsiness; a floriental,” as she describes it.

A “scentrepreneur,” with more than three decades of experience creating, branding, marketing and managing fragrances for Elizabeth Arden, Tiffany, Avon, Trish McEvoy, Burberry, Lancaster and more, Phillips is the founder, CEO and president of Scenterprises, Inc.

And she is out to redefine the smell of success for each individual woman.

Sue Phillips is out to redefine the #SmellOfSuccess for each individual woman CLICK TO TWEET

“Fragrance is personal branding,” says Phillips, who opened Scentarium in the Tribeca section of New York more than three years ago. This is where she creates customized fragrances, hosts events and team-building exercises as part of a growing customization niche of the $19.13 billion global fragrance market. Soon she is launching the Sue Phillips Collection of Fragrance.

“The whole idea of marketing to women is they can be anything they want to be,” says Phillips, who is an adjunct professor at LIM College in New York. “It used to be that women wanted to wear something appealing to men. Now the trend of customization is, ‘I want to reflect who I am.’”

And that customization of fragrance has gone from the purview of royalty and the extremely wealthy who would spend up to $20,000 for a fragrance they would wait a year to receive, to a much quicker response made on site for a few hundred dollars.

“Instead of starting from scratch, now through the blends and technology, we can make it affordable and timely,” Phillips says.

New research from Showerstoyou.co.uk and Fragrantica in 2017, says women like a mixture of scents that are masculine and feminine, according to Elle.

“After collating the favorite fragrances of 66,000 participants, the researchers found that 70 per cent of women’s top-voted perfumes featured masculine, woody or spicy notes. Fifty five per cent of women considered masculine notes as integral to their signature scent,” Elle reports.

That yearning for a signature scent makes all the difference in the  market, Phillips says.

Moving to the U.S. from South Africa in the 1980s, Phillips says she intended to become a singer and actress, but had a tough time getting roles. After interviewing for many different jobs, she began her career at Elizabeth Arden, as training director conducting Beauty Training Seminars.

“I started at Macy’s; it was a wonderful experience,” Phillips says. “It taught me not to judge people.”

Training 80 percent of her time at stores around the country, Phillips was soon promoted into product development for Color Cosmetics, but she loved fragrance marketing. She was then hired by Lancôme, Paris, as Marketing Director, Fragrance for Magie Noire and Tresor.

Phillips then moved to become Vice President of Fragrance Marketing for Tiffany & Company and developed the first iconic Tiffany perfume for the 150th anniversary. She also created Tiffany, Tiffany for Men, Society by Burberry, Burberry for Men and three original Trish McEvoy fragrances. In addition, she has launched fragrances for Avon and Diane Von Furstenberg.

While her custom business is 57 percent women and 43 percent are men, Phillips says she focuses on the idea of women projecting confidence and leadership with individual scents.

Scentrepreneur focuses on women projecting #confidence & #leadership with individual scents CLICK TO TWEET

“For the first time, fragrance is all about the expression of self. I believe women are taking the lead right now and I think women are realizing they can reflect who they are,” saysPhillips, who has created custom scents for actress Katie Holmes, Zendaya, Jamie Foxx, and many more.

The fragrance market is growing, particularly custom fragrances. Elizabeth Musmanno, president of the Fragrance Foundation of America, said: “ For the first time in 2015, the fragrance category outperformed skincare. Fragrance dollars grew by 4 percent, and skincare by 3 percent,” Beauty Stat reports.

A new study from “Scentiments found that over one-third of women see fragrance as a personal treat, or a pick-me-up to enhance their mood. They tend to choose a new scent based on how well it fits with their personality,” writes Happi.

“Women purchase a new fragrance as often as once a month, compared to men who purchase it an average of 1-2 times per year, and typically for the purpose of replenishment. Whereas men typically take about 30 seconds to sample and decide whether to buy a fragrance, women take anywhere from 10-20 times longer,” according to Happi.

