The iconic perfume house Krigler has been a family run business for five generations. Known for their unprecedented craftsmanship and timeless luxury, Krigler fragrances have been revered by famous clientele and royals since its inception. From JFK to Princess Grace; Krigler has been the go-to haute perfume brand for countless luminaries. In a conversation with Ben Krigler, Scent Rebel discovers the secret to their success and why celebrity fragrance is not a new concept.
Available exclusively in the United States at The Plaza Hotel
Krigler Fragrances started in 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Known for elegance, craftsmanship and attention to refined detail; the Krigler name is synonymous with haute perfumery. Why is this type of luxury still in demand 105 years later? Why do you think it is so important to not only your clientele, but the fragrance industry in general?
Although Krigler has been around for many years, our fragrances are timeless, therefore they are still in demand today. We pay attention to every detail and ingredient that goes into making our fragrances. We source the best ingredients from around the world and choose to use natural versus synthetic ingredients wherever possible. Instead of mass producing our fragrances, we choose to keep the manufacturing and production of our products limited therefore creating a product that is special and exclusive. There aren’t many fragrance companies like Krigler today. The majority of fragrances today are created and produced by large corporations, however Krigler remains family owned and operated to this day and we are very proud to be able to say that.
Your fragrances are inspired by high profile locales; please tell me about the connection between travel, evocative places and the art of perfumery; why do you think this resonates with your clientele?
Fragrance and scents in general are known to remind people of certain memories and locations. Our fragrances are inspired by certain travels that my great-grandfather (and founder of Krigler) Albert Krigler, has encountered. This resonates well with our clients, because each fragrance tells a story and has a history as to why it was created and what inspired the scent to make it more personal and intimate.
So many celebrities today are either producing a fragrance or want to; do you think this trend is helping the fragrance industry or hurting it?
I don’t think it hurts or helps as celebrity fragrances have always been part of the fragrance industry. Even Cleopatra had her own fragrance. The fragrance industry is complex with multiple categories and different types of consumers. As you can see, some fragrances that celebrities create are geared for the mass market and they do gain instant popularity as they fit the time period. However, they are not timeless. Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and other actors and actresses all had scents created bearing their name. Their fragrances represented the dream of the moment, but then they lose popularity and disappear as the industry is always re-inventing itself. Our fragrances on the other side are timeless. Even though celebrities have worn them, they are not made for one person in particular. However they can be part of a creative process. For instance America One 31, our first U.S. fragrance, was created and given to Ernest Hemingway as a gift to remind him of the past in the French Riviera and for us to look into the future for inspiration, but the fragrance doesn’t bear his name and was not created by him.
Your perfumes have been worn by such luminaries as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and JFK. Tom Ford is said to have been inspired by Lieber Gustav 14 in creating Black Orchid. What is the secret behind Krigler that has attracted the attention of such a remarkable and famous clientele?
We create scents that are not only for the present moment, but that endure. Scents that were worn by great icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are still popular today. It is our dedication to fragrance and luxury that attracts such famous clients.
Krigler has had a relationship with the Plaza Hotel since 1930- what is it about this iconic hotel that makes it the perfect fit for the Krigler Boutique?
The Plaza Hotel exudes luxury and is such a timeless, iconic landmark in New York City, which is why we feel it is the perfect location to house our boutique. It has such a rich history, similar to that of ours which makes it the perfect match. It has a great balance of traditional timelessness with a modern twist which is what embodies Krigler fragrances.
The Krigler tradition has continued for generations. How do you plan to uphold these traditions? How are you doing things differently?
Krigler is a fifth generation business. Of course legacy is important, even though for decades we were only making custom made fragrances. Each generation has contributed to the company differently. The first generation of course created the foundation of the company. The second generation is responsible for the development of a few boutiques. The third is the one who brought Krigler to the U.S. The fourth generation was more intimate as custom made fragrances were only available at this time. I’m the one bringing Krigler to life in a much bigger way. We have a classic collection with over 200 scents. Every year we will be adding new scents and creations to our collection. It is amazing to pursue such a legacy in such an intimate and hands on way. Krigler is such a unique fragrance house. We receive requests of distribution from all over the world. We want to develop the company in a wise way. With only our own boutiques offering Haute Perfumery services such as custom made fragrances and custom made candles. Of course our competitors will always copy the unique things we have to offer, as we have seen recently. But they won’t have the same creations. We will always remain Haute Couture and not ready to wear. This is our motto.