Only 20 years old, their daughter Christina Kumanov created her own line of fragrances

First South African Perfume Museum was officially open by Anroux Marais, the Western Cape minister of Arts and Culture.

By Boryana Antimova, BG Voice Weekly Chicago

Daniela remembers the day she emigrated with her husband Dimo, only 20 years old, with their 6-month-old son in her arms. After the political changes in Bulgaria and the opening of the borders, they decided to emigrate to Switzerland, but life in a small village wasn’t appealing for them so they opted for exotic South Africa.

Today, Daniela and Dimo ​​Kumanov are respected and valued, and the Kumanov brand is known not only in South Africa, but around the world. The perfume museum they created is the first and only of its kind in the African continent and one of the largest in the world. The unique thing about this project is that besides the museum they also have a perfumery, where every visitor can immerse themselves in the wonderful world of fragrances by creating their own perfume … Or buy ready-made. The two citizens of Plovdiv have come a long way for the past 20 years.

As a child, Daniela was very “academic”. She graduated with honors from the Economic College (now the Trade High School) in the city under the hills. She met Dimo ​​in the 8th grade – a teenage love that stood the test of time. In 1989 they got married and have been together for 33 years.

“When we arrived in Cape Town, we decided to create our signature perfumery,” says Daniela. We made perfumes that we sold in pharmacies and boutiques . Local and world stars started calling us, ordering our own perfume lines.

Daniela and Dimo Kumanov ​​created several such lines, as well as perfumes for all the individual television channels of the American television NBC Universal. Much later, they decided to create their own perfume line – the brand “Kumanov Perfumery”. “We developed the business and raised it to a completely different level,” Daniela said.

Both have inherited the commercial acumen, spirit and enterprise of their ancestors. Dimo is from an old Kazanlak family, his ancestors of both families exported rose and lavender oil. Daniela’s great grandfather was the owner of one of the largest Bulgarian vinegar factories in Plovdiv.

The idea for the creation of the museum came from Dimo, who collects perfume bottles. When his collection grew to about 5,000 bottles, he decided to arrange the exhibits. The beautiful majestic building of the museum is relatively new, built in Cape Duch style. It is furnished with great taste.

In the beautiful cabinets of solid wood is arranged the unique collection of over 6,000 perfume bottles, the oldest – the Egyptian, have a history of 2-3 thousand. There are both Phoenician and Roman bottles. The Kumanovs also own one of the world’s largest collections of Lalique bottles, one of which sells for $ 25,000 to $ 30,000 today.

The oldest exhibits in the museum – the Egyptian bottles have a 2-3,000 history.

It is enough for a visitor of the museum to cross the street to find himself in the realm of aromas. The Kumanov Perfumery is situated in a 250-year-old Victorian building.

Around it, in a beautiful garden, there is an open-air art gallery – dozens of sculptures by the most famous South African artists for sale.

In perfumery, each guest can create their own unique scent.

In the beautiful interior of the Perfumery, each guest can buy perfumes with the brand “Kumanov Perfumery ” or to have the unique chance to create their own signature fragrance and cream to take home. There, guests can learn about the fascinating history of the world of perfume throughout the ages and the manufacturing process.

“Dimo and I are very big patriots,” she said. We put a lot of emphasis on every guest learning about Bulgaria – the homeland of rose oil.”

Everywhere in the museum is reminded of the glory of Bulgarian rose oil.

Both buildings are located in the town of Franschhoek, one of the oldest historic towns in South Africa, famous with centuries-old vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture.Franschhoek, which simply means ‘French Quarter’ in Afrikaans, has become known as the food and wine capital of South Africa, with world-class restaurants and renowned vineyards sharing space amidst a beautiful natural landscape.

Anthony Rupert,one of the richest man in South Africa, Rothschild and Richard Branson bought their wine farms there. “Since we managed to move here 5 years ago, our business has grown a lot. It’s all a matter of location, “says Daniela.

In the largest tourist platform “Tripadvisor”, the perfume museum holds the first place among the most interesting and most visited sites in Cape Town. Today it is normal for several museum buses to stop in front of the museum, with 200-300 visitors a day.

The greatest pride of the two perfumers is their daughter Christina Kumanov. She is the youngest perfumer in the world, who created her own line – “Le Grand secret” by Christina Kumanov. She was born in Cape Town and is a student of international law at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Daniela has been preparing her for the perfume business since she was 12 years old, from the 8th grade, after she discovered that she has an extremely strong nose and flair for fragrances.

Christina created her first perfume at the age of 17. “It was during the covid, she was writing her dissertation, she took a break for a year and her line was ready,” said her mother.

Christina created a perfume for the largest diamond dealer in Africa – Shymanski – “My Girl Light” when she was only 16 years old. The regular visitors of Kumanov Perfumery include ambassadors, princes, princesses, singers and artists.

The beautiful and talented Christina Kumanov is also a celebrity in South Africa.

The Bulgarians in Cape Town are quite well settled, there are successful doctors, engineers, Daniela commented.

“Bulgaria in our heart? … Oh, we are patriots and one day when we retire, we will return home – Daniela is excited. – Plovdiv is in our hearts!”

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