The recently opened Fueguia 1833 shop, in a leafy suburb of Buenos Aires, also contains the firm’s laboratory where perfumes can be made semi-bespoke for customers. The company’s corporate clients include the Four Seasons Hotel, Park Hyatt Hotel, Emirates Airways and others in the travel and leisure sector.
The opening collection has 50 fragrances divided into sub groups, each of which is follows a theme.
2. Destinos (places)
3. Personajes (people)
4. Fábula Fauna (fabulous fauna)
5. Linneo (after Carl Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy)
6. Amalia (Honouring the beauty of women)
7.Armonías (harmonies/ music)
The line takes a cerebral approach when it comes inspiration: offerings include the imagined smell of Darwin’s cabin on his voyage to Patagonia, as well as a celebration of the love affair (platonic or otherwise) that developed between Bengali poet Rabindranarath Tagore and writer Victoria Ocampo when he came to stay in Argentina.
The collection is also available in candles. The perfumes come in special hand-made boxes from native species of wood that come from fallen trees in the “Valdiviano” forest in Patagonia. They are made by students from a local carpentry school.
The name ‘Fueguia’ is taken from a sad event in Patagonian history. Fueguia Basket was a young girl of around 12 when she was taken to London as one of four ‘savages’ by Captain Fitzroy with the purpose of turning them into ‘civilised’ creatures. The intention was these four would then be brought back to teach the natives ‘educated’ and ‘Christian’ ways.
After two years in England, the experiment was deemed unsuccessful and Fitzroy took the natives back on the ship under his command, the HMS Beagle. It was on this famous return voyage that he was accompanied by the naturalist Charles Darwin, who later used much of his research on the trip to write The Origin of Species. (The story of the two men’s relationship is the theme of a novel by Harry Thompson called ‘This Thing of Darkness’). The fate of Fueguia was an unfortunate one – after marrying another of the captives when she returned to Patagonia she lived a very hard life. None of the captives were accepted back into their community with ease and were treated with suspicion and distrust.
“Our work is a homage to the flora and fauna of the area’ said a company spokesman. “In a way, we see ourselves as carrying on the work of Darwin. We seek to identify new plant materials from the region that haven’t been used as perfumery before or are very uncommon.’