The Art of Natural Perfumery: Interview with Rodney Hughes of Therapeutate Parfums

“We believe that all great things start in nature, and are born of the earth. That is why, we bring the modern consumer luxury fragrances and aromatic products matching the lifestyles they live.” Rodney Hughes, Founder Therapeutate Parfums.

International Perfume Foundation (IPF) and Therapeutate Parfums invite you to live by the motto, “INHALE LIFE.” Enjoy the interview by International Perfume Foundation:


Hi Rodney, where are you based? 

– I am based in Brooklyn, New York.

How did you start? What was the first scent that made you decide to become a perfumer ? When was that? 

My interest began really out of a need to create balance in the work place. So after doing lots of research in aromatherapy, I began to use singular notes to help revive me when I traveled and the create a sense of calm in a very hectic fashion environment.

Some of the first essential oils I worked with were Rosemary to revive and keep me alert, then I began to bring Geranium to meeting. Colleagues immediate response was a sense of wellness and calm in those meeting. I always brought along at least one base note whether it was sandalwood, or vetiver for grounding. I quickly learned the effects these botanical essences had over people. They not only help me cope, but others around me. This fascinated me!!

So I began ordering books on the subject of Aromatherapy and consumed as much information as I could. It is often said, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Well, that certain in my case and I met a wonder pair of teachers. They taught me so much about the science of the raw materials, quality and the artistry of blending natural perfumes.I am forever indebted to Debbie and Howard Freund, RN & PhD for further opening up this world of

Olfactory Art. They were a fantastic set of teachers working out of the New York Open Center.

Since training with them, I have gone on the study with Raymond Matts, Cinquieme Sens; formerly with Estee Lauder and Laurence Fauvel, ASFO-GIP. In many ways, I have been very blessed to have very good teachers and mentors.


You are a natural perfumer, so when did you made the choice to become a natural perfumer instead of following the majority of the brands making synthetic perfumes. What led you to make this choice?

People often ask me why natural perfumes and do I find it difficult to make amazing scent only using natural raw materials? Many industry professionals cast a shadow of natural perfumery, saying there no such thing as an evolved natural fragrance. I simply laugh at this notion. It’s really quite silly and biased. I think the problem is many perfumers think only commercially with a cost  driven bottom line. Well, that’s why we have artisan and niche, in my opinion its very anti-establishment.

Not to digress further, I chose natural perfumery because after wearing more commercial and niche brands for years, I developed an intolerance to fragrance laden with aroma-chemicals. They really bother my head and stomach. My partner can no longer tolerate them due to nasal allergies. So as much as I love fragrance, it was important to have an alternate. For me the decision was clear since I believe fragrance can be used as a healing instrument.

That’s what I seek to do with the Art of Perfumery!


Where can we find your perfumes ? Are you distributed worldwide ?

Our fragrances are available at  and . We will ship pretty much any destination.

Can you give us an idea what type of person buys your product ? From which country are most of them from ? Do you have many European clients ?

I think the demographic that would enjoy what we do at Therapeutate, is the client that’s in love and awe of luxury, fashion and living a healthy lifestyle. This customer is very discerning about what goes into and on their bodies. They know luxury from a highly defined palate, they wear clothes that are equally as beautiful on the interior as they are exteriorly. Fashion for them is not fussy, its simple with the refinement in the fabric and details. We do this with fragrance at Therapeutate Parfums.

This clientele is both in America and abroad, but I find that many European customers really understand this point of view.


Do you think the use of social media can spread the message of natural perfume as a healthier

Absolutely, I believe social media plays a big part in promotion what natural perfumers do. However, I believe there is still much work to be done when it comes to specialty retailers buying into the notion of this amazing beautiful art form. Widely, the consumer, is still trying to understand why natural is generally more costly. For this matter it is a luxury item. But the consumer who chooses”grass-fed” over “conventional” really has embraced this moment.

The International Perfume Foundation (IPF) recently launched a Directory for Certified Natural Perfumers worldwide.  The Directory is the first step in responding to a growing number of questionsconsumers have been asking about the contents of perfumes and the importance of natural products intheir lives.

Certified Natural Perfumers Directory 

The pictures and text of the 32 day campaign RECONNECT WITH NATURE are downloadable on: