Tumi’s Latest Fragrance Conjures Up the Curiosity of Contemporary Explorers
Tumi, the travel brand founded in 1975, has long been known for its functional luggage that manages to be stylish. Its founder, Charlie Clifford—a former Peace Corps volunteer in South America who named his business after a type of sharp tool used in the central Andes region during pre- and post-colonial eras—built the company on a simple black, ballistic-nylon suitcase. Its cult following catapulted Tumi into a full-scale lifestyle label that now offers not only baggage, but accessories, outerwear, and, as of last year, men’s fragrances that underscore its spirit of refined exploration.
Since scents can often have a transporting effect, it seems, on one level, logical for a luggage company to create a perfume as another means to carry users to a different place. (A handful of other upscale brands that offer travel essentials, including Victorinox and Montblanc, have also expanded into the fragrance market; the luxury houses Louis Vuitton and Hermès have long been in the scent game.) Tumi’s approach to cologne focuses on evoking qualities that are associated with the invigorating experience of an excursion. While its first two releases, Unwind and Awaken, energized the olfactory organs with highly concentrated citrus, herb, and floral notes, its latest aroma, Continuum, conjures up the insatiable curiosity of contemporary explorers. It was released earlier this fall, just as more people began to warm up to the idea of taking trips again after restrictions on travel eased and vaccines became more widely available. “In light of a world where people are rediscovering travel, continuing Tumi’s foray into fragrance meant learning and understanding the different scents one can experience along their journeys,” Tumi’s creative director, Victor Sanz, said in a statement. “The notes chosen for Continuum were carefully selected to embody those inspirational voyages.”
The scent includes a blend of green mandarin, tobacco leaves, orris roots, and oud, forming a bold, musky bouquet that’s at once mineral and earthy, evoking both city streets and the great outdoors. Today more than ever, the cologne appears to suggest, traveling anywhere requires risk, which only increases the reward. Continuum seeks—or at least attempts—to serve as a reminder that travel is a fusion of logistics and romance. Having the right gear is the first step. Then it’s about getting in the mood.