A Brief History of Synfleur

In 1889, Benjamin Harrison was the president of the United States, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states of the union, and the Eiffel Tower opened in Paris. That same year, Alois Von Isakovics, a 29 year old chemist from Prague, opened up a perfume and flavor laboratory in the northern part of New York City. He was convinced, as were most perfumers and flavorists at the time, that the best quality of ingredients could only be found in imported materials.


He called his company Herbene Pharmacal and set out to produce top quality aroma chemicals. He found that he could synthesize and blend many different chemicals to produce a quality that were equal to or exceeded that of the imported oils. He began to develop a reputation for innovation and quality and his business grew.

In 1904, needing more room for manufacturing and looking for a cleaner environment beyond an urban setting, hemoved his company to Monticello, New York, about 90 miles northwest of his New York City location. At the same time, he changed the name of his company to Synfleur Scientific Laboratories, to more readily identify the nature of his business. It was there, in the clean air of the Catskill Mountains, that the business flourished.

In 1917, at the age of 47, Alois Von Isakovics died. He had been in frail health for years and had the foresight to bring into the business his wife, Mary Upshur Von Isakovics, years before that. She ran the business with the assistance of a general manager, Luis De Hoyos. De Hoyos married the Von Isakovics’ daughter, Marie, and hence became part of the family.

Luis ran the company for many years, bringing into it his son, Luis Jr., who eventually took over as president of Synfleur. It continued to thrive in Monticello, and as Luis Jr. approached retirement age, the company was sold to The Nestle Co. of White Plains, NY in 1975. As a division of Nestle, Synfleur continued to grow and prosper, increasing the foreign business of the company to substantial proportions.

On the domestic scene, Bell Flavors was making quite a name for itself in the food industry. It pioneered innovative flavor breakthroughs for many of the most successful new products introduced over the decades. Looking to expand its product base in the fragrance industry, Bell could not help but notice the close parallels between Synfleur and its own past history. The most significance was the similar attitude toward product quality and customer service.

In 1983, Bell Flavors and Fragrances saw an opportunity to acquire the business and expand its operation. Bringing back the family-oriented nature of the business, Bell merged the flavor and fragrance operation into its existing business and expanded its customer base world-wide.