Tyler Monk, 36, spent 16 years working in restaurants before following his nose into the perfume business. Courtesy of www.luvandus.com
Tyler Monk, 36, spent 16 years working in restaurants before following his nose into the perfume business. Courtesy of www.luvandus.com

Cathie Anderson

Insights into the people who shape Sacramento’s business landscape

Cathie Anderson

Sacramento restaurant industry veteran follows nose into perfuming

By Cathie Anderson

canderson@sacbee.com

June 09, 2017 04:00 AM

Tyler Monk left the restaurant business in 2015, but he’s still cooking up concoctions for the public to enjoy.

The former general manager of Fahrenheit 250 is selling perfumes, candles, bubble baths and body washes online under his private label, Luvandus.

“My whole life, literally, I’ve been obsessed with fragrance, and it morphed into not wanting to smell like Eternity or Cartier,” said Monk, who worked at restaurants such as Paragary’s, Esquire Grill and Fahrenheit 250 over a 16-year career. “I wanted the next echelon of fragrances ... and then it was me going to (San Francisco) every two months to find the perfect bottle of $400 perfume.”

He spent hours talking with experts about perfumery before taking another step. He began buying the pricey essential oils and other substances that produce the high-end fragrances he loved. He experimented with how to fix the fragrance in candles and the other products he wanted to sell.

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“I began to ask, ‘Why am I going online and spending $25 or $30 on a candle when I know how to cook?’ ” Monk said. “I spent time researching and finding out what it took to use perfumers’ grade alcohol and to mix it and blend it with other things ... to extend the smell of a candle fragrance. I wanted to create fragrances that could be used in many applications.”

Monk, 36, set a $22 price for 8 ounces of his Descenzu bubble bath, fragrant with lilies, jasmine and the spicy yet fruity notes of pink pepper. Just two ounces of The Hunt, a concentrated extract of balsam fir, black pepper and the precious resin known as oud, sells for $55. A 3-inch candle with The Hunt aroma goes for $25 .

Sales launched in February, and Monk is working full-time at a local technology company while trying to get his business off the ground. He said his customers come to him for distinctive scents that they can’t get anywhere else. His products sell at luvandus.com.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included incorrect pricing for the Descenzu bubble bath and The Hunt aroma candle. The bubble bath costs $22, the candle $25.

Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee