Ilana Jivago is the founder of JIVAGO Brands, a famed high-end perfume company. An aroma expert, Ilana is responsible for creating scents such as “24k”—a perfume which includes real 24k gold flakes in the bottles. Jivago’s perfumes are extremely popular among the rich and famous and some aromas have even been developed in collaboration with stars like Kourtney Kardashian. Moreover, most of Jivago’s scents include editions for both men and women which complement one another but still, have distinctively different scents. Now the brand is planning on unveiling two new perfumes called “The Gift” and “Exotic Noire.” These two stylish scents are too dynamic editions to the beloved collection by the multi-million-dollar business.

Backstory, bottles, and symbolism

Although it is now a wildly successful brand, Jivago has a surprisingly humble backstory. In early 1994 with a budget of $40,000, Ilana Jivago decided to create a scent to replicate the perfume that her mother used to wear.

“My mother passed away when I was only fourteen,” Ilana stated in a recent phone interview. “I was very close to her, and the perfume she wore was always in my memory. I decided to craft my first perfume--called ‘24k’--after the blended scent of lilies and roses and jasmine, which is what I recalled being in my mother’s perfume.”

After discussing her plans with a friend, Ilana found out about a French-born armorist named Jean-Claude Del Rio who worked in New York City. She met with him, and together they created “24k.” Although their efforts resulted in a luxurious and pleasing scent, it was Ilana’s attention to detail which truly made this perfume stand out, such as her decision to add actual 24k flakes in each bottle of “24k.” Moreover, arguably the most outstanding feature of JIVAGO Brand perfumes is the bottles--especially those designed for the women’s line.

JIVAGO bottles consist of two pieces (a unique feature in the aroma industry): a base that resembles a rock and a triangular-bottomed bottle that looks like an icicle.

“The base of the bottle represents the earth, and the bottle itself represents a person who has found themselves,” Ilana explained. “The bottle stands tall in the base, like how a fully-realized person with a backbone stands to face the world.

And, of course, they also represent the joining of the male and the female since I create scents suitable for both genders. I got into perfumes to relay a spiritual message, and everything I do has to mean; Even the gold bottles are symbolic, it represents the sun and so every time you wear my perfume, you are making yourself into a little ray of sunshine.”

It took Ilana and her team of developers a little over a year to complete the “24k” gold-flaked scent and the innovative two-piece bottle.

They introduced it to the public in Cannes, France, and received positive feedback. When they returned to New York, they launched promotion events at famed Fifth Avenue stores such as Barney’s and SAKS, but given Jivago’s limited budget at the time, it was difficult for Ilana to find a store that was willing to take a risk and order the brand.

“By April of 1995, I was already getting ready to give up,” Ilana said. “But then I got a call from a buyer at Nordstrom. She had seen the unusual bottle and thought the gold flakes were very beautiful. She had not seen anything like that before, and the fanciness of the bottle appealed to her. I sent her a sample, and she liked the scent too.”

Through Nordstrom, Ilana was invited to participate in a cosmetics event on the famed Queen Mary Cruise ship in honor of Mother’s Day.

The event was an incredible success where every single bottle of “24k” sold. Nordstrom subsequently ordered the line. From there, largely through word-of-mouth, JIVAGO became an increasingly popular brand. Today, the long-lasting scent (which remains noticeable for approximately eight hours) is sold in most high-end department stores--including Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman--and is praised by many A-list celebrities in Hollywood.

Scents, skincare, and new fragrances

Ilana currently lives in Beverly Hills, California, and has just released two new fragrances: “Exotic Noire” (which comes in a black bottle and symbolizes winter and nighttime) and “The Gift” (which comes in a white bottle and represents giving and light). Moreover, she is also actively planning to expand her line to include skin care products, healing oils, and cosmetics.

“Creating scents is a very personal process,” Ilana stated. “24k took me the longest time because I was chasing the memory of my mother’s scent as if trying to bring her back to life, and I wanted to make that perfume as floral and as beautiful as my mind recalled. The newer scents were easier and quicker to create, but they are still inspired by my own experiences, moods, and emotions.”

Ilana plans to pay the same amount of attention-to-detail on her skincare products and cosmetics, and she is already thinking up some very interesting bottles, cases, and packaging for those yet-to-be-announced creations. Another aspect of her brand which will remain unchanged is her dedication to positive energy and using positivity as inspiration.

“I want my products to make people happy,” Ilana declared.

“I hope my brand will be able to spread spiritual consciousness all over the world and make it a happier place. The cosmetics industry is a beautiful industry. I love what I do so my work does not seem like a job, it is my passion, and I want to share that passion with others.”

Although Jivago recently experienced a series of setbacks due to counterfeiters illegally replicating their products, Ilana remains upbeat and very dedicated to the spreading of goodwill. She firmly believes that the more you give, the more you receive, and she is hopeful that her Company will grow large enough to be able to support multiple charitable organizations. At present, Ilana is actively involved with Children United Nations (CUN), and she anticipates having the opportunity to become in more charities, especially those dedicated to animal welfare.

“As my company gets bigger, I can do more and more to spread good energy all over the world,” Ilana said. “I pray, I meditate, and I create with the goal of promoting peace through the healing power of unique ingredients and products that make us look, feel, and smell beautiful.”

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