How was your week? My was crazy busy and frazzled, with my daughter's birthday, trying to plan for a possible reopen (who known when and how!) and a lot of work. But all good otherwise, and happy to start this week on a good note, inspired by the world of fragrances.
When I was pregnant, I learned that babies can smell their mother from up to 2 feet away. Turns out that their nasal cavities are developed early in the womb, and in the first few days after birth, moms produce sweat with similar scent to the amniotic fluid. The way humans interact with scent starts before we are born, and continue our entire lives. Your parents smell, the food cooking in your grandmother's kitchen, the grass growing in someone's yard, your best friend's home - scents can bring powerful, beautiful memories (or ugly ones too). And there is also the stuff we can't necessarily smell but that has a huge impact in our relationships - apparently we are attracted to others who have a pheromone that is pleasing to our sense of smell (except we don't know exactly what that is). That is both fascinating and infuriating, and a humble reminder that we are just clueless beings with some very basic knowledge of the universe and how things are suppose to work... 🤷♀️
The sense of smell is sort of a magical and deeply personal: what smells good to me may be revolting to you, and vice-versa. And with all the technology, artificial intelligence, drones, and virtual reality - we still can't send smells through the internet or the TV... there is no Netflix for fragrances, or a Fragrance Sampler TV show... fashion magazines still attach fragrance sample packets on their printed issues like they did in the 80's, for God's sake (although that brings good memories of when I was young and dreaming about a career in fashion. Good times... ). Scents require a very lo-fi, in person experience. How we perceive them is a mix of hormones, chemistry and...magic. 💫
But in an time of isolation and mask wearing, what will be of fragrances? I sat down with Brianna Lipovsky today to chat about that (link for the chat is below). She opened my eyes to how fragrances evolved - and it seems that it followed how humans evolved (even if not that much): whereas in the 80's and 90's it was all about how a woman would wear a scent to attract and seduce a man, now we are buying them and wearing them for ourselves. It's not that we don't want out partners or significant others to like what we are wearing. It's just that we don't buy it exclusively because of them - we buy it for ourselves, because we like it, and because it makes us feel good. And hopefully they'll like it too, and appreciate that as part of our self expression and who we are.
And that's what Brianna set out to do when she started her luxury brand Maison d'Etto last year. She's been an equestrian since she was 5 years old (her daughter Zoe's age now), and horses for her were healing and helpful when she felt anxious and worried. So even though horses are not the first thing that comes to mind when discussing fragrances, she decided to start this line based on her relationship with these beautiful animals (not because of how they smell, silly). I love what Brianna is doing because it's more than building a fragrance business. She is trying to help make us feel good and telling her own story through scents. My favorites are Macanudo and Canaan - I tend to love floral scents, especially anything with tuberose. Brianna developed these to be all genders, and if you want to try before deciding, we have a Discovery set with her 5 scents - check our edit below. It's a great gift for the moms in your life as well.
Brianna is also sending care packages to medical workers - a generous idea to provide a gift of self care and relaxation for these amazing people in the front lines. And as in Gandhi's beautiful quote "The fragrance remains on the hand that gives the flower", she is owning her fragrance in more ways than one. 🌺
Maison d'Etto Edit:
My chat with Brianna:
What are your earliest olfactory memories? . . Fragrances are such a big part of our lives, whether our own or from loved ones. . . What I love about Brianna's collection is that it was conceived to inspire connection - with ourselves, with nature, and with others. It's not about wearing fragrance to please or seduce others, but rather to do something for ourselves, to feel good and to uplift our own spirits. My favorite is Macanudo, along with Canaan and Durban Jane. . . Brianna is a mom of Zoe, a beautiful "almost 6 years old" girl, the Founder of Maison d'Etto, a wife, and a woman on a mission to make us all feel good. . . I loved catching up with her and chatting about what she's been doing (I loved the idea of the care packages she is sending medical professionals), and I can't wait for when we reopen and she can come visit our store in Sag Harbor. . . In case you missed our live chat, watch it here! . . Enjoy! xx Patricia