Frazer Parfum

WORDS: Remy Raitt


Walking into the Frazer Parfum house, you’re instantly reminded of the film Chocolat, but instead of offering a treat to the taste buds, owner Tammy Frazer’s wares will take your nose on a sensory adventure.

Using only natural materials, which are all responsibly sourced, Frazer Parfum offers a signature collection of fragrances, called “Chapters”, as well as bespoke services, whereby clients create their own scents with Tammy’s guidance.

Behind her L-shaped bar, Tammy brings forth glass flacons and beakers of essential oils, absolutes and her own parfums. She breathes in the scents deeply and passionately describes the smell’s origin as well as the notes possesed by each.

Although she has a family connection to perfume, with a grandfather who invented Oil of Olay and a father who worked in a Swiss perfume house, Tammy says she only really realised this lineage after she had begun her own research into the art. She says what really sparked her career in fragrance making was a lunchtime discussion on perfume with friends while she was working in a bank in Australia.

“I realised this would be a great way to travel. I resigned from my job and travelled through Europe and fell in love with places because of their smells.”

‘I knew what I was doing’

Returning to Cape Town, Tammy says she spent hours in her pyjamas researching perfume and making appointments with leading experts around the world. She then begun experimenting in wine glasses. “It’s weird, but I just somehow knew what I was doing,” she says.

Soon after came her signature fragrances – each inspired by a place Tammy has travelled to. India, Madagascar, Sydney, Corsica, Switzerland, the Spice Route, England and Pakistan are all captured by Tammy’s methodical approach to creating well-balanced scents that exude the essence of the destination.

And the discerning retailers who stock her parfum are evidence that she’s got it right. Among others, the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie in Harrods London, a private room on the fifth floor of Harrods, and the Annindriya Perfume Lounge in Oud-Zuid Amsterdam both stock Frazer Parfums.

Proudly South African, Tammy’s flacons are made by a glass blower in Worcester. Her African Blackwood solid perfume compacts – handmade in Mozambique – are engraved by Heather Moore, and her Shea Butter, sourced from Mali, comes in a wrapped ceramic vessel made by Cape Town local Karen Coetzee.

And while each vessel looks almost as good as the juice inside smells, Tammy says what’s most important is that everything that comes together is done in a way that’s environmentally, economically and socially responsible.

Tammy says…

If I were a scent I would be iris.

I design perfume because it’s unique.

Favourite commercial perfume? I don’t wear commercial perfume because it’s made with chemicals.

My most precious possession is my kitten.

If you weren’t doing this? That isn’t an option.

My favourite sense is smell.

Smell is intuitive and too underdeveloped by man.

Proudly South African is a mandate.

Design is what Cape Town is.

More information: frazerparfum.com, +27 (0)82 4635104