A few years ago, I happened upon a shop in New York that I’d never seen before. It was in a building set apart from others, painted a beautiful, deep shade of blue, and on the door was printed “Fueguia 1833 / Patagonia.”
Patagonia is one of the most magnificently beautiful places I can remember visiting; I couldn’t not open the door to see what was inside.
It was stunning: rows and rows of perfume bottles with glass bulbs on top, and a dark, beautifully designed interior that, despite its beauty, somehow encouraged me to focus all of my attention on smelling what was inside those bottles. The small-batch perfumes made from carefully harvested botanicals were unique and exquisite; the sustainability-minded bottles and packaging were simply perfect.
It all became even more intriguing when the manager of The Fife Arms popped in a few minutes after me and said, “Right! Here’s the fragrance that was made for us.” And more intriguing still when it was clear that whoever created this marvelous fragrance brand was inspired by Charles Darwin, whose work I'd studied in college, and his travels to Patagonia and the Galápagos, another place I’d visited and fallen in love with. And one whose future, in the face of climate change, I wonder about.
I hadn’t been so taken with a fragrance brand since I first stumbled into Le Labo’s first shop in Nolita back in 2005 — and as my love of sustainably harvested botanicals, sustainability-oriented business practices, and good-for-you formulas has grown since those early aughts, it was as though these fascinating, sophisticated perfumes were conjured just for people like me during this specific moment in time.
I’m always excited about new launches; every brand is like a dear friend I’m proud to introduce to you. This one, though, has been in the works for years, and it’s so big that it’s taken over one of the two marble tables in our SF studio. Fueguia 1833 is everything I’ve been looking for in the world of fragrance over the past decade, and all of us at Ayla are so proud to be one of Fueguia’s first retailers worldwide — and their very first in the US.
During a trip to the Galápagos — there's no place like it.