A Passion for Perfume

Chris Tsefalas


The Perfume House was founded in the Summer of 1984 by Chris and Christina Tsefalas, a charismatic couple with a life-long passion for fragrances. The culmination of their life's work, The Perfume House is an intimate retail shop like no other, offering more than a thousand fine European fragrances and other exquisite items from around the world! The vast array of merchandise coupled with now more than 40 years of experience and expertise serving Portland, makes The Perfume House a true treasure and a destination for fragrance enthusiasts the world over!

   Inspired by the inherent beauty of scent, Chris set off to explore the vast world of fragrance after finishing college and service in the US Navy. 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, Germany. This mentorship fueled his passion for fine fragrances, and in just a few short years, Chris found himself representing eight of the world's largest fragrance houses as International Marketing Director. Chris' role in the fragrance industry would eventually settle him back to the United States permanently to focus on imports and international 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. These efforts culminated in the establishment of his own import company in the late 1970s, a company called 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 up the shop to the public. Dubbing his freshly-opened business The Perfume House, Chris dedicated his shop to honoring the great perfumers of Europe and providing 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 and efforts of Chris, Christina, and their family and offers visitors from around the world the opportunity to experience the joy of fine fragrances. An environment where patrons are not be pressured to purchase the latest fad or offered misinformation for the sake of selling something. Instead, our patrons are shown what they wish to smell or pursue for the sake of happiness; fragrance enjoyment on an ethereal and magical level, creating memories that will last throughout one’s life.

   For Chris, the role of The Perfume House as a retail location was always accompanied by its role as a library or museum of fragrances; a place for fragrance enthusiasts and novices alike to gather and share in their passion for fragrance. In an increasingly fast-paced world, perfumes can offer a moment of solace, akin to admiring a great work of art. As Chris has often said, "Great fragrances capture a moment: an emotion, a feeling-pain and pleasure...a memory frozen in time, just waiting to be released!" The shop is still family run, and while retired, Chris is able to proudly look at the accomplishments of The Perfume House in the retail world of fragrances and know that the great perfumers of all time have been honored. The shop now stands as a testament to the efforts of Chris and his family, and how they have helped secure Portland on the map of fine, international fragrances forever!