• Anne-Marie Earl

Aromatique founder Patti Upton dies at 79

Upton is regarded as a trailblazer for the home fragrance industry.

patti upton aromatique

Patti Upton, founder of multimillion-dollar home fragrance company Aromatique, died at her Arkansas home on Tuesday, May 23, after a brief illness. She was 79.

Upton founded Aromatique in 1982, “just for fun,” according to Aromatique’s website. Upton developed a mix of acorns, pine cones, gumballs and hickory nuts fragranced with spices and oils, creating what she called the “smell of Christmas.” She placed it in a friend’s gift shop, and the product was an overnight success.Now, the company produces many fragrance lines, including candles and decorative accessories. New scents include agave pineapple and white teak and moss, but the Smell of Christmas remains a bestselling line.

President Emeritus of the Fragrance Foundation in New York, declared Upton as “one of our industry's most creative visionaries. Her trailblazing concepts set the stage for the revolution in the enjoyment and appreciation of fragrance in the home, which is driving the public's interest in fragrance."

In 2016, Upton was inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame. She is survived by her husband, Richard, sons Joseph Paige Upton and James Payton Upton and their wives, and several grandchildren.

Anne Marie EarlAnne-Marie Earl | Managing Editor

Anne-Marie covers news and trends related to the home, tabletop, bath & body and gourmet categories of the gift industry and serves as managing editor for both print and digital publications.

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