While she has been in the fragrance industry for more than three decades and seen changes and trends emerge, Phillips says a gender gap in leadership remains. “Large cosmetic companies are dominated by men at the top. It would be nice if more women at the top in most fields, still women not at the forefront at c suite levels where they should be,” Phillips says. “More men are at the helm in a female-targeted industry.”

A #gendergap in the fragrance industry’s leadership remains CLICK TO TWEET

Popularity of types of fragrances has changed, Phillips says, from the “lush and bold brands” of the 1980s, to the “transparent, watery and not very strong” scents of the 1990s, to the classics fragrances popular in 2000. Since 2010, the trend to creating  your own blended fragrance is the top trend.

“That is the ultimate smell of success,” Philips says.

“Fragrance is so tied into memory,” says Phillips, whose own later mother, Grace Phillips, suffered with Alzheimer’s. Now Phillips is involved with the Alzheimer’s Foundation. “Fragrances can touch the core of who you are and conjure up memories and emotions. Fragrance is a positive way to enhance memories and associations.”

The recent Scentiments report shows, “Women in the U.S. are 35 percent more likely than men to let their moods dictate the scent they will wear each day, encouraging a stronger emotional tie to fragrance than their male counterparts,” according to Happi.

With a career is a demanding industry that can seem fickle, Phillips says she loves what she does. “It doesn’t seem like it has been work. Be passionate and do what you love, that’s my hallmark,” Phillips says.

And while many American clients say they prefer the “fresh and clean” smells that are ozonic, and involve citrus and lavender, she says there is one classic mistake people have been making with fragrance for generations.

“A lot of people douse themselves in too much fragrance,” Phillips says. “The fragrance arrives before they enter the room.”

Want more Take The Lead posts like this? Sign up to receive the Take The Lead newsletter each week. Learn more about Take The Lead training programs here.


Continue Reading

The Daily Glow visits the Scentarium

Say hello to Mochi the Insta-famous pug and his human Gemma Gene from 157 of gemma! Fashion and style advice for women with a fuller figure from blogger Katie Sturino of The 12ish Style, a sweet summer Italian ice recipe you’ve got to try plus special guest Sue Phillips of The Scentarium talks perfume with Sarah Pribis. The Daily Glow starts now!

Catch The Daily Glow every weekday at 1pm EST!

Playing With Mochi The Pug

Say hello to Mochi the Insta-famous pug and his human Gemma Gene from 157 of gemma! Fashion and style advice for women with a fuller figure from blogger Katie Sturino of The 12ish Style, a sweet summer Italian ice recipe you’ve got to try plus special guest Sue Phillips of The Scentarium talks perfume with Sarah Pribis. The Daily Glow starts now!Catch The Daily Glow every weekday at 1pm EST!

Posted by LittleThings on Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Continue Reading

Fragrance Designer Sue Phillips on the Art of Perfumery

Born in South Africa, Sue Phillips is the founder of Scenterprises, a custom perfumery in New York City and is a globally known expert on fragrances, perfume, cosmetics and personal care. She has worked at Elizabeth Arden, Lancôme and Tiffany, where she was VP-Fragrance Marketing. Among the fragrances she has created are Tiffany, Tiffany for Men, Society by Burberry and three Trish McEvoy brands. She is an adjunct professor at LIM College in New York City. In February 2016, she will be speaking on “The Art of Perfumery” at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Ariz.

What goes into the creation of a new fragrance?

For commercial brands and most perfumes, it starts with development of a concept and a positioning “brief”. You research and look at the competitive marketplace, distribution and pricing strategy. You develop the fragrance description and then bring to life how you want it feel and smell. That’s the traditional way to create a fragrance, and what I teach my students at LIM College: Where Fashion Meets Fragrance.

When I realized that customization was going to be the next step, and it has now become very popular and is on its way to being a huge trend, I looked at the entire fragrance palette and the different fragrance families: fruity, flowery, woodsy, spicy, musky and so on. I developed and created 18 fragrance blends that reflect the families but that can stand alone. Each fragrance I’ve developed can be worn on its own but can also combine with the other fragrance blends.

