Inspired By Travel Fantasies, The Maker Fragrance Collection Hits Sephora
Growing up in communist-era Russia, Lev Glazman remembers being woken up in the middle of the night as a young boy and sneaking out of the house with his mother. They got in a car and drove in the darkness to meet a mysterious smuggler. His mother handed over a significant sum of money and received a small package in exchange. Glazman recalls every detail of discovering that the forbidden sale was for a bottle of French perfume, Climat by Lancôme. Back then in Russia, there was only one government-approved perfume and cologne that was permitted, dubbed Red Moscow, and everything else had to be purchased on the black market.
That powerful encounter shaped his work as the co-founder of Fresh, along with his partner, Alina Roytberg, which went on to become one of the fastest-growing beauty brands. Launched in 1991, it was eventually acquired by LVMH, though Glazman and Roytberg still have an advisory role with Fresh. It was there that they learned the ins and outs of the beauty world, with scent being part of the equation of creating a beautiful sensorial experience with every product they created. For their second chapter, they opened The Maker hotel in 2020 in Hudson, New York.
“In the cycle of life, when you come to certain things, it’s not a long-calculated decision when you feel like it’s time to have a different kind of a creative project,” Roytberg says. “At Fresh, the business is quite developed, so the idea was jumping into something which is a completely different creative stimulus. It would touch on so many other things; this was such a different world.”
But The Maker was conceived as so much more than just a boutique hotel. While hospitality may seem like a leap from running a beauty brand, Glazman and Roytberg point out that they treated each Fresh boutique like a hospitality experience for their customers. They traveled around the world as the co-founders of Fresh, sourcing global ingredients and meeting with retailers and colleagues, which also shaped their expectations of what a hotel should be. All of those details are poured into the 11 rooms at The Maker, which required a major renovation, joining three separate buildings together.
“The idea was taking a piece of history, developing it into a new revolution, making it live in this world and bringing really special things,” Roytberg says. “What makes this place different is the fact that it’s a blend of periods and the things that have been curated together. There are some amazing hotels out there with incredible service and beautiful rooms, but we wanted smaller, more intimate environments. That requires so much more attention. The idea was when you go to a hotel like this, you’re staying at the home of a very tasteful nomadic friend who is not around, so you could do what you want. There is that comfort in things that feel lived in; most of these have been restored and recycled. They’ve had their life before and now they have their life here. It’s slightly more eclectic, so you don’t feel so formal. The Maker hotel is where inhibitions go away, and that relates to everything—that doesn’t have to necessarily be in terms of behavior, it could be in the way you feel.”
When they initially conceived of The Maker, Glazman and Roytberg knew there would be a fragrance collection of the same name, along with a restaurant and gym, creating an entire lifestyle brand fusing different arenas. “It was always part of the concept as a whole 360 experience,” Glazman says. “I wanted people to have the ability to explore and fragrance definitely was always in front of the mind together with this concept.”
Each of the scents offered by The Maker, spanning six fine fragrance and six candles that are all gender inclusive and responsibly made, are inspired by travel and often evoke a moment or place in the hotel. For example, the aptly named Fire eau de parfum looks to when sparks fly as its muse, with notes of vanilla, juniper berry, Tahitian vanilla and tobacco accord, reminiscent of the sultry yet cozy fireplaces that fill The Maker. Triggering bare skin and capturing the lust of a love affair, Naked blends Passiflora, white musk and wet wild orris. Each box is lined in a bespoke wallpaper pattern of a floral batik print that was created Roytberg.
“It was a very fluid process,” Glazman says, with rooms inspiring the fragrance and vice versa. “To know the story of the room and what you wanted to create in an atmosphere, but then you imagine a certain situation and moments that could happen that could go based on the setup and everything else, so they both are driving each other.”
All of the rooms at The Maker are completely unique, filled with one-of-a-kind pieces sourced from all over the globe for a truly bespoke stay. When one opens the door to The Writer, you can practically hear the clacking of a typewriter as you take in the rich wooden bookcases filled with tomes on all subjects surrounding a vintage fireplace, with a typewriter on a handsome desk tucked into the corner. It’s easy to picture Ernest Hemingway typing away there. That essence is capture in The Writer candle, a woody scent paying homage to a nomadic scribe with notes of fig, sandalwood, ink and cotton.
Many companies simply turn their perfumes into candles, but it was important to Glazman to have distinct fragrance profiles for each. “What you wear on your body, it’s not necessarily [a candle],” he says. “Sometimes if they have their favorite fragrance, people want a candle. But I think it’s got to be a little bit more eclectic. It doesn’t have to follow the rule that you have to match. I feel the atmosphere smells different from the way your body smells.”
Further evidence of Glazman’s love of perfume can be found in The Maker’s fragrance library, a petite room on the second floor that has a glass cabinet filled with perfumes from major and indie brands alike, along with the full collection of The Maker fragrances, with blotters handy for guests to experiment with the scents. “You’re not shopping—you’re experiencing,” Roytberg says. The cabinet is constantly changing, with scents being rotated in and out from their vast collection. Guests often stop by to spritz something on before dinner, and they’re encouraged to play with the multitude of options.
In honor of National Fragrance Day on March 21, The Maker will debut at Sephora, with an exclusive on The Discovery Set, with refillable mini 2 ml spray bottles of The Maker’s full fragrance library of six perfumes. “Sephora is a great partner,” Glazman says. “Customers really follow Sephora in a major way. It’s a great platform for us to expose the fragrance to this audience. The audience is very, very interested in the indie fragrances that are different. People gravitate to personalizing things more today. They don’t want anybody dictating whatever fragrances they have on their body just because they advertise it and it looks pretty. They want to have something that belongs to them, that is part of their personality and is an extension of them and that’s why I feel that the world of the fragrance today is really expanding.”