In the House – Brand Spotlight on aroma M Perfume

aroma M logo

In the House is a feature on EauMG. I’m collecting my experiences from years of perfume sampling and putting together a quick brand overview. There are so many perfume lines out there that it can be overwhelming. My goal with this is to quickly introduce people to niche and indie lines that may be of interest to them.

Who’s in the house? aroma M

Maria McElroy

The perfumer & founder: Maria McElroy

Here’s a great interview with Maria on Fragrant Moments. 

The History: Launched in 1995, aroma M is an artisanal perfume line inspired by the geisha (more info on the brand here). McElroy is an American painter turned globe-trotting aromatherapist turned indie perfumer. She spent 7 years studying in Japan and now resides in NYC. The brand has an atelier in Brooklyn that offers aroma M perfume, aroma M beauty, House of Cherry Bomb (a collab project that I’ll save for another “In the House”) and custom made perfumes.

My impressions of the brand: I’ve been a fan of the line for years mainly because I was drawn to that “Japan meets US” aesthetic. I love yuzen papers, etc. so I was immediately drawn to the line. When I first tried the line, I was really into perfume oils. What was inside was better than what was on the outside. I found a few favorites in this brand. Over the years, the line has expanded to include EDPs and bath/body products.

*I disclose my biases. I met Maria this year and visited the Atelier in Dumbo. It was great to finally meet someone that I had been corresponding with online for years. She is even nicer in person, so hospitable and knows how to literally whip up some matcha. And she’s so stylish that I’m pretty sure she could start a side career as a personal stylist and do well with that too! Anyway, if you are ever in Brooklyn, you must visit her studio. It’s great and you’ll have a blast sniffing ALL the perfumes.

Aroma M Atelier

Brand’s strengths: A wide variety of perfumes that incorporate diverse aromatics from around the globe. The perfumes range from serene green tea to va-va-voom ambers. I also think the prices of this line are good (ranging from $58-$85).

Brand’s weaknesses: Depending on your preferences this could be a strength or a weakness – most of the perfumes are oil-based. EDPs are available but not in all scents. Like with most indies, distribution is limited (this doesn’t bother me personally but it makes sniffing them in person more challenging).

I have tried all of them except for: Geisha Nobara-Cha and Geisha Hana-Cha

My favorite/s from the line that I’ve tried: Geisha Noire is my absolute favorite. It’s a sultry amber amber that lets my imgination run wild. I also love Geisha Green, one of my favorite absinthe scents and Geisha Violet, a powdery cocoa and violet.

My least favorite from the line: Geisha Amber Rouge. It isn’t a bad fragrance but it didn’t wear nicely on me. It really is a “body chemistry” thing for me.

Comparable brands in style: Opus Oils, Sage Machado, YOSH, Ebba and Olivine.

aroma M Atelier

You may like some of the perfumes in this brand if you like perfumes like: complex perfume oils. Or if you like green tea scents, powdery scents or scents that fuse flavors/fragrances from the globe. If you are looking for something to travel with, these are great for that.

Does this line offer samples or a discovery set? Yes. aroma M sells samples in sets. Online retailers of aroma M also sell samples in sets or individually.

Products available from this brand – Alcohol based EDPs, perfume oils, bath/body oil, face oil and hair oil. There’s aroma M perfume and aroma M beauty. Maria also collaborated with Alexis Karl for the line, House of Cherry Bomb (I LOVE that line).

Price range: Perfumes are $58-$85. aroma M Beauty ranges from $60-$95.

Some retailers that carry this line – There’s an atelier now open in Brooklyn. Online they’re available at aroma M, Luckyscent and Indie Scents. They can also be found in boutiques around the globe.

aroma M perfumes

My 5 “Must-Try” picks from this line: 

Geisha Noire – A dark, dense and sensual amber. One of the few “noire” perfumes that actually lives up to its name!

Geisha Green – A green violet and absinthe, good for warmer weather.

Geisha Violet – It’s a powdery violet, try if you like violets. Don’t try it if you don’t. It’s a “kawaii” fragrance.

Geisha Rouge – A spicy scent with woods, great for fall/winter.

Geisha O-Cha – A chill, relaxing green tea.

I feel like these 5 give a good impression of the broad range of the line.

aroma M Beauty

I also really like the all-natural beauty line. They smell great and my skin loves the body oil and my hair loves the hair oil. They’re so Cleopatra glamorous.

You can find aroma M on Facebook, Twitter and the aroma M blog.

Want more In the House? 


Providence Perfume Co.



*Images from aroma M except for the ones that I snapped in the Atelier 🙂


12 thoughts on “In the House – Brand Spotlight on aroma M Perfume

  1. The Noire and Violet both sound to my liking. I’m a violet lover and I’ve heard Noire is comparable to my beloved Ambre Sultan.

    1. Well, I like both 🙂

      If you love amber, Noire is worth trying. It’s one of those “full-bodied” ambers like Ambre Sultan.

  2. I love Aroma M, and I enjoyed reading this post so much. My favorites are Geisha Violet, Geisha Green, Geisha Blue, Nobara-Cha…and the Camellia facial oil (divine). The Atelier is well worth a visit when Maria is hosting a party, or just when anyone is planning a trip to DUMBO!

    1. aroma M is an excellent line. I feel there is something for everyone.

      Every time I’m in NYC, I miss out on an event. It seems I fly out the morning that something is happening in the evening! It always looks like a blast and I do love the studio environment. It’s a cool location and I bet the events attract a great group of folks.

  3. I impulse purchased Geisha Noire EDP a few years ago from Essenza because it was on clearance but then swapped it away because I couldn’t handle it… It was much too big for me! Seriously, I sprayed 3 teeny tiny drops and almost died. That was earlier in my nose’s training so maybe it wouldn’t knock me over nowadays. 🙂 The person who inherited it commented that it was powdery. And that’s about the only constructive comment I can add 😀
    I have a tiny sample of one of the other scents but otherwise haven’t encountered it very often. I’ll have to look for House of Cherry Bomb!

    1. I actually have a pretty funny story about Geisha Noire. However, I’ll make a long story short, I refer to it as the perfume that kept trying to “undress me” in an important and very formal meeting. I sampled it thinking it would be a close-wearing powdery amber (bad idea to do, I was young. I’ve learned lessons). And then I found out it was a beast in a middle of a meeting. It was trying to unbutton my button up, let my down my hair and I was like “STOP DOING THAT!” Now I like it but it is a HUGE little thing that I only reserve for my “hermit time” wears.

      The House of Cherry Bombs in the different colors are amazing for the price. The other ones, like “Truth or Dare” are very sweet gourmands that are for a younger demo, still good but probably more popular with daughters/nieces.

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