When my clients experience a fragrance workshop with me they evaluate the different blends and then select three or four that they love and I combine them. That becomes their unique, very distinctive fragrance that they name, and their formula is stored in my database. It’s a very engaging and interactive process. It’s educational and I like to say it is also “scentertaining.”

You’ve created personal fragrances for celebrities, including actor Jamie Foxx recently. What’s that experience like?

It’s a lot of fun. I wasn’t that fazed by the idea of working with celebrities because, really, everyone is the same. Everyone wants to be treated well and with respect. And everyone wants their own individuality reflected in a fragrance.

Someone may have millions of fans, but you quickly realize they’re just like you or me. They go through the experience and evaluate the different fragrances and they’ll ask me what I think. That’s encouraging because they realize they don’t know a lot about fragrance and they defer to someone with expertise. I reinforce that their choice of fragrance blends is appropriate for their personality.


How do you determine the right combination of fragrance families for someone?

Before they even start I give everyone a “scent personality” questionnaire. It asks interesting questions: what they like to wear; what seasons they like most; what types of artwork they like; what they like to eat and drink. Based on their answers, I can determine what kinds of fragrance families they like. When they do create their own fragrance, it 99% matches their answers. It’s fun and very interactive! They really love to engage in the process.

You were born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. How does your childhood connect with your adult life as a fragrance expert?

My mother was an amazing artist: a singer and a painter. I grew up in a creative, artistic household where we had music recitals and concerts and she gave us art projects. I was always aware of the artistic side, although I cannot draw or paint. But it was always around me.

Among my earliest memories are trips to the Game Reserve that we went on when I was a child. I remember the amazing aromas in the African bush. We arrived at a campsite late at night and it was dusk and they’d be putting on the barbecue—we called it a “braai.” I remember the smells of the incense of the smoke from the burning wood. The next morning we’d get up early to go see the animals, and the green, fresh, early morning dew would combine with smell from the previous night’s embers. It was such a strong association for me. I was very aware of aromas and colors: when I see colors I also smell aromas.

Why did you choose to study drama in college?

I had always wanted to sing and act. When I was 10 I was in my first play. It was “Roar Like a Dove,” a British comedy. There was a role for a young girl. My mother was excited but also horrified that I’d be missing school. The producer said we couldn’t use just one young child, so there were three of us who alternated in the role over three months.

That fueled a passion for theater. I was in shows in college and after I graduated. But the political situation in South Africa was changing and I felt I didn’t want to stay. I came to America to pursue a career in singing and acting.

It was difficult as I didn’t have a [permanent resident] green card and I didn’t have a SAG or AFTRA [theatrical unions] membership. However I did part-time work and joined an improvisation group. I was singing and acting with them, but realized without membership in the unions I had to pursue alternative career options.

How were you able to get the green card you needed?

I was lucky in that someone referred me to an immigration attorney who was looking for an assistant and he hired me and processed the paperwork. I said I would stay and work for a year and honored my commitment after I became a permanent resident, and then started contacting headhunters about finding a better position. That first week I was offered three positions.

One was for a bank. They said they liked my entrepreneurial spirit but I didn’t feel that banking was for me! The next was to work for a French design company for Pierre Cardin. However, I didn’t feel I had sufficient fashion background. And the third was the cosmetics company, Elizabeth Arden.

With my background as an actor and performer I was able to stand up and speak in front of people and they thought I’d be very good in training. I had no idea what that meant. They said I would have to train the people behind the fragrance counters at stores around the country on product knowledge. I thought that would be interesting and a great way of experiencing the USA!

In order to understand the position I was hired for, I, too, had to be trained, and spent 3 months ‘in the field’ at department stores learning about the customer and how to approach them. And in fact it was excellent experience.

After my orientation, I packed my travel bags and traveled around the country for almost two years doing training. I really got to understand that New York City is not America: there’s a vast land out there with lots of different cultural and regional differences.

Was it difficult to be constantly moving among cities?

It finally got to me. I’d been working very hard and it was educational and interesting, but it takes a toll on your personal life. They promoted me to product development and then into marketing. I was at Arden for six years and then was hired by Lancôme as Marketing Director before Tiffany hired me as vice president of marketing. If you had told me when I was a young girl in Johannesburg that I would become VP-Marketing for Tiffany perfume, I’d have said you were crazy. But wonderful things happen. It’s luck and hard work and all the stars being aligned.

