Meet Soraya Bakhtiar, Azaleo Founder



For those that do not already know you, who is Soraya Bakhtiar?

I was born and raised in Switzerland to an Egyptian mother and an Iranian father. I moved to London to pursue my studies and career in fashion. My background is actually in Fashion Journalism which then led to the beginning of my blog after working for some big fashion publishing names. Around four years ago, I had the urge to create something new and tangible that connects all my interests. I grew up with a passion for fragrance, I used to collect fragrances and tear magazine pages with the perfume samples to put them in a secret file. Around me, my friends told me that I was a real connoisseur and had to pursue a career in this field. Convinced that this was my calling, I took a short training which confirmed all my aspirations to work with fragrance, and in summer 2020, Azaleo was finally born. 




What inspired you to create Azaleo?

I wanted to create something that I could wear, and if you know me, you know how picky I am. I couldn’t find what I actually liked on the market and that feeling of love surrounding you and making one your skin. I dreamt of a fragrance that would be layer-able with others to add a little extra touch for special days, or through the seasons, but yet I wanted to feel like myself.

Changing perfumes can be quite daunting so I wanted the person to not feel overshadowed by their new scent. I worked with Stephanie Bakouche to put together our Voyage Celeste Collection, and she immediately understood what I wanted each scent to evoke. It’s dreamy and has a hint of magic.


 Do you have a particular approach to creating a fragrance?

Scents are memories and feelings for me. It’s a silent language. It’s funny because I could smell them in my head before they were even created. I knew what I wanted each one to evoke. Working very closely with Stephanie helped which is also why it took so long to develop them. I’m a real perfectionist at heart, and so is she.


 All projects have their challenges, what was your biggest challenge with Azaleo?

I’m going to be completely transparent because starting any business is difficult, and people should realize that. I dove into this industry without a partner, so I had to rely on my intuition and knowledge along the way. Seeking the right people and trusting them to help me with the development. So much happens behind the scenes and more than I would have ever imagined but it’s a dream come true and a real achievement. To top it off launching in the middle of a pandemic was scary but I’m so grateful that we had the success we did!


 Of the existing fragrances, what is your favorite?

I love all three perfumes for different reasons and different seasons. I don’t say that because I created them, but I wanted to have a scent in a different olfactive family. Most importantly, I wanted to be able to wear all three myself, which I do. And yet I still feel like me.

 Voile de Lune is my number one. It’s my go to scent every single day, it’s my constant, it’s my base. It’s truly addictive and every time I wear it, someone will ask me what it is. This funny enough happened to a lot of our customers with this scent. I love the musky notes that melts into your skin. On summer days I wear Sun to Soul and currently I wear Bois Boheme

 Sun to soul is a sunny, happy scent. Every time I smell it, it makes me voyage to a sunny Mediterranean destination. It’s a soft fruity floral with musky notes. 

 Bois Boheme is my fall/winter scent, although I did wear it a lot last summer too. It’s the perfect balance of woody and musky. It has such a unique composition and the notes of creamy sandalwood just makes you feel loved. My husband actually loves this one and wears it. 

 So now you understand why I love all three. It’s like asking someone who their favorite child is. 


What does the future hold for Azaleo?

A lot of things! It’s been an amazing start but the best is yet to come, that’s all I can say for now…