10 to Watch Winner 2024 – Zingaro Floral Perfumery

10 to Watch Winner 2024 - Zingaro Floral Perfumery
From left, Shane Murray and Palma Cafolla. Photo By: Jeffrey Bosdet.

Sector: Floral, perfume and gifts

Principals: From left, Shane Murray and Palma Cafolla

Year Launched: 2021

Unique selling proposition: Harnessing Vancouver Island’s botanical bounty to make one-of-a-kind perfumes.

Strategy: To become the first all-Canadian chain of botanical perfumes.

Website: zingaropure.com

In a sector dominated by big name brands, florist and perfumer Palma Cafolla is carving out a fragrant boutique brand in downtown Victoria.

Opening Zingaro Floral Perfumery with her husband Shane Murray was the next big step on a journey that began as a Dublin kid exploring her mother’s traditional Irish garden. At 17 she moved to London where she trained as a floral designer, curating arrangements for high-end restaurants, hotels and even royalty. Cafolla returned to Dublin five years later to launch her own flower shop, while studying natural perfumery in Grasse, France, arguably the perfume capital of the world.

The 2012 economic crash of the Celtic Tiger forced Cafolla to close her Dublin shop. Looking for a fresh start, she moved to Canada with her family, stopping first in Saskatoon before landing in Victoria.

“Being in the flower industry for over 20 years and being a trained perfumer,
I really wanted to open up my own store in Canada. It was only with moving to Victoria that I realized that the beauty of the Island encapsulated everything that we stood for.” Cafolla says. “It was a no-brainer that our first perfumery would be here.”

She and Murray are focused on introducing customers to the authentic fragrances of nature while sharing the fascinating history of botanical perfumes. They have big plans for their upstart Johnston Street perfumery.

“We aim to be the first all-Canadian chain of botanical perfumeries,” Cafolla says, adding that they hope to franchise their brand in at least three Canadian cities over the next five years.

Zingaro is hitting the mark locally. Despite opening the shop during the pandemic, Cafolla says their shop now boasts a 70-per-cent repeat customer rate.

Cafolla and Murray are now looking forward to the release of a collaborative perfume line with Vancouver Island-born celebrity Pamela Anderson.