By Michelyn Camen
Pure perfume oils are the heart and soul of all fragrance. Not too long ago, connotations of street vendors and head shops gave perfume oils a “low rent” image; less desirable than the commercially available fragrances (whose high content of alcohol and additives greatly diminish the “soul” of the scent). One woman changed the perception of an entire industry – Sarah Horowitz-Thran, the creator and fragrance designer of Creative Scentualizations whose beautiful, high end perfume oil blends are sold at some of the most exclusive stores in the world. Sarah’s journey began in Boston, at Emery College, where she a found a part time job at an offbeat apothecary style boutique on Newbury Street that led to a life long passion as a perfumer and a leading creative force who continues to interpret, invent and influence scents that cut through the clutter of thousands of mass produced perfumes.
BN: Sarah, there is something very special about your fragrances. They seem to resonate emotionally with so many people, yet they are all so different. What is your inspiration?
SH: I wanted to reach out to as many people as possible. I had a natural affinity for fragrance and believe it to be one of the most powerful forms of self expression. Before I started my company I was creating customized scents using pure perfume oils. Everyday, I used to ride the T (Boston’s subway) dressed as a cowgirl anointing the riders with my oils and handing out business cards. I built a clientele pretty quickly. Later, I moved to Malibu and had a carpenter design a box for my oils and I would walk the beaches creating individual scents for all sorts of people. I worked part time for Rob Robinson of Fred Segal. He was my mentor. I also worked creating custom scents at Planet Bleu in Malibu.
BN: You sound like a true entrepreneur. I am curious how you chose the name for your company.
SH: I was and am a big believer in the power of positive thinking. There is a book that really influenced me called Creative Realization. It explores the process of putting your intent out into the universe. So I named my company Creative Scentualizations because fragrance is a trigger for memories and emotions. Fragrance is a conduit to implanting positive thinking.
BN: So you believed in the laws of attraction and what they are now marketing as “The Secret” before it became pop culture.
BN: Who was your first client and which your first fragrance?
SH: Fred Segal was my first client and Perfect Gardenia was my first “global” scent
BN: The word Perfect is the prefix to most of your scents. How did you come up with it?
SH: I had a custom client at Planet Bleu who loved the smell of gardenias. She asked me to create the ultimate gardenia aroma. I worked on it, bottled it and labeled it with an avery label. When she smelled it, she closed her eyes, breathed deeply and said, “This is perfect”.
BN: This is our Nude issue. There’s a story that the late Marilyn Monroe only wore Chanel no.5 to bed. Which of your fragrances is the best “nude” scent?
SH: It depends on your intent. If you are with your partner, I would recommend my latest fragrance, Beauty Comes From Within, sold exclusively at Barneys. It’s the essence of femininity, smoldering, serene, voluptuous and nurturing. I designed it to evoke the powerful, life-giving beauty that exists within us all. It’s very complex; some of the notes include ripe red plum, creamy gardenia and tender pink peony. I used cistus rock rose that electrifies the aura like a first kiss.
BN: What is your most popular scent?
SH: Perfect Veil. It’s a warm transparent scent that captures the essence of clean naked skin
BN: You have quite a celebrity following.
SH: Yes, Jennifer Garner, who wears my latest perfume, Perfect Kiss, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Jessica Biel are a few.
BN: Which scent is the most “scentimental” for you?
SH: All my fragrances are special, but I created Perfect Bliss to celebrate my love for my husband and recapture our honey moon in Tahiti.
BN: What do you wear?
SH: Right now I am wearing Beauty Comes From Within.
BN: So am I! What can we look forward to next?
SH: I am working on a new scent that is very fresh; green, citrusy.
BN: What is something our readers don’t know about you?
SH: I am totally devoted to my family; my husband ,Greg and my 2 year old daughter, Jessica are the center of my life.
Available at http://www.creativescent.com