Rose & Fontes Founder Rashad Roulhac Shares Fragrance Journey

With the help of his two teenage daughters, Rashad Roulhac created his fragrance brand Rose & Fontes.
With the help of his two teenage daughters, Rashad Roulhac created his fragrance brand Rose & Fontes.
courtesy of Rose & Fontes

Perfumer & Flavorist+ (P&F+) connected with boutique batch-style fragrance house Rose & Fontes' founder Rashad Roulhac to discuss his fragrance journey, project wins and reminisce on his first scent memory.

P&F+: What is your first scent memory? 

I would say my first scent memory is the aroma of black walnut. The distinct scent of the black walnut green husk seeds instantly brings me back to my childhood. Honeysuckle is the scent with the most nostalgia for me. 

P&F+What led you to the (fragrance) industry?

During the pandemic, I was looking for something to create and start a business with so I started dappling in the fragrance world. I started studying DIY essential oils and thought, “Hey, why not go all the way and start my own perfume line?” So with the help of my two teenage daughters, we created a fragrance line and the rest is history.

P&F+Are there any recent projects/wins you’re particularly proud of?

Absolutely. Besides starting the first Cape Verdean Fragrance Brand (Rose & Fontes) in the world and the United States, I also came up with the idea and name of the Black Fragrance Renaissance Movement, which basically is a group of established and up-and-coming Black perfumers from around the world who are in the industry. My idea was to recreate the old Harlem Renaissance photo of all the legendary Black jazz musicians with all Black perfumers and influencers of today. So hopefully that idea comes to life down the road and the movement grows with others pushing it and making it a really big event and spectacle.

P&F+Describe yourself in three ingredients.

I would say black walnut for its unique fragrance. Rose for its symbolic meaning and family name ties. Birch tar for its smokey ancient scent which is timeless. 

P&F+Are the types of projects you’re working on changing over time? How are the creative demands of the job evolving?

The projects always change. As soon as I get an idea about a new scent, I start creating the scent and the branding that works with it. We do all of our own concept development, graphics, bottle selection, the packaging—you name it. That’s what niche and boutique batch brands do. This year we started doing private label perfume production for clients and that has been very fun to work with celebrity clients and create a fragrance with unique packaging for them.

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