We asked a Wall Street exec turned perfume guru on how to create mood with fragrance

A woman who’s worked for Christian Dior and Ralph Lauren can’t be wrong

Laura Slatkin has had quite the career: after over a decade spent standing her ground amongst the sea of suits on Wall Street, she struck out on her own to launch a home fragrance company with her husband: NEST Fragrances.

Within three whirlwind years, Laura was creating private-label and licensed scents for a slew of names you may have heard of – Christian Dior, Tory Burch, Jonathan Adler and Ralph Lauren among them – as well as her own retail line of luxury home fragrance.

We sat down with the incredibly elegant Laura to find out just how she does it, from harnessing the power of scent to create mood to the common fragrance mistakes we’ll never make again.

Laura Slatkin.

Can you share your best tips for finding the right home fragrance?

If you entertain a lot, you always want your guests to be in a great mood when they come to your home. A bright citrus fragrance will lift everyone’s spirits, create a joyful mood and appeal to all. Citrus fragrances are happy fragrances; they’re crowd-pleasers. We have two exceptional citrus scents – Grapefruit and Sicilian Tangerine. Grapefruit has uplifting, sparkling notes of pink pomelo grapefruit and coriander blossom, and Sicilian Tangerine is a mouth-watering blend of Italian bergamot, juicy mango and passionfruit.

What about when youre entertaining just for two? How can fragrance be used to create a sense of romance?

If you’re having your significant other over for dinner, oriental, woody and amber-based fragrances are exactly what you need to set the right mood. Look for scents with notes of exotic woods, bergamot and patchouli. I created a home fragrance called Moroccan Amber, which has all these notes plus heliotrope, eucalyptus and amber. It is a very sensual, intriguing and exotic fragrance. Need I say more?

Whats your favourite fragrance memory?
When my husband, Harry, and I were first married in 1992, we would place hyacinths in the entry vestibule of our first apartment. When people walked off the elevator, they were greeted with an overdose of beautiful floral notes. Today, I still love to greet guests who walk into our home’s entryway with a bold and impactful floral fragrance.    

Is there a common faux pas people make when fragrancing their home?

Combining different fragrances can be tricky and, frankly, not necessary. I work hand-in-hand with the world’s most talented master perfumers to create each and every one of our home fragrances. They are highly complex and nuanced and mixing them diminishes all the painstaking work and creativity that goes into creating a perfectly balanced fragrance. Please – do not combine your fragrances!

Another mistake people make is not realising that it’s actually incredibly important it is to take care of their candles. Taking proper care of your scented candles or not simply means the difference between getting the most out of and safely enjoying them for their intended life cycle or ruining them after the first lighting! Be sure to follow the burning instructions on the box and candle label, keep the wicks properly trimmed by using a wick trimmer before burning, keep the wax free of debris, and never ever leave candles burning unattended.

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