Why you did leave Tiffany?

I was experiencing health issues as I was about to have my first child, and had to have bed rest. However, I still wanted to have a career, and I managed to combine both by starting my own business, which I called Scenterprises. That was 26 years ago and I have to say I’m really grateful and amazed by the amount of experiences I’ve had and the brands I have developed. That includes developing iconic brands such as Burberry, Trish McEvoy and Avon; consulting and doing scent branding; and also teaching about fragrance.

I am an adjunct professor at LIM College where I teach The Secret World of Scent. Previously I taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology [in New York City] for five years. However as my business began to expand, I didn’t really have the time. But two years ago I was asked to teach at LIM College and I love teaching the subject I am passionate about. It’s so gratifying when students are engaged and become passionate about the subject as well.

Did you hesitate about leaving a major brand such as Tiffany to work on your own?

Sometimes I don’t plan things strategically. When I left Tiffany it happened because I needed to. But once my daughter was born, I really jumped into being an entrepreneur. I was asked to develop the Burberry fragrance, which was very exciting and an honor, and I now consider myself a “scentrepreneur”!

I think I’m more creative than strategic, although lately I’ve become more strategic in my business. My passion and my creativity really drive me, and that’s how I’ve been able to develop a lot of projects that I wouldn’t otherwise have thought of doing.

I started the Custom Fragrance initiative seven years ago, when bespoke perfumery was not even understood, and it has now grown to be quite popular. I’d never thought of opening retail space but again luck happened and someone mentioned a space and asked if I would like to see it. It was on the lower level of a building and not very beautiful, but I transformed it into a beautiful oasis. I wasn’t looking for that, but sometimes it’s just a matter of taking advantage of what falls in your lap and jumping on an opportunity.

The Scentarium, my custom-fragrance studio [seen below], opened two years ago. That just evolved as an answer to all the celebrity fragrances that are out there. It wasn’t a strategy that I’d planned for years; it just evolved and I jumped in.


Is that what you tell your LIM students to do?

Absolutely. I tell them that it’s important to fuel your passions. “You’re living in New York City. Avail yourself of everything that is here; the museums and galleries, lectures and parks. Don’t just go from class to class; don’t shut out the amazing things that are around you.” There’s so much here that can help them in their future endeavors.

What haven’t you done that you’re looking forward to doing?

Writing a book. I’ve written when I can and I really want to write a book.

Would it come with scent strips?

I don’t know if it will have that but it definitely will have a fragrance aspect to it.

Also, I developed a fragrance kit for people who can’t meet with me in New York [The Scentarium Deluxe Custom Perfume Making Kit], and I want to expand that. It’s an “experience in a box”.

As I look at my career over the past 30 years, it has been such a fun journey. I would never have thought I’d be in the fragrance business. I had no idea that might happen, but it all has evolved. I’m grateful and thrilled.

Continue Reading

ENTREPRENEUR’S CORNER by New York Lifestyles

By Judy Goss

One of the magical things about New York City is that anyone can plant their seed here and blossom into a tremendous success no matter where they are from in the world. Remember Frank Sinatra as he sang, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…”?

I’m reminded of this as I listen to the light-hearted lilt of Sue Phillip’s South African accent as she unfolds her story in front of me in her captivating Manhattan Scentarium shop beginning from her remote upbringing in South Africa as a child.

Sue With Jamie Foxx

Sue came to New York City in 1978 to be a singer/actress and to escape the political unrest in South Africa, but without citizenship and no union representation, she had a difficult time getting work. After taking classes as an actress, she was told by someone that she was an unusually talented speaker and was urged to get into the corporate training industry. This was pivotal for Sue, so she worked on getting her green card and before she knew it, she had landed a job at Elizabeth Arden as a national corporate trainer. This opportunity was the catalyst for her future career as (her coined title) a highly regarded “scentrepreneur.”

