What is the most challenging aspect of your home fragrance business?
I'd say that one of the most challenging aspects is forcing ourselves to avoid being seduced by trends. We made a decision early on that what we wanted to create was a lasting business, one that stood out on its own and had its own unique place in the world of fragrance. Trends are transient, too many companies have been compromised by chasing fads that they never had a chance to develop brand identities. We had a vision and we've stuck to it and I think, in the end, that is what gives a brand life. We don't subscribe to seasonal launches, we only launch a product when we have something to say. It's certainly a challenge not chasing the crowd, but we have our vision and that has to stay true to who we are at the core.
How has it been working with your husband, Tony? How do you separate your tasks?
If you believe in Mies van der Rohe's adage "Less is More," then Tony is the "Less" and I'm the "More" so we always end up with the perfect balance! And thank heaven it works!!
Tell us about your next collection and how you selected the fragrances?
Our next collection is our Rose Extraordinaire Collection. We felt it was necessary because, frankly, being in the floral business, how can one avoid the rose; it was inevitable, that the "Queen" of flowers would find her way into our palette! It's something that was very personal to Tony, as well. He's lived in Turkey and Ecuador, and roses were a big part of those cultures.
While those classic absolute distinctions were the catalyst to developing our collection, we still wanted each to be modern and interesting. We pared the perfect rose absolute with each concept. For Petalés D'Amour; we were inspired by imagining what a rose garden within the Garden of Eden would smell like, infused by apples, berries flowers and figs. For Velvet Santal, it was the actual tactility of a rose petal, it's smooth, fabric-like velvety texture. For Imperial Oudh, we went to the extreme, imagining a bouquet of luscious red roses in an uber-masculine setting - a den with wood paneling, leather chair and smokey fireplace. The Moroccan rose absolute was perfect for this with its earthiness. We used the Egyptian Centifolia absolute for Rose Immortelle: It had an earthy, green aspect that screamed a fresh rose just pulled from the ground, roots and all.
What can we expect from Belle Fleur in the future?
The future holds more of what you find in the present - thoughtful, well crafted and creative products. Our biggest endeavor however, is perfume! It's an absolute passion of ours and the next logical extension of our brand. We so love working with raw materials and we've been exposed to some that would knock your socks off, they are so beautiful. For us and our passion for flowers, we constantly strive to find new ways to express the beauty of nature. It's also a very different creative challenge because fragrances that we create for home do not make a direct translation to ones we would want to wear. As designers and artists, we are always pushing the design envelop, looking for new means to express ourselves and our ideas. It's part of our growth as individuals and as a brand. What our consumers will know for sure is that, whatever we do create, will have the same attention to detail and will be ALL about the fragrance.