Fashion / Beauty

Perfume House Favored by European and Hollywood Royalty Moves Into Houston — Krigler Sets Up Shop in the Four Seasons

A True Scent Maestro Makes the Scene

BY // 11.30.21

Perfumer Ben Krigler has a charming exuberance for his trade, a pride based not only on the 117 years that his family has been creating fragrances for the House of Krigler but also on the brand’s jaw-dropping clientele that includes European royalty, Hollywood elite and millionaire moguls. On a recent visit to Houston for opening of Krigler in the Four Seasons Hotel, the scion of the family business regaled with stories of the rarified house of heady scents.

Standing behind the counter in the jewel box of a boutique near the Four Seasons Houston’s front desk, Krigler almost giddily reveals his vast knowledge of the firm’s repertoire of 600 fragrances (many in archives), 40 of which are on jewel-like display in the art deco-inspired interiors, which were designed by Krigler. An architect by training, Krigler designs all of the black and gold retail gems. This is the first shop in Texas.

The brand was commercially launched in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1904 after German-born chemist Albert Krigler had created his first scent, Pleasure Garden 79, in 1879 for his fiancée. In 1909, he moved the perfumery to Côte d’Azur, where most of the fragrances are currently created. He ultimately moved the business to The Plaza Hotel in New York City continuing the tradition of opening boutiques in five-star hotels that began in Berlin.

The cobalt blue antique bottles represent the origin of Krigler and are a part of the brand signature dating from the 1920s.
The cobalt blue antique bottles represent the origin of Krigler and are a part of the brand signature dating from the 1920s.

Krigler additionally holds court in the Four Seasons Hotels in Beverly Hills and Palm Beach, the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, The Peninsula in Chicago and now at this new Houston boutique in the Four Seasons, the first in Texas and the 10th internationally. Boutiques are also located in the Hotel Palais Hansen Kempinski in Vienna, the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg, and the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin. Today, Krigler is the perfumer of choice for numerous European royals including Princess Charlene of Monaco.

Krigler, the Perfume Entertainer

Ben Krigler is an entertaining walking library of the brand’s history. As he sprays the paper tester for us to experience, he informs that Grace Kelly chose Chateau Krigler 12 ($435 for 3.4 fluid ounces) for the night that she won an in 1955 Oscar for The Country Girl. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Marlene Dieterich favored Lieber Gustav 14 ($435 for 3.4 fluid ounces). America One 31 ($435) is said to have been a favorite of President John F. Kennedy and Ernest Hemingway. Each comes with a story attached that Krigler shares so entertainingly. The cost of over-the-counter Krigler fragrances can run as high as $1,000, according to the maestro.

The product line includes scented candles and soaps based on Krigler fragrances, both of which are said to maintain their intense fragrance throughout usage.

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Another aspect of Krigler is the bespoke fragrance, typically a $50,000, three-year proposition for which a scent is created in numerous steps specifically for those with ample discretionary income.

Krigler says he will be back in Houston and fans would want to make sure and check with the boutique. Meeting the beret-wearing nose of this perfume empire is rare treat. He adores Houston, which was selected as the most recent opening for the perfume maven due to the popularity his scents enjoy with residents here.

The arrival of this Krigler perfume shop was the final element of the Four Seasons Hotel Houston’s multi-million dollar, multi-year renovation which coincided with opening of the much-ballyhooed Toro Toro steakhouse.

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