But it didn’t happen overnight, as most success stories go.


After years of being in corporate America working as a national leader in training for the cosmetics industry, Sue eventually found her niche and second passion (in addition to singing and dancing) in the perfume industry. Don’t get me wrong—she still kept her hand in the entertainment industry by singing and dancing in the evenings at cabarets and such, but now her focus was on building her corporate career. And when she was eventually introduced to the fragrance world it took on a whole new light, or…sense, shall we say.

But before her fragrance career began, Sue was promoted into color cosmetics from her corporate training position at Elizabeth Arden and started learning about eye shadows, lipsticks, mascaras and how companies are marketing these products to women. “What girl doesn’t want to know that stuff, right?” Sue said with a chuckle, then afterward Arden promoted her into fragrance marketing which instantly became her greatest passion. “With lipsticks and eye shadows you can immediately see the difference. With fragrance, it’s so intangible, you can’t see anything—but you can definitely feel the difference. It reflects who you are.” Sue opened up a whole new world for herself, leading to her next venture at Lancôme where as Marketing Director she worked on Chloe, Burberry, and Lagerfeld fragrances. She started to feel a “love and kinship” for fragrances, a much deeper passion than what she had felt with cosmetics and color.

Lancôme at the time was very focused on cosmetics and skincare treatment and considered fragrance to be the “stepchild” of the company. But with Sue’s obsession for the potential of what fragrance could do for the public’s olfaction, she paved the way for Lancôme to eventually make their fragrance department a top competitor in the industry. While at Lancôme, little did Sue know that her career was about to take on an even more high-profile turn and propel her up into the top echelons of the fragrance industry.

Enter Tiffany & Co. Four years later Sue was hired to be Vice President of Fragrance Marketing to develop and launch the perfume for their 150th anniversary. Within 12 years Sue had come from not knowing anything about the fragrance industry and struggling to find her way in NYC via singing and dancing to gaining a coveted position in the top ranks of one of the most iconic companies in the world. But Sue didn’t stop there.


After leaving Tiffany to have her baby girl, Sue wished to take charge of her work schedule and clients and opened her own business befittingly called Scenterprises, Inc. which captured the essence of her passion for fragrance. Here, she created fragrances for Trish McEvoy, Burberry, AVON, Diane Von Furstenberg and Lancaster and in doing so, made Scenterprises into a global consulting company.


For most people, reaching the pinnacle of an entrepreneurial career as a world-renowned consultant would be good enough, but as a visionary Sue realized seven years ago that fragrances had a different future and she wanted to be leading the pack. She noticed consumers were getting tired of having to choose premade perfume types or a celebrity’s choice of perfume that may or may not fit into their personality and scent preference. So Sue capitalized on an evolving future of customized scents for everyone, perfumes that people could create themselves—bespoke fragrances, as Sue calls it. As the world exploded into customized industries from vacations to interior design, Sue awakened her industry to the beginning of tailored perfumes with her picturesque haven of a perfumery called Scentarium located in Downtown Manhattan. The shop hypnotizes the soul with its charm and beauty, enrapturing all the senses with glorious scents, music and exquisite paintings her mother created for her as one of the most talented artists in South Africa.

Scentarium clients range from celebrities (Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes are fans) to six-year-old girls to 80-year-old birthday parties. Also in the mix are Fortune 500 companies who request team building conferences and celebratory events like AOL, Bulgari, COTY and hundreds of other corporations who have hired her to set up fragrance bars at their events for their employees to experience the art of custom perfume creation.

Sue With Katie Holmes

Besides creating customized perfumes for the world privately and corporately, Sue is an adjunct professor at LIM College, after five years of teaching at FIT, and not surprisingly, is working on her line of fragrance called the Sue Phillips House of Fragrance Collection. She was also nominated as the Fragrance/Entrepreneur 2016 for Fashion Group International, and also 2016 Woman of the Year for T.J. Martell Foundation.

