Creating Winning Fragrances


Custom Essence creates innovative fragrances through an artful balance of creativity and technical knowledge. A team of master perfumers, evaluators, customer service staff, quality control experts, regulatory professionals, researchers and others come together to create winning fragrances for the next generation of product development. We are a leader in the development of natural fragrances and have worked with some of the largest companies that are driving the market for natural personal care products.

At Custom Essence we pride ourselves on our ability to stay ahead of the curve, through the identification of market needs and capitalizing on the analysis of new raw materials to develop cutting-edge fragrances that excel in the marketplace.  Let us apply our expertise to help you build a successful brand experience.

For over 30 years, we have been serving the fragrance needs of entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, natural product manufacturers, and everyone in between.

Custom Essence was founded by Felix Buccellato and Raman Patel. Their unique blend of artistic talent and scientific knowledge has earned them a reputation as two of the foremost developers of fragrances and their applications. Their vision has been to marry the world-class perfumery expertise and quality of the large, multinational fragrance houses with the service and attention of a “boutique”.

What makes Custom Essence unique?



  • Quality over quantity in all things – especially when it comes to our people and partnerships.


  • Natural Fragrance Expertise: Custom Essence has been following this market and adapting its North America business model to respond to increasing consumer demand for natural fragrances.       We are discovering and driving the creation of new natural materials to design high-performing natural fragrances that “work” and smell great. Our expertise enables us to create natural accords to replicate synthetic captives.
  • Applied Fragrance Design: The art & science of fragrancing functional products is our unique strength and enables us to create fragrances with a natural character that exude “living” vibrancy.       In addition to being artisans, our perfumers are all formally trained chemists as well. This foundation in natural product chemistry permeates our culture and defines our perfumery training program.
  • Market Knowledge: Knowing what people like is our forte. Our trend spotters stay at the forefront of the latest ingredient and benefit claims allowing us to create compelling scents for the future. We identify strategic and profitable opportunities in your marketplace.


  • Creativity comes first: We have an ingredient pallet that includes the latest specialty chemicals and is significantly larger than most of our competitors’. This allows us to develop fragrances that consistently stand out and have that “wow” factor.
  • Speed: Our average order lead time is 3 days and getting even shorter!
  • Consistency: A JIT manufacturing plant and rigorous quality control methods (including organoleptic and gas chromatographic analysis) ensure that you get the right and freshest fragrance every time. A fully-stocked application lab allows to us to test and submit fragrances in a variety of products to accurately replicate the consumer experience.


  • Direct Access to Creativity: Our “boutique” philosophy and flat organization allows our customers to collaborate directly with our top staff of perfumers (not just evaluators/R&D) to construct winning fragrance accords. This allows for unparalleled speed in turning around modifications and meeting stringent pricing parameters that provide YOU with high quality fragrances at exceptional value.
  • Value: Custom Essence maintains strategic supplier relationships that give a cost advantage on certain specialty chemicals than our competition. This allows us to offer exceptional quality at extremely aggressive prices.
  • Flexibility: We pride ourselves on our ability to respond to your special needs, no matter how big or small you are.

Executive Management

Prashun Patel
Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Prashun oversees all aspects of Operations, Technology, and Regulatory issues at Custom Essence. He holds BS and MS degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as an MBA from Stanford University.

Felix Buccellato
Founder, Perfumer

Felix is a Master perfumer with 35 years of comprehensive experience in analytical and creative perfumery.

As a perfumer for IFF, he spent 10 years developing analytical and artistic sensory skills. He is a frequent speaker and author at industry functions. He is an active member and past president of the American Society of Perfumers, the Society of Flavor Chemists, and the American Chemical Society. In 1981, he co-founded Custom Essence with Raman Patel. He is responsible for analytical perfumery at Custom Essence. He also heads our regulatory, quality control and safety departments. Felix serves as mentor to all junior perfumers and laboratory technicians.

Malini Amin
VP of Business Strategy and Finance

For over 15 years, Malini has led the Marketing Department at Custom Essence.  Malini is currently responsible for leading the development of strategic initiatives working with executive management to align business priorities across Sales and Marketing.  Malini holds a BS in Economics from Wellesley College, and an MBA in Management and Marketing from New York University.

Cari Muir
Accounts Manager

Cari currently serves the Accounting Department as an Accounts Manager and Customer Service Representative.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Christian Buccellato
Chief Creative Officer

Christian is a Senior Perfumer with over 30 years of experience developing fragrances for all product categories, as well as meeting the needs of all custom fragrance developers. Chris is responsible for custom fragrance development both in naturals and synthetics, and is a chief strategist tying in sales relationship development with marketing and perfumery. He holds a BS from Penn State University in Marketing and Business.

Raman Patel
Founder, Perfumer

Raman is a Master Perfumer and a Natural Product chemist with 45 years of comprehensive experience developing fragrances for all types of consumer products.  He worked at IFF in natural product isolation and identification and synthesis before joining their perfumery staff. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the use of natural products in fragrance chemistry. He is also the recipient of patents on several natural products including vetiver, sandalwood and natural musk as a result of his work. Raman is an active member of the American Society of Perfumers and the American Chemical Society. Raman is co-founder of Custom Essence. He is responsible for creative perfumery at Custom Essence and serves as a mentor to all junior perfumers.

Jack Corley
President, Naturals Division; Chief Sales Officer

Jack joined Custom Essence in July 2014 to head up our new Naturals Division. Jack has 38 years of experience in the Fragrance Industry and is a leading authority on the use of Natural Fragrances in personal care and household cleaning products. Jack’s background in sourcing and selling natural products and fragrances has enabled Custom Essence to become the natural fragrance leader in North America. Jack also assumed responsibility for the Sales Team in 2017 and serves as Chief Sales Officer for Custom Essence, Inc.
Jack is also a member of the newly formed Custom Essence Board of Advisors. Jack holds a BBA and an MBA in Marketing from the Bernard Baruch College. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Management at Monmouth University for the past 15 years.


Our creative and manufacturing center is based in Somerset, New Jersey, strategically located between New York and Philadelphia.