The Sephora Glossy: Laura Slatkin of Nest Fragrances

Read this post on The Glossy here.

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Slatkin pays a visit to Sephora HQ to talk about the floral, fruity, spicy world of fine fragrance.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it’s also worth a thousand fragrance notes. Laura Slatkin, founder of the home-fragrance company NEST Fragrances, found unlikely inspiration for the brand’s first venture into perfume. “[English artist] Mary Delany created these beautiful works of art, these color mosaic collages that I was really drawn to,” she says. “It was so beautiful that I started to think about creating a whole fine fragrance collection around it.” We asked the Wall-Street-executive-turned-home-fragrance-founder—and now scent guru—about her foray into perfume. RENEE TRILIVAS

How was NEST Fragrances born?
I wanted to launch NEST because I felt there was a real void in the marketplace for a serious fragrance collection. I named it NEST because it sounds comforting and warm, and it sends a kind of cozy message. Burning a scented candle is a nice way to say you really care about the person coming over to visit you. It provides a sort of welcoming, warm environment.

Home fragrance has come a long way from apple cinnamon-scented candles. NEST is one of the first companies to make home fragrances that you’d actually want to wear…
We use the same master perfumers who create fine fragrance to create our home fragrance, so they have that history and education of mixing various different notes to create a perfectly blended fragrance. There are a lot of ingredients that go into each candle: we combine fruity notes with florals or introduce green notes to florals—it’s the same sort of complexities and nuances that go into fine fragrance.

Where do you find inspiration for the fragrances?
Sometimes you want to hit a particular category; sometimes it’s a happenstance. For example, one night, I had all the members of my women’s organization over to my house and I made this amazing Turkish-Indian feast. Everybody was like, “Oh my goodness, what’s that candle you’re burning in here?” It wasn’t a candle—it was the food! I took spices that went into the meal and I gave it to the perfumer and asked him to create a candle, and that is how Moroccan Amber came to be.

What was the inspiration behind the Sephora-exclusive Dahlia and Vines perfume?
It’s the artwork that drives the fragrance. I identified botanicals that I thought were beautiful and had Russian artist Sasha [Alexander “Sasha” Solodukho] paint the artwork. Then I worked with several perfumers to create the fragrance. It really stems from the art, which is a bit backward, but a lot of fun.

I’m addicted to the Moss and Mint scented candle. What are some of your current favorites?
Believe it or not, one of my favorite NEST products is our liquid soap. It looks so beautiful on my sink—I have them in every sink, in every house. I love the packaging: it’s a square bottle with a black label in the front. The formula is really great and the fragrances are lovely—and I get to use it all the time, so I love it!

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