Yes, Sue is also philanthropic. The Alzheimer’s Foundation is close to Sue’s heart, and she is dedicated to raising funds for it, inspired by her mother having had the disease. She has held numerous fund-raising events nationwide for the Foundation, and Sue believes that since fragrance and memory are so intertwined, there could be a cure involving scents with the correlation.


Looking back Sue exclaims “If you had told me that growing up in South Africa I would land up being in NYC singing, dancing and working in the cosmetic industry then eventually developing a fragrance for Tiffany, I would have said you’re crazy!” I have a feeling the curtain is not even close to coming down yet on Sue’s ventures.

Judy Goss is currently the radio show host of What Women Want with over 500,000 downloads and is a published author of St. Martin’s Press. She is also an entrepreneur who founded the nationally acclaimed networking organization Over 40 Females® with its 20 chapters from New York to California. Judy is also a freelance journalist who interviews people about her favorite topic; their personal stories and what inspired them to be who they are today.

Continue Reading


Bespoke fragrances that free perfume from the bottle.

Fragrances can bear very personal things. It was a cold blistery ice stormy day when I went to Scentarium to meet with Sue Phillips, the Queen of Fragrances.  At first I thought I might have been in the wrong place, but as I wound my way down the stairs, I found myself in a cozy warm oasis dedicated to fragrances and perfume.  The walls were decorated up to the high ceilings with original paintings of flowers and animals, evoking the owner’s South African roots, and a luxurious tufted leather crimson sofa invited me to sit and drink in all the surroundings.

Sue Phillips is on a mission to free perfume from its bottle with her company Scenterprises and her Scentarium, an appointment-only custom perfumerie located on Franklin Street in Tribeca, New York City.  Traditionally, to make a custom perfume it could take as  long as six to twelve months and cost you US$10,000-20,000. At the Scentarium, you can make a custom scent of your own.

Phillips claims she is not a chemist or a parfumerie, she is the Queen of Fragrances and wants to take you on a fragrance journey if you are lucky enough to nab an appointment at the Scentarium. She showed me her proprietary technique of creating a Scent Personality Profile™  and her innovative way of simplifying the custom scent-making process.

Traditionally,  eight main categories are used for fragrances: citrus, florals, fruity, oriental, chypre, woodsy, fougeres and animalin.

These eight categories can be a bit much for non parfumerie experts to understand so Phillips created her own way to make it easier for anyone to understand and create their custom scents.  The Queen of Fragrances created eighteen custom fragrance blends that are themselves a perfume.  The eighteen fragrances represent all of the smells from the eight main categories listed above.  She further simplifies and organizes the eighteen custom blends into four categories: fresh, floral, woodsy and oriental.

She then has you smell all of the eighteen blends separately and then in conjunction with the ones you like to create your custom bespoke perfume. She educates you on the top notes, that is the smells that hit you first but dissipate quickly, the middle notes, also called the heart notes that mix with your body temperature and the base notes that last for hours on the skin. Normally she suggests you choose three to four of your favorites and then combine them to make your one-of-a-kind scent.  

Even corporations have enlisted Sue Phillip’s help.  Acadia Pharmaceuticals used a Scentarium custom blend to help illustrate the calming attributes of a new Parkinson’s Disease drug they were launching.  Twelve executives from the company went on a fragrance journey and chose the smells that they believed evoked the attributes of their new drug.  In Austin, Texas, during their presentation to over 200 salespeople, when they were trying to illustrate the healing properties of the new drug, they had the custom scent waft through the air so that everyone in the room could smell and feel the attributes of their new drug.

Disney Channel actress, singer and dancer Zendaya is also a fan of Scentarium and was there recently making her custom blend that she says, “Smells like Success”. NY-Z is what she named her scent.

Phillips recommends choosing three to four fragrances to blend, but rules were always meant to be broken.  Nathalie Guillaume, an acupuncturist and musician, chose nine or ten scents to be blended for her custom scent.  She named her fragrance “Kashikoi”, which is Japanese for “Clever”.  The super complex fragrance was 100% Guillaume, and when I saw her last she couldn’t stop talking about the compliments she received on her custom perfume.

