An Interview with Julie Elliot of In Fiore:
Fragrance is Thy Medicine (and your best traveling companion)
By Michelyn Camen
I first discovered In Fiore, an amazing line of balms and solid fragrances, while suffering through yet another “Confiscation of Liquids” check in at the airport, (just how much can YOU stuff into a small Ziploc baggie). BNY girls are resourceful, so I searched for a solid perfume, so I could squeeze a precious few inches for my mascara and glosses. I went online to one of my favorite beauty websites, http://www.beautyhabit.com and found a selection of In Fiore’s solid fragrances, and ordered one “unsniffed’. The fragrance was Bois d’ete, (the newest and just one of the unusual and intoxicating solid scents) developed by Julie Elliot, In Fiore’s founder and creator, who lives in San Francisco, but travels the world in search of fine, rare and organic ingredients for her eponymous products.
BN: Why are all your perfumes in solid form?
JE: This is the medium I have always worked in. I blend all In Fiore products in a fixed oil base. I never work with alcohol. Solid perfumes in a compact case are easier to carry around and are great for travel -especially with all of the regulations with carrying products on the plane. I really understand why my clients buy two, three at a time, especially those who travel.
BN: What is special about your ingredients?
JE: I only blend with natural substances, such as exquisite floral absolutes, which are the most expensive ingredients. In Fiore was the first luxury face and body care line blended with pure oils and expensive absolutes. I stay as far away as possible from the banal and common. I am always on the lookout for new essential oils or absolutes. Once I have acquired them and have had some time to “live” with them an inspiration or idea usually comes to light.
BN: Many of my friends and business associates always “ooh and ahhh” over how beautiful the compact looks; what inspired you to design the compact case?
JE: Our solid perfumes are packaged in a golden bronze compact that gives them a feeling of a special object or collectible. It just feels special and a piece that you want with you at all times or have out on your vanity or dressing table.
BN: Besides zipping through airport security, what are the benefits of a solid perfume?
JE: As is relates to natural perfumes I find that even the simplest of blends are more interesting in a solid format, and, being that I am a minimalist in my blending and aesthetic, this is important. I believe the jojoba and beeswax base lends tenacity to the blends so they evolve more slowly on the skin vs. naturals blended in alcohol where I sense they evaporate much more quickly.
BN: Your fragrance line includes the parfum solides and luxury balms. Are they meant to be worn together?
JE: Either way- but you create a much more personal and unique blend when they are worn together. The solids and the balms were designed to layer beautifully with other fragrances and tend to be much more personal. They fragrance you; not the environment around you.
For example, Kashmir, which contains neroli and sandalwood, is based in patchouli, an excellent fixative – one of the few essential oils that improve with age. Both women and men use it alone as a daily moisturizer. I have had a lot of comments from wives and girlfriends that their guy’s skin smell like honey!
BN: You believe that “Perfume is thy medicine?” What do you mean?
JE: The idea of fragrance as thy medicine really came to me through feedback from various clients referring to the holistic quality of In Fiore fragrances .Some have even gone as far as saying that In Fiore fragrances give them a reason to get out of bed in the morning or something to look forward to each day. So in a big way fragrance can be a powerful healer. Fragrance has a very powerful effect on the emotions. It is has the power to transport, uplift, arouse, relax, invigorate, stimulate, seduce.
BN: Julie, do you have plans to do non solid fragrances?
JE: No not at this time. In Fiore’s cult following is for the balms. The solid perfumes are a natural fit for our brand.
BN: Are your working on anything new?
JE: I am in the process of developing some new scents for fall. They will be warm, dark, cozy, and sensuous…just we need for the winter months. I am playing with the idea of some sweeter scents as well. I do have a special new line debuting this fall; it’s a collaborative project with a jewelry designers.
BN: By the way, your skincare line is amazing (and is a favorite among our editors). Back to fragrance, which fragrance would you recommend to first time users of your solid perfumes?
JE: Rose Noir, it’s the very essence of In Fiore…the notes are intriguing and contrasting. They are Saffron absolute and Damascena Rose Petals over a deep rich tenacious base of Oud from Assam, Galbanum Resin, and a hint of Rosewood. It has so many layers and levels. It is refreshing and sensuous all at once. I like the contrast.