Since first meeting Stacey, and had her join us at our Night Markets this past Summer, we've been infatuated with FLORE perfumes. She has taught us so much about the art of perfumere in the last few months and what a magical, lost art it is today.
Listening to Stacey talk about her process of the craft is mesmerizing. You get swept up in her descriptions of the scent. Not only can she describe the scent perfectly, but she can take you to a location or a moment through her stories of the fragrance. Her historical knowledge of perfume making is fascinating, and she creates all her products just as they would have "back in the day". There are no fragrance oils, not an artificial drop. Flore perfumes are made using historical techniques including distillation, tincturing, infusing and enfleurage.
Stacey's connection to the materials she needs to create is inspiring. Recently Stacey stopped in to drop off her newest batch of candles, as she was on her way to the forest to harvest resin from a pine tree, one particular tree that she loves and has had a working relationship with for years.
We had Stacey answer our prying questions about her process, her passion and her practice and she's given us such a great insight into what it means to be a old world perfumer in today's world.
Picot: How did your adventure with Flore start?
Stacey: I had been studying and creating natural scents for over 10 years. Within that time of being a mad scientist, I was able to make mistakes, experiment & harness my craft. From the early days of making my own beautiful natural baby products for my daughter to the practice of aromatherapy to the obsession of botanical perfume making. I was yearning to create scents of the Pacific Northwest; sensual stories of the Old Growth rain forest to the wild seaside. I began to forage, infuse, tincture and distill botanical materials that were native to our island, formulating them with ethically sourced rare essences from around the world using old world perfume techniques.
Picot: Who are your products intended for- Who are you thinking of when you create them?
Stacey: My products are intended for both women and men who have a desire to explore the sensual word of scent from the ritual of application to the intimacy with our minds. They appreciate the luxury of wearing precious and rare notes of the natural wold on their skin. Renewing communication with themselves and each other.
Picot: When was a time your products calmed you down, revitalized you, or gave you the boost you needed?
Stacey: My mother passed away recently, I surrounded my self with healing essences that aid in grief and sorrow. I bathed in my Rose & Frankincense spirit water and the perfume version i just created called Sacred.
Picot: What is your favourite part of your creative process?
Stacey: Passion. The creations usually come from an inspiration and wanting to capture that moment in time. I Let the feeling and vision guide me to the direction of the fragrance family for structure. Will it be a classic Chypre... a heady Floral….spicy Oriential? I escape and explore. I use all my senses in order to recreate my olfactory story. Making a path along my wrists with the building notes until it is just right. I also love exploring the magical and healing properties of these oils as well.
Picot: Can you tell us about a regular work day for you?
Stacey: I am usually multitasking since I am a mother which can take me into the magical late night hours of 2 am! when you have your own business there is no “regular” work day. I awake with new thoughts of a creation and hope to get to work at it right away…. must make a latte first! In between home life and being a mother, I take any moment I can to blend, test, forage, create, source…..tea break….a walk in the woods for some forest therapy …social media, blend, test!…..another coffee...family life until they go to bed and then candle lit late night creating down in my perfumery while listening to an array of music with a glass of Cab Sav
Picot: Do you have a mentor?
Stacey: I trained with one of the worlds leading botanical perfumers Ayala Moriel. The moment I met her and smelled her perfume Ayalitta I was transported to another time and place. I had never experienced anything like it before. I had no idea that you could create complex, sophisticated, alluring natural perfumes like these. There was something incredibly special and magical about her perfumes. I knew from that moment on that I could never be happy with just blending your average everyday essential oils…there was a whole world of rare and unusual notes to be found and used. I was hooked.
Picot: When you are in your studio and you concoct a new, magical scent, how do you celebrate?
Stacey: A sense of completion and satisfaction! I feel connected to the universe and give thanks! I usually can’t help but stopping to smelling obsessively the new potion. Celebration consists of singing, dancing and wine (not necessarily in that order)
Picot: What is a key defining value or choice you made in the development of your business?
Stacey: Integrity! Creating high quality perfume with the most luxurious natural ingredients.
Picot: So many of the ingredients used in Flore products you harvest yourself from the outdoors. What is it about nature that keeps you so eager to explore it?
Stacey: I tend to harvest the more rare essences that are not readily available for one to purchase. Usually because they are seasonal and best grown wild. It is quite satisfying to forage and harvest a material with your own hands and then distill, infuse or tincture it to create a perfume for the spirit.
Picot: Do you have a favorite plant or material to work with?
Stacey: I'm drawn to resins….especially Frankincense. There is an ancient history of early perfumes consisting of myrrh, fir, pine, agar wood, and balsams, labdanum. They have a sweet and woody note that linger on the skin. Amber notes. They connect with the primal part of my spirit.
Picot: What is the most unusually perfect concoction you’ve created?
Stacey: I'm still perfecting it!
Picot: What advice would you give to those wanting to perfect a skill or craft?
Stacey: Keep it simple! Perfect the bones and then add to it later. Learn the basics first. Don’t be afraid to try and fail…..that is how we learn. Find a mentor and read lots. Don’t ever stop exploring.
Flore Botanical Alchemy products can currently be purchased locally at Picot Collective, and Hold General. And online through our shop