who is elijah, the independent Australian fragrance house behind the cult-favourite
Discovery Set (which sells one every 50 minutes), has expanded its range of hand-poured perfumes.
First conceptualised in 2017, the brand was born of a desire to create beautiful, long-lasting fragrances for every body. who is elijah launched in 2018 – out of founder Raquel Bouris’ Cronulla bathroom – with the best-selling HIS/HER perfume, an easy-to-wear scent that blurs the lines between masculine and feminine.
In the time since, the brand has painstakingly and carefully created another four fragrances: NOMAD, rich, earthy and exotic; HAZE, smoky, warm and decadent; HER, delicate, citrussy and floral; and MUSE, earthy, musky and sensual.
It has also moved to a slightly more suitable premises. Each perfume remains Australian made and hand-filled in luxe glass bottles, though this work is now carried out by the tight-knit team at who is elijah’s warehouse in Taren Point. This attention to detail, along with a refusal to utilise plastic packaging, to test on animals and to raise the price point, is one of many non-negotiables that sets the female-owned brand apart from other fragrance houses.
“We are always putting the earth in the forefront of our mind in everything we do,” Raquel says. “We test on human bodies, never animals. We have made the choice to employ people to fill every perfume bottle, rather than machines.
“I always believed we could rival the big name brands, but remain affordable and accessible to all. When you really understand it, it’s the brand name that is doubling, tripling the cost.
“We’re using the same ingredients of said big name brands, and our perfumes are just as high in quality.”
To say it’s been a whirlwind few years for Raquel is somewhat of an understatement. The entrepreneur first came up with the idea for a unisex fragrance on a trip to Coachella in April 2017. After finding out the delicious perfume her travel companion was wearing had been discovered while backpacking in India, she tracked it down, bought 40 bottles at wholesale and then… was bombarded by people asking what fragrance she was wearing. “Cue light bulb!” she laughs.
Launching with HIS/HER just 18 months later, Raquel continued to work full-time as the brand grew, overseeing a garage renovation, then a storage unit renovation as the company required ever-larger spaces. With a five-strong team now working in the warehouse fulltime and in partnership with her husband and co-brand manager, Raquel left her career as an executive assistant in July 2020 to pursue who is elijah full-time.
And just in time, too. Stocked in more than 250 wholesale partners across Australia, New Zealand and the USA (including David Jones and Adore Beauty) and with more than 50,000 bottles of fragrance sold since 2018, who is elijah is on the cusp of a global reckoning.
And,Raquel teases, there’s more to come: A sixth fragrance launches July 2022, along with more product categories, including candles and body wash. Which means now is probably the perfect time to ask: Who, actually, is Elijah? “I originally had a business partner – Mathew – when I came up with the idea,” Raquel explains of the mysterious moniker. “He wanted to call the company Raquel & Elijah, as he had always loved the name.
“I wasn’t sold, and we ended up parting way as business partners. When it came time to lock in a name, I said ‘who the f*ck is Elijah?’ “And that’s it!”
Visit whoiselijah.com.au to shop the collection, or to find a stockist near you.
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