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Michelle Obama In a Bottle: Luxury Perfumer Launches With First Lady Inspiration

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- When luxury perfumer Seth Kornegay thinks of first lady Michelle Obama, the adjectives that come to mind include strength, grace and courage.

Using those attributes as inspiration, Kornegay developed "Orla," his newly launched luxury perfume in honor of the iconic first lady.

"I can look at a person and come up with a scent profile just by sight and by studying a person's characteristics," says Kornegay, who in May unveiled a line of nine fragrances costing between $205 and $620.

Orla, a scent that includes rose garden with notes of tuberose and African violets, is one of two perfumes Kornegay has developed for women. There are also two in his new line for men, a unisex scent and two specialty fragrances.

Having the ability to merely look at someone and come up with a scent profile is a unique skill indeed. But it took the 44-year-old high-end perfumer years of experimenting to reach this point -- not just the launch of his perfume line, but a website and exclusive perfume business.

His route was anything but traditional.

Kornegay started out as a business student at the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. Later he went into real estate development and production of low-income housing.

"But fragrances have always been my true love," says Kornegay, who works from New York City and Philadelphia. "So I studied under two perfumers and as time passed, I began experimenting with different fragrances."