Fabienne F. Fadeley, Founder Possets Perfume
June 20, 1951 - October 2, 2016
Fabienne In Syracusa looking out on the Ionian Sea while traveling in Sicily to discover unique fragrances for her Sicilian Collection
On October 2, 2016, Possets Perfume’s founder and perfumer, Fabienne Christenson, passed away peacefully less than a month after moving into hospice care for an aggressive terminal colon cancer. Hers was a life of artistic and creative passion which she expressed best through her Possets Perfume business but also in her corporate work, and in her writing and painting. She loved her customers who came to realize the greatness of her blending of genres of perfumes with themes that combined all her talents. She exuded hope for “happiness in a bottle.”
In hospice care she planned her memorial service in detail, insisting on a party afterwards at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Cincinnati. The service and party were awesome celebrations of her life with her family and many friends.
I was alone with her when she passed gently into sacred space. She remains with me always and with you through her love of life and joy in blending new perfumes from essential oils. She touched many lives with her grace and talents that she continuously worked to develop with extraordinary discipline to achieve the “best” and overcome disappointments. She was the real thing, the same person inside as on the outside, as I found out to my great good fortune in our thirty-seven years of a marriage fulfilled. She was a great lady and entrepreneur. Listen as she tells her own story.
Founding Possets Perfume
My name is Fabienne Christenson and I am the Perfumer and President of Possets Perfumes. I do all of the perfume blending, design of the website and labels, I take care of all the business tasks, and oversee employees.
The first breath I took on Earth was redolent with Bandit, the great chypre by Robert Piguet. My mother had "dosed herself liberally before going off to the Delivery Room" and so from the beginning I was fated to be a perfumer.
The first profession I wanted to pursue was perfumer, and I marched into my mother's room when I was 6 and announced that I intended to make perfume. My mother informed me that was impossible because: I am not French, I am not from a 'perfume family' (presumably Guerlain or Molinard), I don't have a chemistry degree from the Sorbonne, and I have not been "taken under the wing" of a great perfumer. Zut alors! I am stopped in my tracks.
I consoled myself with a degree in Manufacturing (Operations Management is the euphemism) from the gigantic and juggernaut-like University of Maryland in College Park. It was the most quantitative course of study in the business school and filled friends and foes alike with horror. I was awful at math, stupid in statistics, an utter failure with anything like trig or (heavens forfend) physics. I aced them all. Heh. Revenge is sweet, my friends. I graduated cum laude.
Then I went to Boston University to get an MBA. I found I loved juggling all of the parts of a business at once. It was a good 2 years and I graduated with honors.
Then it was off to work. I spent my time at General Electric Aircraft Engine Group in Evendale Ohio and was everything from a second shift foreman in a machine and welding shop to a purchasing agent for flash welded rings. I learned heavy industry, just what a lady needs to know to make perfume.
Thence on to management at Cincinnati Electronics where we were making spy equipment and military heat detection systems. I had quite a few people working for me and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I did move on to be the Purchasing Manager at a place called Ellis and Watts, which was a fabrication house (they welded together little pieces of junk to make really remarkable things).
Eventually I went back to school to finish an art career I have not mentioned before. I graduated from The University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Fine Arts magna cum laude, and concentrated in painting. I loved the Design School there, and the computer work I got into. I learned to make up web pages, wrangle all the electronic pictures I had to change in Photoshop, Illustrator, and the like.
I really wasn't suited to be an artist. My hide just isn't thick enough, or maybe I just can't paint as well as I thought I could. Or...just maybe I really wanted to be a perfumer and this painting thing was just a to discharge my creative energy. I started to experiment with a variety of different fragrance materials.
It should be said that I started Possets in 1992 as an aromatherapy company, though I was more interested in the beauty of the fragrances. I just didn't have the experience I needed to be a successful perfumer. Yet. That was coming. I officially closed Possets in 1993 because I just wasn't satisfied being an aromatherapist not a perfumer. I hadn't quite "gotten it" yet. People liked my products and they said I had a way with migraines in particular, but it just didn't satisfy me.
By 2005 I had discovered what I needed to know about blending and choosing and experimenting to be a perfumer. I was good at writing ad copy, I was good at computer work and graphic design. It was all falling into place. e-Commerce was taking off and I was itching to get in there. Finally I just opened Possets Perfume.
At first my site wasn't well noticed. It was brown and had rows of brown bottles on it. I hadn't tapped into my big competence--my abiding love of art history. All through art school I was laughed at because I loved art history and I was good at writing. "True Artists" have contempt for art historians (because the latter do not paint) and cannot write and scarcely speak. My talents were liabilities in the Art World, and that made me a misfit.
In the world of e-Commerce, those talents are essential. So, I have found my niche and am very happy here.
I wanted to make perfumes which were every bit as fine as the ones you buy at the big retail stores, but at a fraction of the price. I knew I could do it from my business and purchasing background. Find the right ingredients at the right price and you can prosper. I am living in the Midwest of the United States (Cincinnati Ohio) where the cost of living is miniscule compared to the coasts and that works to my advantage because I can pass those savings on to you. Also, I use the most standard and inexpensive of packaging and make up for it's plain Jane looks by using my graphic design skills on the bottles. I make sure that you get the best deal on product price and on shipping.
Personally: I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up there and on a farm in Calvert County Southern Maryland. I am married to a wonderful man who is a law professor and former dean of two law schools. I have three step children, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild and consider myself a very lucky person indeed. My hobbies are: electronic gadgets, old fashioned fountain pens and ink, sewing, gardening, and fitness. I work out every day and find it's essential to my sanity and health.