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Filigree & Shadow

A touch of melancholy.

Filigree & Shadow

Founded in 2013, the name Filigree & Shadow emanates from a twice-borrowed reference to the song by Fever Tree. I am James Elliott: the Nose (le nez) and self-described “Supercollider” of this fragrance house, producing everything by hand. I am a self-taught perfumer who began my study of perfumery in 2011, then later launched an inaugural collection of natural perfumes in 2015. The late Robert Hermann wrote, “His series of ethereal and complex fragrances established him as a first-class natural perfumer, proving small indie perfumers can more than hold their own when running with the big dogs.”

I find inspiration in the emotional effects of fragrance, invoking memories yet to happen. I am also an olfactive synesthete, linking sensory percepts of smell to sound, and vice versa. This synesthesia creates unusual associations and truly unique perfumes using the time-honored tradition of top, middle, and base notes. Together, my perfumes reflect a coherent and deeply felt/lived aesthetic, full of sincerity, heart, and playfulness—but also skilled craft and technique.

I released my first conventional fragrance in 2018 and continue to work using natural and synthetic materials. I made the choice in 2020 to use distilled water as the fragrance carrier after years of frustration with international shipping restrictions, exorbitant shipping costs, and lack of shipping options. Using water isn’t a new concept, but it is unusual to find in the niche sector. My uncompromising ethos and use of exquisite materials is what makes Filigree & Shadow perfumes so magical.

I began my formal art education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and later completed my BFA at RMCAD in Denver. I have worked as a designer for over 20 years with a focus on elegant design simplicity across all experiences. I have a rare mix of sense and skills that allow me to make the most of my creative talents. I reside in Seattle with my husband and our feline belovedaries.

Image of James Elliott by Amber Fouts
Photography: Amber Fouts
Image of bottle and box detail by James Elliott
Photography: James Elliott
Photograph of James Elliott by Justin Krebs
Photography: Justin Krebs

My Ethos

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95% of packaging (bottle included) can be recycled

I also give you a promo code toward your next purchase when you send back the bottle for recycling.

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Certified Cruelty-Free and Vegan by PETA

My products do not contain any animal ingredients, and I never test on animals.

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1% of sales donated to Seattle Animal Shelter

I believe every animal deserves a forever home. Your purchases help support (re)uniting families.

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We pay Real Rent to the Duwamish Tribe

I acknowledge that I am on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.

Featured in

Ça Fleure Bon
Michael Edwards' Fragrances of the World
parfumo community
Seattle Bride
Seattle Magazine
Seattle Met