From Your Home to Self-Confidence, a Perfume Mogul Shares How a Fragrance Can Positively Impact Your Life

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If you were to rank how obsessed I am with fragrances, I’d undoubtedly find myself at the very top of the scent-o-meter. I have a plethora of perfumes at home, like a pantry full of spices, which I use freely and instinctively everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. I’m like the Pollock of perfume, if you will. (Yes, I just compared myself to Jackson Pollock, but eh, I’m in a good mood and when self-confidence shows up, flaunt it.)

I’m also the one who will ask a total stranger what perfume they’re wearing. SIDE NOTE: is it rude to do that? I still haven’t figured that one out. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Back in college, I spent 300$ on a perfume bottle just because it smelled sooo good. All the compliments I received afterwards made it feel like a totally justifiable financial decision.

I’ve already cried over a perfume because it mysteriously stirred old memories.

Anyways, you get what I mean. I LOVE perfume.

Hence my palpable excitement when I received an invitation in January for a press trip in Toronto to meet with the incredibly lady-like but oh-so funny Nest Fragrances’ founder, Laura Slatkin.

We all had brunch at the very Pinterest-y Café Cancan while she explained the inspiration behind her latest olfactive venture, Wild Poppy, a fragrance with notes of Himalayan Jasmine and Rose de Grasse, sparked with cheerful accents of pear, raspberry, and apricot.

After we finished eating, or should I say after I went on a viennoiseries-eating-spree, I had the chance to sit down with Laura and chat all fragrance-related things, from using candles to create the perfect mood in every room of your home to building a perfume wardrobe to nurture all your moods and aspirations. 

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Every year, Nest launches one to two perfumes plus home fragrances. How do you find all that inspiration?

For Wild Poppy, it all happened when I went to a market and noticed an ugly little bud in a bucket. I didn’t know what it was at first. The following week, when I came back to that bucket, there was a tiny hint of a blossom peeking out. Then, every following week, there was a little bit more, a little bit more, until it became this amazing beautiful flower. That’s how I learned about poppies. What’s also interesting about poppies is that don’t smell, so I used their evolution process and joyfulness as a stepping stone for what I wanted to capture in this beautiful scent. As you can see, inspiration comes in many different ways.

Another example would be for Wisteria Blue, which we launched last year. I was in South Carolina and came across a beautiful home covered head-to-toe in wisteria, a flower I’ve always loved. When I came back to New York, I called Rodrigo Flores-Roux, a perfumer with whom I had never worked before, and told him I wanted to create a wisteria fragrance. He said “Come to my office, you will never believe this”. Twenty fives year prior, he had interned for a perfume house in Paris and had captured the very essence of the wisteria growing on Marie-Antoinette’s cottage in Versailles. He’d had the essence ever since, but no one had asked for a wisteria fragrance until then.

That’s how life happens, it’s a mix of coincidences. And I really do go get inspired by the most unusual circumstances.

Someone told me that you use a different scented candle for every room in your house. How can one curate the perfect ambiance for each room with fragrance? 

First, I like to welcome people with a floral, as they’re passing through the entryway of my home, because it’s hard to be in the same room for a long period of time if you don’t like florals. We’re entertaining all the time, so I would be hesitant to burn a strong floral in the living room for example.

Once they go into the living room, I’ll be burning Grapefruit or Sicilian Tangerine; they’re crowd-pleasers and invigorating fragrances. They put everybody in a good mood! For my bedroom, I would turn to Cedar Leaf & Lavender, it’s calming. Then in the kitchen, I would be burning Pumpkin Chai or Vanilla Orchid & Almond, both cozy and gourmand. They smell yummy and that’s what you want in a kitchen. In the bathroom or the powder room, I like bringing in something completely different and unexpected, like Moroccan Amber or jasmine.

We always say that what we wear truly has the power to shift our mood. How can a fragrance do the same? How can it empower us?

We all wake up in different moods. Sometimes, you wake up and you’re really tired and you want to stay in bed. Citrine is going to make you feel like a million bucks, it’s very happy and joyful. Whereas if you’re going out in the evening and want something a bit more seductive and romantic, you could go for Dahlia & Vines. Once you’ve built a fragrance wardrobe, you really do have a range of different moods to choose from. Same goes for clothes, on one particular day, you might want to wear a cozy sweater and the day after, something black or colourful. What you wear is a reflection of the state of mind you’re in. So then how you pair your fragrance to your outfit is definitely connected. The question is: How do you want to impact people?

Moreover, there’s no greater feeling in the world for me than someone who says “oh my gosh, you smell so good!”. It just makes me feel special. So I think wearing a beautiful scent that people comment and compliment you on is in itself very empowering.


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