Faith Amarachukwu is what you’d call the astute business woman. She recognizes opportunities when she sees them and grabs them! Let’s just say her nose has made her lots of money…

Read her full interview below.

May we meet you.     

My Name is Faith Amarachukwu. The Creative Director of Lafame Accoutre. A perfumer, a woman that celebrates the God of Fragrance 😁😁 That is how I love to call Him. In a nutshell, I am a perfume girl who has occasional flings with movies.

Have you always loved Perfumes?
Oh well, way back in school, I was a huge fan of Victoria Secrets and Body Fantasy body mists. I would always have a lot around me and I would spritz like 5 at the same time. My friends always commended how I smelt. I honestly did not think it was going to be a passion, not to talk of a business. I just loved perfumes and it gradually grew to an obsession.

What inspired you to start LaFame? Was it intentional or accidental?   

Wow! I wouldn’t say it was intentional or accidental, I was lovingly dragged into by the Lord. No jokes. Well, here is the story: My mum is a skilled trainer, she trained a lady on a particular amazing skill that fetched her some good money, She came to the house to thank my mum for training her and she presented my mum with a gift pack that included a perfume she mixed. My mum knew I loved perfumes, so she called me to come take it. Right there, I was intrigued! I was so surprised that the lady had mixed it herself, and I immediately wanted her to teach me how to. Honestly, I wanted to learn, so I could mix for myself, nothing more. I loved perfumes and it was already an obsession. I asked the lady if she would teach me, and to my surprise, she said ‘No’! 

This surprised me but it immediately fueled my desire to learn the art of perfumery, just for my own personal use. I didn’t know that this desire was bigger than just me. Believe it or not, I turned to God for help, I went and started to research,research and more research. This was in late 2012. My mum saw that burning desire and decided to take me to some of her fragrance oil suppliers to see if they could assist. They couldn’t, they didn’t even have oils that had perfume character, because perfumery then, was a virgin territory and they didn’t know so much about it. This, however did not stop me, I was determined. I got some little oils from them, just to practice with and kept researching.

It took me 3 months of consistency, failures, money wasted (that I didn’t have 😂😂😁) to make my first scent and then wore it to church. Immediately, I sat down, I got a note from someone behind asking that I write down the name of my perfume, 😁😂 I couldn’t. The person later walked up to me after the service and asked for the name, saying she wanted to buy. I told her I mixed it. She was stunned, she asked that I bring more the next Sunday, I did and that was how I sold all!! I couldn’t believe someone bought my own mix!!!! That was how Lafame Perfumery was born!

What initial challenge(s) did you face as a start-up and how were you able to overcome?     

Hmmmmm! Perfumery was and still is a virgin territory in Nigeria. When we started, it was quite challenging convincing Nigerians to buy ‘Mixed in Nigeria’ Perfumes because we’re very Pro – Western. People would rather buy big foreign brands than buy ours. It was quite a challenge. I would go from bank to bank to market my mixes, but no way! But I never gave up. All I would tell you is ‘Just take one Whiff or just Spritz once on your body and let me know’. Honestly, immediately they did that, they would get hooked. Truthfully though, the bottles we had then was not making it easy because those were the bottles available to us then. We started with #3000 and it was tough, but we kept pushing. I knew one day, we will curate for celebrities and stars and they would love it!

We kept at it, new bottles came in, we started using them. Now we make our own bottles, with our names engraved on each bottle. Today, it is not so difficult selling our mixes. Consistency and perseverance kept us in the game.

Looking back at La Fame’s growth over the years, what has been your big break?   

Our major big break is the perfume factory we are almost done setting up. But so many things led to it. In 2017, we opened the doors for distributors, it was like a flood, it was like people were waiting for that opportunity to buy into the Lafame Perfumery dream! And then, we curated custom fragrances for celebrities and special guests for SMW Lagos event ‘OOTD Disrupt’ hosted by StylistCurator in February, 2018 and the reviews were Craaaaaaaazy! Gosh! I did not believe it! This led to our Partnership with Laura Ikeji for her new Fragrance, INCOMPLETE, which sold out in 24 hours, the reviews were tremendous! It also led to another partnership with another celebrity for her new fragrance! That is also selling out and the reviews almost killed me 😂😁😂😁🙌🙌 Then we expanded! we were churning out in 500’s, 1000’s. We got a factory space! We passed NAFDAC Analysis Certification!                          

We are not even started yet. The biggest break is on its way!

What advice would you give any budding Entrepreneur?
Do what you love and never ever give up. Give honour to whom honour is due! Never stop learning, I tell you! Become a reference point in your field.

Where do you see LaFame in the next 5 years?
2 Factories, fully equipped and automated. Over 500 Distributors in Nigeria and Worldwide. The Go – to – for anything Perfumery! Helping the average Nigerian live a fragrant life, directly or indirectly.

The Nigerian Fragrance Industry has not gotten a lot of recognition both home and abroad. Perfume lovers still prefer to shop the International brands. What is LaFame doing to break that jinx?         

Today, we have over 35 distributors in Nigeria and 4 major distributors. Our products are being pushed and accepted by people I have never even met before. This is a good step in the right direction. Sometimes, I walk into the mall and I smell our fragrance on a lady. That for me means that we are a movement that is moving really fast!

Who are your role models?                                                                                                                                                                             

Uncle Wale Aladejana – Sapphire Scents (Nigeria)

Kilian Hennessy ( The French perfumer)

Roja Dove (The British perfumer)

Viktoria Minya (The French Lady Perfumer)

Fashion or Food?
Honestly, food! As I answer this, I am even hungry 😁😂 I am trying to figure out breakfast in my head. After I have eaten , then I think of fashion. Food is essential, especially Jollof Rice.

We kept at it, new bottles came in, we started using them. Now we make our own bottles, with our names engraved on each bottle. Today, it is not so difficult selling our mixes. Consistency and perseverance kept us in the game.