Modern Luxury - June 2022
San Antonio atelier Cultus Artem elevates handcrafted, small-batch fragrance and skincare to a fine art.
There is nothing more intimate than the scents we wear on our skin—and the same can be said of crafting these products for a select few. “The sensuality of that experience to me is the art form,” explained Cultus Artem founder Holly Tupper, whose passion for her craft is deeply personal and drives her dedication to oversee every stage of her in-house production.
The philosophy behind the brand can be summed up by its name: “Cultus” is Latin for the practice of adornment and “Artem”—the root word for art—is the conscious arrangement of elements to affect the senses and emotions. “I wanted to create a name that really spoke to the complete essence of what I am about, why I am doing what I do, and how I am doing it,” said Tupper, who has over 30 years of global experience in the art, skincare, and fragrance industries.Read more
VOGUE US PRINT – April 2021For Holly Tupper, creating clean scents that riff on classic notes (honeyed orange blossom, rich tuberose) isn't just about leaning on nontoxic formulas. "Natural ingredients just have a greater nuance and magic to them on the skin," says the 65-year-old perfumer, who worked in finance before launching her luxury brand Cultus Artem at Bergdorf Goodman last fall. But Tupper's commitment to fostering a greener approach to perfume goes beyond responsible sourcing and small-batch production. In 2014, after moving from Singapore to Texas to manage her family's ranch, Tupper purchased a 13,000- square-foot former Southwestern Bell Telephone Exchange building in San Antonio and converted it into a laboratory for her in-house chemist, a salon for private appointments, a climate-controlled room for storing raw materials, and designated areas for filtering and bottling. A carefully curated mix of antiques and repurposed objets reveals an upcycling effort that is in line with Tupper's ban on all forms of single-use plastic and paper disposables, a philosophy she has extended to a just-launched body-care line and a three-piece collection of organic skin-care essentials, our later this year. It's a no-corners-cut approach that doesn't seem to faze Tupper one bit. "I like to think of it as an artistic challenge."Read more
VOGUE – Spring 2021 Best FragrancesEven before you smell a fragrance from Holly Tupper’s Cultus Artem line, you’re guaranteed a unique experience. Tupper’s focus on clean beauty, natural ingredients, and recyclable packaging make her range an ethically minded option, one that harks back to old school apothecaries. Based in San Antonio, Tupper’s scents are crafted by hand in small batches. Each of the eight within the collection is beautiful, but the most seasonally appropriate of the bunch is Alba. Inspired by the magnolia, a tree whose origins trace back to Southeast Asia but has become a fixture in America’s southern states, it's a soft white floral with hints of woods. Bulgarian rose, geranium, and mandarin serve to amplify things, but magnolia—which symbolizes purity and nobility—is the star.Read more
ROBB REPORT – April 2021
It’s commonly said that scent is personal, but for Holly Tupper, the founder and nose of Cultus Artem, a boutique fragrance house based in San Antonio, TX, that is true in a multitude of ways. In addition to developing the range of rich natural scents, Tupper personally oversees everything from production to packaging.
The entire brand—design studio, salon, lab, production and packaging facility—is vertically integrated and housed in a single building, constructed in 1921 as a telephone exchange. It’s like walking into a laboratory wedged inside an art museum: On one floor, pristine rows of test tubes and instruments; the next is full of paintings and design documents; on another, a library of individual scent ingredients and a nineteenth-century copper bathtub (a gift from the building’s previous occupant, an antiques dealer). Many brands outsource production to third parties, Tupper explains, which makes her one-woman show particularly unique.Read more
L'OFFICIEL USA – February 2020Sustainability has become an essential goal across the fashion and beauty industries as brands and consumers alike realize the true impact of their actions and imagine ways to lessen their environmental footprints (and surround ourselves with better ingredients in the process). Perfume is no exception to this new movement, with the latest to join the growing world of clean fragrance being Holly Tupper. Her new brand, Cultus Artem, launched at Bergdorf Goodman this past September and guarantees you’ll be misting yourself with the cleanest ingredients out there. And beyond its olfactory expertise, the high-end collection displays Tupper's skills as a luxury jewelry designer. The perfumer uses her designs and natural scent memories from her childhood as inspiration for Cultus Artem’s dreamy fragrances, creating a sentimental, unforgettable experience. Read on to learn more about Tupper's process and the innovative perfume collection that has emerged from it.Read more
Haute Living – October 2019
If unique fragrances are your thing, you’d better run to Bergdorf Goodman: The luxury department store has just unveiled its new fragrance lab, an exploratory experience for customers to engage, discover, and interact with a selection of incredibly chic niche fragrance brands.
The store has curated a selection of global exclusives, limited editions, and new offerings from established favorites, including fragrance houses such as Cultus Artem, the Parisian 777 Stephane Humbert Lucas, M.Micaleff of Grasse, and Swedish brand Byredo. The lab provides an inviting environment for clients to experience and experiment with these scents, expanding upon BG’s existing curation of first-look brands that later become prominent in the beauty industry, such as Killian, Jo Malone, and Maison Francis Kurkdjian.Read more