As a worldwide icon of travel, Tumi have furthered their own journey from luxury and essential accessories to fine fragrance: a metaphorical journey via our noses, which we may now indulge in every day…
Founded in 1975 by American entrepreneur Charlie Clifford, the name ‘Tumi’ comes from a Peruvian ceremonial knife. Clifford was a former Peace Corp volunteer and importer of leather bags from South America, and this ceremonial object apparently became known to him as an important symbol of sacrifice during his time living and working there. Realising the true value of craftsmanship, the fact that travellers entrust their possessions to the receptacles they carry them in, and also how emotionally bonded people become to their luggage as they travel; Tumi became known for adding a special metal plate to their bags – each piece bearing a unique 20-digit registration number. This ensures that, once customers have registered their contact details, these are entered into a central database so they can be reunited with their bag if it is found.
Since the pandemic, travel has become even more significant to us all. During successive lockdowns, the world was plunged into a state of stasis. Movement even from one house to another became impossible, let alone the thought of jumping on a plane and jetting off to another country. The impetus of this new appreciation for the freedom travel can bring us, and the way many millions turned to fragrance in order to evoke scent memories of exotic escapes (or simply to escape the everyday difficulties of our lives) also underlines the ability fragrance has to help us ‘travel’ with our noses. Victor Sanz, Creative Director of Tumi, reflects:
‘In light of a world where people are rediscovering travel, continuing Tumi’s foray into fragrance meant learning and understanding the different scents one can experience along their journeys.’
Because it isn’t only physical journeys that Tumi wished to pay homage to with their collection of fine fragrances. As they explain: ‘It’s about everything that happens in between.’ The dramatic and emotionally charged changes we’ve all made to our lives have left many of us looking to punctuate our days even more with the pleasure of wearing perfume. Tumi explains:
‘Now, people are spending time working from home, and their normal cadence has changed. That journey is continuing to evolve. And as we started exploring what those needs were for our customers and how they were living those lives, we realised that having a scent was really important to them. It gave them confidence. It kind of reinvigorated them as they were going throughout their day.’
Attuning their fragrances to very particular times of day, the Tumi scents are certainly more traditionally ‘masculine’ in style, but, we feel sure you will agree, are eminently suited to any fragrance-lover looking for sophisticated scents to carry them through the day. With Awaken, for example, Tumi liken it to 08:00 – a jolt of bracing freshness reviving senses with a zing. Bergamot, grapefruit and coriander feel immediately soul-cleansing, while a forest-like aromatic verdancy of clary sage, fir needle, cypress, frankincense, patchouli and cedarwood clear the mind for a brand new beginning.
The aptly named Continuum continues the fragrant journey, we set our watches for 12:00 GMT, for ‘a celebration of adventure in achievements, the perfect companion on his journey’ via the contrast of green mandarin, warm incense and earthy amber. Orris smoothly powders tobacco leaves before opulent oud, suede and smoked musk encircle the skin as it dries down. And then we reach for that moment of bliss at the day’s end with Unwind. Here, Tumi encourages the wearer to picture 20:00 GMT, a perfect balance of lemon and ginger seguing to a sigh of lavender, geranium, sage, vetiver, oud and sandalwood, in order to ‘recalibrate and reset the mind.’ Atlas, however, encourages the wearer to set their inner clock to 0. Comments Sanz: ‘Continuous sources of inspiration for us are travel and how the world is headed towards an optimistic future. That energy was channeled into the development of a bold and fresh scent. It embodies that optimism and forward-thinking excitement.’ The grapefruit here sizzles with the warmth of ginger, while Haitian and Japanese vetiver, moss, and Indian sandalwood swirl smokily for an incredibly long-lasting yet uplifting trail.
Whichever time of day your own ‘inner clock’ feels most attuned to, you can always feel secure in the fragrances and, indeed, with the design of the bottles themselves. Of course their excellence and precision to detail carried through to these, too. Says Tumi: ‘Designed for different stages of a journey and with a lock cap to avoid suitcase spills, the scents keep the traveling man in mind—whether he’s literally on the go or working from home.’
Now, the only question remains: where would you like to travel to, first, in Tumi’s fragrant form…?