Lately, Black-owned beauty brands have increased their visibility. Several black-owned skincare, makeup, and hair companies like Shea Moisture, Mented Cosmetics, Fenty Beauty, and more have become very popular nationally and internationally. With this increased visibility, black-owned perfume and cologne companies are still hard to find. Historically, perfumers are French, making Black perfumers and fragrance makers rare.

More people of color are beginning to start fragrance companies, becoming pioneers in this industry. Chris Classic, a recording artist and executive producer who has written, recorded, and licensed countless songs for film, television, and various commercial advertisements. Classic received his start as a songwriter from Run DMC in 1999 and now he is becoming a pioneer in the fragrance industry as a black fragrance maker. Classic lives in Atlanta and started his company, Savoir Faire, in 2017. His fragrance is sold online at savoirfaire.com, and can also be found locally at the Ponce City Market.

“The fragrance industry has been around for hundreds of years. Obviously, it’s been around as far as humanity goes.” “If you consider where humanity and civilization are said to have been birthed then you know that Black people and people of the diaspora are the first to use fragrances on themselves. However, in modern times most fragrances are said to originate out of Grasse, France.”

Through Savoir Faire, Classic created three fragrances—Soul Cafe, Signature, and Beau Noir. All of the fragrances are unisex. Classic says Soul Cafe is the companies best seller. Soul Cafe has a smell that opens rather strongly then dries down into a beautifully complex smell that offers a multitude of options for the various wearers to exude. It has notes of tobacco, bergamot, blood orange, black pepper, patchouli, private musk blend, amber wood, oud, lavender, Arabic coffee, and firewood.

Signature has notes of tomato leaf, leather, labdanum, orris, oud, firewood, sandalwood, musks, and amber essence. Beau Noir is said to smell like amber, patchouli, cannaflower, private oud, ceylon cinnamon bark, cedarwood, eucalyptus, and bakhoor with a hint of the musk of Morocco.

“Savoir Faire is an attraction brand,” said Classic. “The intention is for you to be and feel attractive and to attract things, ideas, and people.”

All of the fragrances are handmade and boxed by Classic and his team.

“The process is to blend all of the different notes and you have to store them for a while so they can settle. Then they’re mixed with a blend of perfumers alcohol,” said Classic.

Chris Classic, a recording artist and executive producer, is now a pioneer in the fragrance industry as a black fragrance maker. Classic lives in Atlanta, Ga. (Photo: Jessika Ward/The Atlanta Voice)

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