 I personally chose a mixture of fragrances that reminds me of oxygen, the warmth of a hearth and overall spunkiness and named my fragrance “Mas”, Spanish for “More” and more of my custom blend is what I want.  I can’t get enough of “Mas” and I am already in need of another bottle.

So the next time you need a gift,  give the unique gift of a fragrance journey to your significant other, or treat yourself and go with a few pals.   Contact and book an appointment at Scentarium 1 917 449 1134.

  • fragrance

    Custom Blended Perfume by Sue Phillips of Scenterprise

  • fragrance
  • fragrances

    Bespoke Perfume created at Scentarium in Tribeca NYC

  • fragrances

    Sue Phillips in Scentarium

Continue Reading

Business Insider Interview with Sue Phillips – how to create your own custom fragrance at the Scentarium

SUE PHILLIPS - CUSTOM FRAGRANCERead the Business Insider Interview with Sue Phillips – how to create your own custom fragrance at the Scentarium.

We visited the Scentarium to have a 1-on-1 custom fragrance workshop with owner and expert perfumer Sue Phillips. Watch the video below.



Continue Reading

Sniffing Out the Future of Fragrance

now you can design your own fragranceRead the article by Cosmetic Design.com all about Sue Phillips who has been at the leading edge of Customized Perfumes and blend-it-yourself beauty. Sue is the founder of New York’s first Customized Perfumery  the Scentarium.


Continue Reading

Fragrance Belles Lettres reviews Scenterprises Balsamic Vanilla

balsamic vanilla PERFUME BLENDRead the review below of Scenterprises Balsamic Vanilla Perfume Blend – designed by Fragrance Expert Sue Phillips and available exclusively from Scenterprises as part of the perfume blend library at your disposable for you to create your very own perfume – or simply wear these delicious perfume blends on their own.

Fragrance Belles Lettres article.


Continue Reading

The Power of Perfume to Influence

Join in one of these exciting, interactive seminars on May 9th or 10th 2017 and discover how you can influence those around you, and also create your very own “Influence” perfume on the day with leading industry Fragrance Expert Sue Phillips. Also starring Elaina Zuker – author of “Secrets of Influence”.

The event will take place at the Scentarium, 85 Franklin Street, NY 10013. 


Reserve your place here

or email: info@suephillips.com or call 917-449-1134.



Continue Reading

Sue Phillips of the Scentarium is the Queen of Fragrance

Read the article in Welum all about Sue Phillips – the Queen of Fragrance and her bespoke Perfumery the Scentarium in TriBeCa NYC.

You too can create your own bespoke perfume at the Scentarium – by appointment only.


Scentarium bottles

Continue Reading

Sue Phillips Radio Interview – a Fragrance Journey

Sue at The ScentariumSue Phillips of Scenterprises – a Fragrance Journey. Listen to the interview about custom bespoke fragrances with Scenterprises on www.beautyisyourbusiness.com



Continue Reading

Interview with Sue Phillips, Founder & President of Scenterprises on Music, Fragrance and the Arts

Sue PhillipsSue Phillips is the Founder and President of Scenterprises, a global marketing and branding consulting company she started in 1990. Her background in the cosmetics and fragrance industry began with Elizabeth Arden and grew from there where she worked for some of the biggest names in the industry – Chloe, Lagerfeld, Lancôme, Paris, and was the Vice President of Fragrance Marketing for Tiffany & Company and developed the first iconic TIFFANY perfume for their 150th anniversary. 

She is an expert in her field and has developed and branded fragrances for some many well-known companies like Avon, Banana Republic, Burberry, Trish McEvoy, and Tiffany & Co., to name just a few! Not only is she an expert on just about every aspect of the cosmetics and fragrance industry, Ms. Phillips testifies as an expert witness on fragrance industry matters, as well as has taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology and will be teaching classes at LIM College this Fall.

Read the full article in Guitar Girl Magazine here.


Continue Reading

Sue Phillips interviewed on the Scent of Healing

Sue Phillips interviewed on Talk Radio Broadcasting about the Scent of Healing and how Fragrance is our most important silent accessory to make you feel positive and confident.




