Engineer producing Turkish cologne in Elazığ
The eau de cologne, or “kolonya,” is more than just a scent in Turkish culture. Whiffs of it are everywhere: In houses, restaurants and barbers. But the industry is slowly dying out, with the perfume industry taking over. But an engineer, who runs a family business to produce the colognes, has vowed to keep the industry surviving. Güven Buldaç produces colognes in his shop in the eastern province of Elazığ, using a secret formula and a technique dating back 56 years.
The scents, which his father Yaşar Buldaç produced 63 years ago and named Elazığ Geceleri (Elazığ Nights), Harput Sefası (Harput Pleasure), Yaz Yağmuru (Summer Rain) and Doğa (Nature), are now offered to customers by Güven Buldaç.
Buldaç started working with his father, one of the first cologne producers in Elazığ, at the age of eight, and maintained this business with passion in the same shop despite studying civil engineering at university.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Buldaç, 48, said that his father got involved in the business of cologne production in 1950s in Istanbul, then wanted to maintain it in his hometown Elazığ and opened the first cologne production facility there.
He said that his father made great contributions to the progress of this business in the city.
“As far as he told me, the business of cologne production was not much known in those years. He quickly became known in the city as the ‘cologne producer Yaşar,’ and with the beautiful fragrances that he produced for years, he won the hearts of people. As his fragrances were appreciated by people, he continued his business as a registered cologne brand after the registration of his trademark by the Turkish Patent Institute in 1981,” he said.
Buldaç said that he has been continuing the tradition for 40 years and added that he even went to university in Elazığ to stay close to the cologne business.
“Most of the time I was doing my homework at my father’s shop. When my friends were playing on the street or playing with toys at home after school, I was spending time among the colorful cologne bottles. I spent my youth between school and the shop. I preferred my father’s profession, which is a passion for me, despite successfully completing the faculty of engineering,” he said.
Buldaç said that as the perfume industry progressed, colognes became gifts or cleaning products in houses.
Stating that the variety of colognes in the past declined gradually, he added, “Cologne, as a tradition coming from the past, has become an inevitable offering for our guests visiting us especially during holidays. Unfortunately, today we see that the scent diversity is not much as it was in the past.”
Buldaç said that he sent the colognes to his customers in different parts of Turkey.