Fueguia 1833 was founded in Patagonia, where the region’s native plants first inspired Julián Bedel to create his luxury fragrance brand. The company moved to Italy in 2015 and today the limited-edition fragrances are formulated in a lab using Argentinean ingredients.
Julián Bedel defines his company as being "vertically integrated, from packaging to ingredient research, production and sales". Fueguia 1833 sells in its own stores in New York (Madison Avenue and Soho), London (Harrods), Milan (Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II) and Tokyo, among others. For these boutiques, the brand has created a novel sampling method: large glass bulbs are placed atop the bottles and are lifted off to sample each fragrance—a playful way to navigate the different scents.
An artist himself, Bedel is also the packaging designer for his collection of 100 fragrances. "We take advantage of our small scale to make spectacular products," explains Bedel. The 8ml, 50ml and 100ml bottles are devoid of labels and each feature a serial number that is laser-engraved in-house. The color of the juice and the quality of the glass (Verreries Brosse) suffice when it comes to decoration, while the pump, Aptar’s Petite & Precious model, is barely visible through the glass.
The shape of the wooden boxes is inspired by the architecture of Carlos Scarpa and each case features an outer label made by Arconvert, an Italian specialist in the world of wine, and a handwritten serial number. German papermaker GMünd designed papers decorated with a map of Patagonia featuring a wood-like texture, which are placed inside the box.
The boxes—made of cedar, but also mahogany, hazelnut and red spruce from northern Italy—are constructed in Fueguia 1833’s Milanese workshop, which counts five employees, using a Biesse machine. "With sustainable development in mind, we source the portion of the trunk that is not used after the tree is cut," notes Bedel. In addition, the cedar residue from the workshop is processed into distillate and incense, which will be sold at the brand’s shop that is slated to open in Kyoto in April.
Bedel confirms that sustainable development is part of the brand’s DNA; in its early days in Argentina, the company operated a carpentry workshop that worked with wood from trees in Patagonia that had been blown down during storms. Today, in Milan, all of its packaging and carpentry operations are powered by wind energy. The packaging is also plastic-free, with the exception of the dip tube and the cap, which Bedel is looking to replace with wood. "We’d like to use our production residues to manufacture our caps and we’re looking for an innovation that would allow us to do so," he adds.
In addition to its fragrance collection, Fueguia 1833 also has B2B projects with museums, artists and luxury groups. Two years ago, it created the perfume for carmaker Rolls Royce, The Spirit, from a leather distillate.