In essence, botanical perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis is a scent provocateur with a story to tell through the gorgeous vapors of natural perfumery. Her quest began with a desire to translate the invisible montages of her mind into a relevant, romance language of the senses.
Alexandra’s love of scent and her absurdly precise nose have always been well noticed. Her friends would often joke about her preoccupation with all things olfactory. “What is that? It smells like airline blankets and unripe guava.” They all noticed that Alexandra’s mood would suddenly morph as she put on her favorite perfume or buried her nose in an arrangement of tuberoses.
Born in Los Angeles, Alexandra grew up in the Hollywood Hills. A Mediterranean landscape of eucalyptus trees, lantana flowers and jasmine vines haunted her young nose. At a gourmet market nearby, other children begged their mothers to buy them emerald green lollipops while Alexandra pleaded for a blue apothecary bottle of Turkish rose water.
At seven years old, her nose felt quite limited by the tiny palette of her Barbie perfume maker. Fourteen years later, passion simply crystallized into obsession and Alexandra knew from one day to the next that she would become a perfumer.
In some ways the quintessential Virgo purist and in others a complete anarchist, Balahoutis opted against a French education in aromatic chemistry and established a fierce loyalty to natural essences. Synthetic aromas seemed pre-designed, overt, and flat to her nose. They held no appeal, nor did they pose any challenge. Shopping for a custom education, Alexandra contacted master botanical perfumer, archaeologist, and anthropologist, John Steele. Recognizing her potential, Steele revealed esoteric facts about distillation, plant synergies, essences, and their exciting countries of origin. He became an informal mentor, remotely guiding her ferocious quest into the wild, unoccupied territory of botanical perfumery. Balahoutis has since continued to internalize the intricacies of botany, blending, and distillation while pulling firmly on the roots of her imagination.
Her narrative botanical perfumes devastate and realign one’s senses to the cosmic beauty and wild perfection of nature. Alexandra’s fragrance house, Strange Invisible Perfumes, was the original vanguard instigating a movement toward luxury botanical perfumery. She diligently sought to shatter the low expectations then associated with natural fragrance by delivering dazzling, evocative compositions. Alexandra is a multi-talented innovator exacting the essences of an era through botanical perfumery. Driven by inspiration and happily tormented by perfectionism, her visionary attention to detail shapes every aspect of Strange Invisible Perfumes. Alexandra’s company and boutique, located in the creative hotbed of Venice, California, exemplify refined sensibilities and bohemian ideals.