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Navigating the Fragrance Journey with Funmi Monet: A Tale of Luxury, Inclusion, and Self-Belief

Megan Galane
May 4, 2024
Navigating the Fragrance Journey with Funmi Monet: A Tale of Luxury, Inclusion, and Self-Belief

In the world of fragrances, where scents evoke memories, emotions, and personal identity, Funmi Monet stands out as a trailblazer. As the founder and creative director of Exalté Perfume, Funmi has redefined luxury, representation, and community building. Her journey is a testament to perseverance, self-belief, and the power of staying true to one’s vision.

Part 1: The Scented Path

Funmi Monet’s journey began five years ago when she decided to create content that brought her joy. As a licensed therapist, she understood the importance of self-care and consistent rituals. Fragrance, skincare, and makeup became her canvas for connecting with her audience. Funmi’s approach was relatable—like chatting with a friend over a cup of tea. She encouraged people to find what made them feel good daily, whether it was a walk, a bath, or a spritz of perfume.

Part 2: The Science of Fragrance

Fragrance isn’t just about smelling good; it’s tied to memories and emotions. Funmi explained how scents can transport us to specific moments. Lavender calms, while bold fragrances boost confidence. She envisioned a fragrance wardrobe tailored to different occasions—daily wear, special occasions, date nights, and more. Each scent would evoke a unique feeling, enhancing the wearer’s mood.

Part 3: Breaking Barriers

Funmi recognized the lack of representation for black creators and black-owned fragrance brands. Despite black women being significant contributors to the fragrance industry, European dominance persisted. Funmi challenged this narrative. She launched Exalté Perfume, defying critics who deemed it too expensive. Her vision? Inclusion. She wanted black people to have a seat at the luxury fragrance table.

Part 4: Trusting the North Star

Funmi’s decision-making compass pointed toward her dream. When others questioned her choices, she stayed the course. Exalté Perfume sold out within six months, proving that quality speaks louder than noise. She learned that not everyone needed to see her vision—only she did. Funmi envisioned a future where black-owned brands thrived alongside European giants.

Part 5: The $20,000 Perfume

Funmi shared her dream: a luxury fragrance line that celebrated rare ingredients, worked with black perfumers, and catered to a discerning clientele. She recalled encountering a brand at Harrods that sold custom fragrances for $18,000 to $32,000. These clients recognized the value. Funmi aimed to create a similar experience, celebrating African wealth and heritage.

Part 6: The Exalted Experience

As we wrapped up, Funmi invited me to experience Exalté Perfume. I sprayed it on my wrist, and the notes danced—a symphony of jasmine, rose, and vanilla. Funmi’s dream was tangible, and her passion contagious. She reminded me that success wasn’t about pleasing everyone; it was about reaching those who appreciated quality.

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