Can you please share with the AILLEA audience a little background about yourself, both personally and professionally?
What was your inspiration when initially launching Smoke?
"I was a fairly new massage therapist, and enjoyed the process of working with essential oils to create custom blends for myself and my clients. Smoke was born from a particular blend I keep returning to. While I no longer practice massage, the idea of fragrance as a way to connect to our breath and body to feel better has grown and carried over into all aspects of our brand."
Why was creating a clean, non-toxic fragrance line important to you?
"I first fell in love with the essential oils themselves - they feel alive to me and have so much personality. I just didn't feel drawn to synthetic materials in the same way. Add to that, I have several chemically sensitive customers who could not wear synthetic blends, yet could wear mine. In learning more about natural perfumes, and the lack of them in our industry, it has felt in line for me to explore 100% naturals in all products we make."
You state that 'each of Smoke's signature scents starts with a color and a feeling', can you explain more about what that means?
Sure! As a perfumer, I create perfumes based on 2 notes that I want to work with. Often those notes come to me from deeply intuitive place, and before I even begin blending them, they start to take on a life of their own. Often, that includes a color and/or feeling. For example: When I made Night Cloud, I knew I wanted to explore the relationship of Lavender and Oakmass, and the scent was purple before I even made it. That color always works its way into the packaging we design."
Your scents are all rooted in self-care, can you share more about how they may impact one's well being?
One of my favorite things about scent is that in order to smell perfume, you have to breathe! Breathing (deeply, intentionally, and often) is one of the more understated and quicker ways to affect our spirit, as it stimulates the vagus nerve. In turn, the vagus nerve innervates our entire nervous system, and when we stimulate it through breathing, we can calm, and center ourselves quite quickly. The connection of scent to the breath is a huge aspect of how scent connects us to self care. Of course, the act of applying perfume, and the therapeutic benefits found in the essential oils also have huge effects.
What is your personal favorite Smoke scent? Is there a reason why this is your favorite?
"I love them all and wear them all depending on my mood, but the original Smoke Perfume blend is my ride or die, desert island scent. I will always come back to that blend of vetiver, citrus, and jasmine, and I find it's my go-to everyday scent (whereas I use the others on more special occasions)."
All of your ingredients are ethically-sourced and your packaging is sustainable, can you share more about how you source your ingredients and about your commitment to sustainability?
"Sure! It does take a lot of plant matter to produce essential oils, so I work with companies known for ethical distillation. Many of our oils are sourced from fair trade coops, etc. In general, we do our best to avoid plastics, and to package our products in compostable or recyclable materials. Of course, it can be challenging as a small business, but we try our best. We also give back percentages of our sales throughout the year to various causes, and especially focus on local causes within our community."
Are there any new scents that you will be launching soon? Can you share any details?
"No new perfumes on the horizon! We are playing with a limited edition incense as well as some collaborations. This year is a big behind the scenes year for us."
What are your favorite non-Smoke products or brands at AILLEA?
"The Agent Nateur deodorant is one of my favorite natural deodorants on the market, I’m absolutely obsessed with the Ilia makeup line, it’s probably the makeup I use the most, I love the Kosas lipstick in Rosewater—it’s the perfect natural color and brightens my lips up just the right amount before any Zoom call, and anything by Tata Harper is the most indulgent treat—I love her products!"