Aromatique, which is known the world over for its beautiful gifts and wonderfully scented candles, oils and sprays, is located in Heber Springs, and its official gift shop, Panache, is located right next door to the company’s headquarters.
Now known as a “must see” destination for Heber Springs shopping, Aromatique decorative fragrance was created in 1982 by Patti Upton. Patti gave birth to this dynamic company literally just for fun. She mixed together a mélange of native botanicals such as acorns, pine cones, gumballs and hickory nuts, fragranced them with spices, oils and ingenuity. Patti called her creation The Smell of Christmas and placed it in a friend’s gift shop. Visitors were enthralled. This extraordinary decorative fragrance quickly turned into an overnight success, and customers were consistently asking for more. Often copied but never duplicated, The Smell of Christmas remains the company’s flagship fragrance. As a leader in the fragrance industry noted, “It is great to create a wonderful fragrance, but to keep that fragrance at the top for over 20 years is amazing.”
With the birth of the company, magic and whimsy gave way to deliberation, as Patti began to envision the birth of a new industry: decorative fragrance. It is not potpourri, the traditional collection of sweet smelling dried flowers. Decorative fragrance is rich and full-bodied, with large distinctive botanicals carefully and artfully arranged with a memorable scent. The product is precisely layered into a primary packaging of cellophane bags. The preferred method of display is large open containers. The company now produces a wide variety of fragrance lines, including candles and decorative accessories.
In 1991, Ms. Upton, with the assistance of the nation’s leading personal-products experts, developed a new line known as “The Aromatique Bath.” The bath treatment line was expanded in 1999 to include basic skin care products in several fragrances and continues to evolve as new products are introduced. All Aromatique bath products contain the finest ingredients at the highest therapeutic levels and are designed to promote and maintain the skin in its most natural, healthy state.
The Aromatique Spa, a specific line of skin care products designed to protect and rejuvenate the skin, was introduced in 2005. It includes a collection of relaxing scented candles to help set the mood for relaxation. Aromatique Spa offers the ultimate in luxury at an affordable price.
Aromatique’s vault to the top of the market has been both magical and deliberate, carefully orchestrated with Patti Upton closely monitoring every stage of the development. Annette Green, president emeritus of the Fragrance Foundation in New York, declares Patti “one of our industry’s most creative visionaries. Her trailblazing concepts set the stage for the revolution in the enjoyment and appreciation of fragrance in the home, which is driving the public’s interest in fragrance.”
Patti was the first to artfully combine visual elements with fragrance. She is unique in that her business is totally focused on fragrances and their ancillary components.
Patti is quick to call Aromatique a “we” company. She attributes Aromatique’s success to the unique collection of people and talent on her staff that has been drawn to the breathtaking natural beauty of the company’s home in Heber Springs, Arkansas, located in the Greers Ferry Lake resort area of the Ozark foothills. Patti has blended these individual creative forces to produce a support staff second to none. In addition, the talents and ingenuity of local employees have been pressed into service to custom-design and build much of the specialized machinery needed to produce many of its products.
Aromatique’s commitment to philanthropic works has helped several organizations throughout the years. The University of Arkansas for Medical Science, one of the top teaching hospitals in the United States, has been the recipient of nearly three-quarter of a million dollars. This money has been used to purchase needed equipment for the hospital. Over $1.7 million has been donated to The Nature Conservancy through the sale of “The Natural State” decorative fragrance line. The money has been used to help protect and preserve beautiful natural lands. Nancy DeLamar, Director of External Affairs for the South Central Division of The Nature Conservancy, said, “Through this unique and creative partnership with conservation, the Upton’s found a way to contribute back to the resource — the natural world — from which the success of Aromatique comes.” Many other organizations have benefited monetarily through the donation of products, time and services as well. These charitable donations earned Patti Upton the Distinguished Citizen Award from local NBC affiliate KARK-TV and the Office of the Governor of the State of Arkansas.
Numerous magazines, newspapers and television shows have featured Patti and Aromatique. She appeared twice on “Working Women,” a nationally syndicated television show from Washington, D.C., and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” did a segment on Patti and the company. The London Sunday Express and The Washington Postnewspapers have both traveled to Arkansas to interview Patti and focus on the company. A Christmas issue ofVictoria Magazine featured Patti and the Upton’s Arkansas home. In 1999, the book “The Business of Bliss” featured Patti and the Aromatique Story. An article in the November 2002 issue of “Southern Living” profiled the company and its varied products from decorative fragrance to the bath.
Creating only the highest quality products and keeping Aromatique at the forefront of the decorative fragrance industry has been the company’s mission from the beginning. Patti Upton has been the driving force behind that mission. She states, “The quest for perfection is so important, it sometimes takes up to two years to develop a fragrance. We have always been known for the quality of our fragrances, and as we celebrate our 26th anniversary, our commitment to our customers remains strong and will not change. Aromatique will always provide the best products available and will continue to be the leader in the decorative fragrance industry.”