We first found out about Gabriel Abraham at this year’s World Trade Center spring member reception. Abraham, a member of the association, and his business La Comédie des Parfums were featured at the French-themed event among small bites of duck confit and crème brûlée.
La Comédie des Parfums means “the Perfume's Drama,” not an act that inspires laughter, and it was created to support artists and inspire live shows. Abraham, an actor himself, started his company in France and moved to Seattle in March 2010 for a variety of reasons: the expansive U.S. market, the temperate weather perfect for growing his 100 percent natural ingredients, and the dynamic community of the city. The Seattle manufacturing facility is equipped to produce up to 60,000 bottles per week. Each perfume is created with a story in mind and is developed as a tribute to artists, painters, actors, directors, and playwrights of the 16th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Shop Talk: What neighborhood is your studio in?
Abraham: We're in South Park.
What is your earliest memory of being interested in perfumery?
As a third generation fragrance designer, I was raised in a fragrance environment, but never liked it as a young boy. I discovered the passion for fragrance while I was trying to help my fellow comedians and actors. I suggested making additional revenue through fragrance creation. The words became an idea, the idea to a project, and the project became a business. It took many years though.
What do you do to get yourself in a creative or productive headspace when you're feeling stuck?
That’s where I feel I’m at my best; when I’m stuck with problems. I just take a break from my daily routine and think about it for one day. The next day, I have the solution.
What are five things you can't work without?
I would say there are three things: Music, email, and Internet.
What is your favorite thing about your studio?
The people I work with. They are exceptionally great. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people. This helps me to remain creative and innovative.
Where can we find your perfume, and where would you like us to be able to find your perfume?
In November 2011 the company opened its pilot store at Westlake Center mall in downtown Seattle. The plan was initially, after a successful launching of the pilot store, to secure a location at Southcenter Mall in Seattle and franchise stores in Las Vegas, Hawaii, New York, San Francisco, and LA as well as in foreign countries. The showroom at Westlake Mall closed in February 2013 due to the mall renovation. We are thinking to introduce a new concept by the end of 2013. We are working on it.
(Right now, Abraham’s perfumes can be ordered on his website. He is also looking to enter the travel retail sector by expanding to hotels and cruise lines.)