A Passion for Perfume

Chris Tsefalas

The Perfume House was founded in 1985 by Chris T. Tsefalas—a charismatic man with a passion for fragrance. The culmination of his life's work, The Perfume House is a fragrance house like no other, offering thousands of fine fragrances from around the world. The vast array of merchandise coupled with Chris' expertise makes The Perfume House a true treasure and a destination for fragrance enthusiasts the world over.

Of course, every story has a beginning and Chris' story began in 1951 at a Cleveland, Ohio chemical company. Fresh out of college after serving in the United States Navy he began working in the natural fragrances division of a large conglomerate; it was here that his interest in fragrance was roused. Inspired by the inherent beauty of scent, Chris set off to explore the vast world of fragrance. Beginning his journey in Europe, he soon found a mentor in one of the world's foremost authorities: 4711's Dr. Walter Lauschner of Cologne (the fragrance capital of Germany and the namesake of the world's most beloved scent: eau de cologne). 

Dr. Lauschner took the young man under his wing and taught him everything he knew. His training with Dr. Lauschner fueled his passion for fine fragrance and in just a few short years, Chris found himself representing eight of the world's largest fragrance houses as International Marketing Director. It was during this time that Chris began to collaborate with the German fragrance house that would one day release his first fragrance: Patrizierhaus (or Patrician House).

Chris' role in the fragrance industry eventually brought him back to the United States to focus on imports and distribution. One of his most notable partnerships was with Oregon-based retailer Norm Thompson. Perhaps most importantly, however, was the effect that the partnership had on Chris; it was at this time that Chris first experienced the joy of sharing fine fragrances with the public. This passion culminated in the establishment of his own import company in the late 1970s: Tamak, Inc.

For several years, Tamak, Inc. operated out of a nondescript looking house on the corner of Hawthorne and SE 33rd Avenue, quietly supplying local retailers with some of the world's best perfumes, colognes, and fragrant treasures. Then in 1985, Chris took the final step in his long journey and decided to open to the public. Dubbing his freshly-opened business The Perfume House, Chris dedicated his shop to the great perfumers of Europe—his goal was to honor their great works and provide a venue for the public to discover and enjoy the beauty of fine fragrances.

Today, The Perfume House stands as a testament to the vision of Chris Tsefalas. It offers visitors from around the world, the opportunity to come and experience the joy of fine fragrance. Chris envisioned an environment where patrons would not be pressured to purchase the latest fad or offered misinformation but instead would be guided by highly-trained and knowledgable sales associates. For Chris, the role of The Perfume House as a retail location is secondary to its role as a library of sorts—a place for fragrance enthusiasts and novices alike to gather and share in their passion for fragrance. Over the years many things have changed but The Perfume House continues to uphold these same values.

In an increasingly fast-paced world, perfumes can offer a moment of solace, akin to admiring a great work of art. As Chris often says, "Great fragrances capture a moment: an emotion, a feeling—pain and pleasure...a memory frozen in time, just waiting to be released."