What started out feeling like a pie-in-the-sky idea to Jeanette Price, owner of Peachy Keen Perfume, has become a profitable business for her as a perfumer. Price, a Coronado resident, recently celebrated the first anniversary since the launch of her fragrance line inspired by the scents of San Diego.
Her first fragrance, Ocean Boulevard, is named after the oceanfront thoroughfare in Coronado, which combines a citrus scent with notes of jasmine and white musk. Her best-selling fragrance, Torrey Pines, is named for the rare pine trees grown only in San Diego County, which mixes fir needle with notes of vanilla, coconut and lemon.
After graduating with a teaching degree during the height of the recession, Price delved into perfume while seeking employment upon her arrival to San Diego. Her husband’s Navy career brought her here, where she now makes perfume out of her home studio.
“A lot of people assume military spouses are one-dimensional and that’s their only job,” said Price, “but before this I was living as a tour guide in Paris and taking trips to the South of France, visiting perfumeries, and teaching English while living in Morocco.”
Price learned about perfume while in Morocco, where the quality of oils is very high, prices are cheaper, and perfumers are accessible to talk with about their fragrances.
“I think San Diego is a great place for starting a business,” said Price. “Although it’s traditional in a lot of ways, it’s also very receptive and has an openness in attitude. People here are willing to try things even if they’re different.”
Price says creating fragrances is an art using essential oils and specific aromatic chemicals. She starts with building “the heart,” or main body, of a perfume and builds from there. At home, Price has a dedicated closet and fridge for products that need to be stored either in the dark or cold.
She has other scent profiles in mind that haven’t yet been incorporated into signature Southern California fragrances, but the next labels may venture out to Orange County or the desert area. She also plans to take her collection to a national level later this summer, with fragrances outside the immediate region.
“I never imagined having the space or opportunity to become a perfumer,” said Price. “But the business has been a very positive step for me by establishing something positive for myself that was outside the realm of teaching. I absolutely love it.”
Price can also be found teaching English as a Second Language courses to adult students, and moonlighting as a substitute teacher when the opportunity arises.
She’s in the process of creating a new brand in addition to Peachy Keen called Wax Poetic. Each Wax Poetic fragrance will have its own poem to describe its scent. Eventually, she wants to offer fragrance development to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Price says perfumery is a growing trend, as many artists segue into perfume, and has become especially popular on the West Coast.
Using the tagline “perfume with a heart,” Price plans to donate a portion of future proceeds from Peachy Keen Perfume to schools and food banks.
Peachy Keen Perfume is sold at Charisma, 1158 Orange Ave., as well as other shops throughout San Diego, and online.
Spray perfumes (2.2 oz bottles) retail for $48, and roll-on perfume oils (9.9 ml bottles) are $25. Gift sets are also available.
For more information, visit www.peachykeenperfume.com.