Apoteker Tepe Shop

Number of molecules comprising the scent of a rose:

more than 500

Number of olfactory receptor neurons in the human body:

6 million

Number of different scents a human can distinguish:

One trillion

Fragrance is thought of as a luxury product. And there is no denying that we do not need it to live. But it is not meaningless that perfumery is one of the oldest arts in human society, that it touches every known culture and encompasses processes, ingredients, and knowledge that span thousands of years.

Apoteker Tepe was founded to explore the roots of fragrance: the mysterious, ambiguous, transcendent quality it has to connect us as humans. It is about reintroducing ancient, rare and unusual raw materials too time consuming, too variable, and too costly for use in mass-produced perfume. It is about creating something truly special because it is rigorously researched, individually sourced, produced by hand, and artfully, proudly inefficient. It is fragrance for the re-enchantment of the world.


Holladay Penick Saltz grew up outside Jackson, Mississippi. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and went on to study fashion and material culture at Parsons and The New School before becoming an academic researcher at the Institute of Play, the Institute for the Future of the Book, and later a visiting scholar at New York University. A chance reading of Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses reawakened her lifelong fascination with the sense of smell, and she decided to dedicate herself to exploring the ancient, storied history of fragrance and fragrant raw materials. After years of study in the process of formulation and production she was able to train with Le Labo Fragrances in New York City and went on to found Apoteker Tepe in 2014


Postmodern life is driven by the industrial and the digital: things that are infinitely reproducible at scale. However, inefficiency and variability are often hallmarks of meaning. Things that take time, that change gradually, that cannot be mass produced or assigned exact monetary value— these are the things and processes that change us, that evoke and create our memories.

At Apoteker Tepe we hand formulate, individually source, and hand-produce every bottle for the simple reason that there is no other way to produce fragrance of such quality or rigor at scale. It is not a gimmick, it is not a marketing strategy. It is simply the best way to highlight the beautiful materials with which we work, as well as the best way to insure we are partnered with people whose values and aims are aligned with ours. We would not present you anything less.


Apoteker Tepe operated under the care and creative direction of Holladay from 2014-2018 before she went on to pursue new projects. In 2022, the line was purchased by me, Nick Nilsson, a devoted fan who wished to return these masterful perfumes to production as well as hoard the largest collection of The Holy Mountain in the world. Working in conjuction with Holladay we are pleased to once more present the Apoteker Tepe collection.

Visit my other project, Pineward Perfumes here.

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