Startup Life: The Beguiling World Of Heretic Perfums

Find out why Douglas Little foregoes commonly used synthetic elements to create a line of captivating fragrances featuring only raw, natural materials.

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Douglas Little at his home office.

Stepping into Douglas Little’s Upper East Side apartment-slash-Heretic Parfum HQ is like entering a darkly alluring world of wonder, where everything from the hypnotic scent in the air to the curiosities that abound engage all five senses. It’s not surprising to learn that the mastermind behind the newly launched line of fragrance has a background in visual communication—his rock ‘n roll, artisanal twist on decadence is apparent in every corner of the space. But despite a knack for curating visually extraordinary vignettes, it’s the power of scent that has always appealed to him most.

“I’ve always been fascinated with this invisible world that has the instant ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary,” explains Little. “Fragrance is wildly subjective and communicates with our conscious and subconscious in a mysterious and seductive way.” With that in mind, this past March he launched Heretic, a nonconformist line of fragrances for both men and woman that uses only natural materials like oils and plant extracts.

Below, Little explains in his own words the journey of his startup.

Photography by Sharon Radisch / Prop Styling by Erika Kessel