Fabulous People: Ethan Turner

Ethan Turner is a Scottsdale sommelier, perfumer and owner of Empyrean Parfums, a new line of perfumes set to debut on June 6 at Andaz Scottsdale Resort at The Empyrean Summer Soiree. Learn about Ethan Turner…

“Empyrean Parfums is a luxury perfume brand that retells creation stories from various mythologies and religions, focusing on the perspective of the created beings. The brand aims to fuse ancient Greek, Roman and other mythologies with modern perfumery to create opulent, intellectual, poignant and stoic fragrances.”

Follow at: @empyreanparfums; @emajec; @moifragrances

Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina

First job: I was a Starbucks barista at a Target when I was 16.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: I am a huge foodie. I also worked as a sommelier, so I love to go to restaurants, try new foods and wines and meet new people! It’s not unusual to find me sitting at a bar alone and striking up conversations with those around me.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: I believe my greatest accomplishment in the perfume industry would have been studying at the Institut supérieur international du parfum, de la cosmétique et de l’aromatique alimentaire (ISIPCA), the top perfume school in the world. It was the greatest accomplishment because despite financial problems, a broken romance and a job in the United States, I moved to Europe and grew my business overseas. I worked remotely on Eastern time, all while studying in-person and traveling throughout Spain and France. Upon returning, it also opened up many doors, including working with celebrities and larger brands. It also gave me the chance to begin planning the launch of Empyrean Parfums.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: The biggest hurdle that I have overcome has been managing two separate identities of perfumer vs. perfume manufacturer. One side of my business is manufacturing for other clients and managing their perfume line formulas, packaging and bulk fulfillment. The other side of my business is developing my perfume lines, including the branding, marketing, sales, distribution and fulfillment of my product. 

Someone who inspires you and why: Leonardo DaVinci. He was a polymath who was both an expert in the science and art of his craft. I admire the holistic view of a craft. Similarly, perfumery requires a bit of science, specifically chemistry and art. To become a Master Perfumer, you must be a great storyteller and artist, just as much as a great chemist. DaVinci had to do the same to become a renowned painter.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: For anyone interested in pursuing a career in perfumery, just start! It may seem cliché, but my brand arose from building a fragrance for a friend – and I had no experience. I learned along the way, and I went deeper as I discovered my admiration for the trade. I studied abroad and continued networking and exploring; I stayed curious and open to honest criticism and feedback. Now, I am deeply entrenched in the global politics of perfumery, which is far beyond my role as a perfumer. If you want to start, there is no barrier in the perfume industry. If you want to be great, you have to keep learning and never bar yourself from thinking you have all the answers.

Favorite quote: “In a world of mishaps and failures, our failures help determine who we are. But in a world of perfection, who would we become?” –Ethan Turner

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I speak English, French, Spanish, Italian and very basic Russian.

What makes someone fabulous: A fabulous person doesn’t just dream big; they live big and diligently work to reach their goals. To live big, they realize that you do not trample on those learning your craft but instead bring them up with you. 

Join Turner on June 6 at Andaz Scottsdale Resort at The Empyrean Summer Soiree, where he will debut his perfume line. This sensorial event incorporates visual, auditory, tactile, gastronomical and olfactive art and performances. Dress to impress and indulge in delectably select cuisine, captivating performances and an electrifying atmosphere. Proceeds from the event will be donated to a fund for the creation of a perfume garden and lab for creating immersive perfume experiences, conserving desert aromatic species and the development of Arizona essential oils. General admission is $100 per person. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

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