Strike the Right Nose

The fragile myth of perfume lured Tammy Frazer away from a career as at banker.

This is a story of a girl who followed her nose and discovered her calling. Or, perhaps, who followed her calling and discovered her nose.

Originally from Durban, Tammy Frazer moved to London for three years after school, then spent her 20s in Sydney working for an investment bank. While she was working on her Master’s thesis, on corporate and social investment, she realised two things: that she wanted to do something creative, and that she needed to come back to South Africa.

Over “lunch with two rocket scientists – literally”, Frazer talked about perfumes. “I didn’t know anything about it. I went home, went online and discovered this world … But most of it was ultra-commercialised, all about mass production. I wondered: what if it could be done in a traditional way. It fascinated me, using raw materials.”

At which point, Frazer says, she knew: “This is what I have to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to work with farmers, work with design. Be an entrepreneur.” And she announced that she was moving home – to be a perfumier.

Read the full story on the Sunday Times website.

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