Continue Reading

Customization – the hottest trend for 2017

Celebrities at the scentariumOne of the hottest trends in 2017 is customization”
As technology and consumer awareness progresses at lightning speed, the consumer wants to express their INDIVIDUALITY rather than just adopting the image of someone else or of another brand – hence the world of customization.
As Sue Phillips, CEO of Scenterprises™ and owner of  The Scentarium™ – New York’s interactive bespoke perfumery says:“With my creative fragrance presentations at both Scenterprises™ and the Scentarium™, we have been at the forefront of customization for several years now – and at last it is coming into its own!”  
Customizing your own personal fragrance is now the latest trend and is becoming super popular, and by attending a Custom Scent Experience at the Scentarium™, you can join many “A” list stars such as Jamie Foxx, Katie Holmes, Zendaya, Lisa Venderpump, and other rapper and reality stars such as  Won-G, Snooki and JWoww – all of whom have created their very own custom perfumes at the Scentarium™. 
Sue continues: “I believe that your perfume should be as unique as you are”
What sets the Scentarium™ apart as THE venue to design your own fragrance?
The answer lies in the fact that at the Scentarium™ you embark on a personal fragrance journey of discovery, self-expression, individuality, education, fun and scentertainment™ with international fragrance expert, Sue Phillips. Our exquisite perfume blends are made from the finest quality ingredients (we have never had any complaints of allergic reactions) and allow you to create your very own, unique perfume – styled to suit YOU.

Check out our testimonial videos:


For more information about how you can design your own perfume during a Custom Scent Experience, contact Sue on: info@scentarium.com or book direct here.

Belinda Carli – of the Institute of Personal Care Science recently wrote an article about: Customization in the Personal Care Industry

Continue Reading


ENTREPRENEUR’S CORNER – by New York Lifestyle Magazine

Besides creating customized perfumes for the world privately and corporately, Sue is an adjunct professor at LIM College, after five years of teaching at FIT, and not surprisingly, is working on her line of fragrance called the Sue Phillips House of Fragrance Collection. She was also nominated as the Fragrance/Entrepreneur 2016 for Fashion Group International, and also 2016 Woman of the Year for T.J. Martell Foundation……..


Continue Reading

Fragrance Designer Sue Phillips on the Art of Perfumery

Fragrance Designer Sue Phillips on the Art of Perfumery – the Huffington Post

Continue Reading

Article in the Luxonomist

Article in the Luxonomist

Continue Reading

How to Look Expensive by Reader’s Digest

How to Look Expensive by Reader’s Digest

Continue Reading

The Perfect Perfume for every room by Reader’s Digest

The Perfect Perfume for every room by Reader’s Digest

Continue Reading

L’Oreal Headliner – DIY fragrance and consumer branding

L’Oreal Headliner – DIY fragrance and consumer branding

Continue Reading

Beauty Fashion Interview with Sue Phillips by Beauty Fashion Fragrance

Beauty Fashion Interview with Sue Phillips by Beauty Fashion Fragrance

Continue Reading

DIY Perfume – Create your Own Fragrance at Home – by Garage Cabinets

DIY Perfume – Create your Own Fragrance at Home – by Garage Cabinets

Continue Reading

The Perfect Fragrance For Every Room – Reader’s Digest. –

The Perfect Fragrance For Every Room – Reader’s Digest. –

Continue Reading

Buy Savvy Chic Perfume by Sue Phillips and SoChicNYC

Buy Savvy Chic Perfume by Sue Phillips and SoChicNYC

Continue Reading

Sue Phillips designs a Bespoke Perfume for SoChicNYC

Sue Phillips designs a Bespoke Perfume for SoChicNYC 

Continue Reading

Sue Phillips nominee for Beauty and Fragrance Entrepreneur 2016

Fashion Group International nominate Scenterprises’ Sue Phillips as a Beauty and Fragrance Entrepreneur for their 2016 Rising Star Awards.

Continue Reading

The New York Post features Sue Phillips – Fragrance Expert

Alexa – NY Post – October 20th 2015

Alexa 21102015


Continue Reading