Monday 5 June 2023


A bottle of Atlas fragrance from TUMI
The joy of travel was something that was taken away from us all during the two years of global upheaval, and so any fragrance that references the incredible ability that journeying has to reset our internal clocks is absolutely one to explore. The way that perfume can be used to balance emotions, as well as encourage decision making, is a trend that many companies are now actively promoting with each of their new releases, and that is definitely the case with TUMI. Their Atlas fragrance is described as “the spirit of a man who chooses his destiny with individuality and determination”, but did I discover mine?

TUMI is a name that travellers will be more used to seeing on their luggage than on their fragrance bottles. Founded in 1975 by entrepreneur Charle Clifford, these luxury bags were unique thanks to a small metal plate. It was attached to the bag and contained a 20-digit registration number. Now, if you’re one of the unlucky ones that has ever had your bag “go missing in transit”, you’ll appreciate that tracking it down can be far from easy. This 20-digit number is stored into a central database, so that it will always find its way home.

Now, the fragrance side of TUMI launched in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. The Creative Director, Victor Sanz, said at the time that the imposed restrictions on movement that were introduced meant that we had to travel with our noses, and Tumi was ideally placed to achieve this. Originally launching with Awaken and Unwind, the company would also introduce Continuum in 2021, before the opening-up duo of Kinetic and Atlas arrived in 2022. “In light of a world rediscovering travel, continuing Tumi’s foray into fragrance meant learning and understanding the different scents one can experience along their journeys.”

The box for the Atlas fragrance from TUMI
The interesting aspect of TUMI fragrances is that each release is given a particular time of day when they are “best discovered”. This idea of having “guidance” is fun, but not restrictive, and you’re still encouraged to explore “everything that happens in between.” Atlas, which is the fragrance that we’re concentrating on, brings with it the request to set your inner clock to midnight. It’s designed to embody “optimism and forward-thinking excitement”, and so the idea that it’s always midnight somewhere means that we’re always either starting new adventures or finishing past experiences. So, was it optimistic excitement for me?

The fragrance opens with an aromatic citrus hit of bergamot, grapefruit and cardamom, and so it does immediately provide the optimistic excitement that is promised thanks to its green vibrancy. A glorious lavender then links beautifully with the ginger and geranium, and the latter, which is still seen as a masculine floral, provides an androgynous edge to the blend. The development of the scent sees the appearance of dry vetiver butting up against smooth sandalwood, and earthy oakmoss pairing with the sweet tonka bean, but the slight touch of resinous labdanum adds a sensual quality that contrasts with the brightness of the opening. We are in classic fougere territory with Atlas but, in a world that is constantly changing, a little tradition now and again is always welcome.

Atlas is available from The Perfume Shop at, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue in the US, priced at £68 for 50ml. [Sample provided by Phoenix Beauty]

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