Candles are one of the best ways to enhance a home. Smelling a scent can evoke memory as well as create ambiance. Jon Bresler, founder, and CEO of luxury New York City company LAFCO knows a thing or two about scent. Bresler has been in the business for years, growing LAFCO to the impressive company it is today. With soaps, diffusers, mists and of course candles, LAFCO is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products to its customers. We sat down with Jon to discuss LAFCO’s newest brilliant concept, the Discovery Trio. The Discovery Trio is a set of three trial sized candles designed to help customers discover their next candle obsession. It's priced at $16 which includes free shipping and a code for $16 off a LAFCO purchase.
What inspires you when you come up with new scents and fragrances?
JB: Smell and scent are so often evocative of memories. That’s one big cause that will drive me to create a new scent. For example, I went to a horseback riding hotel in Virginia a few years ago and I hadn’t been in a stable and around horses in a long time and when I got back something inspired me to try to recreate that smell as a memory of that week riding horses. Often in the florals, it’s a memory of smelling a flower or a flower that someone gave me or of picking flowers in a garden.
Scent is such an important factor in a home—what should people remember when choosing candles for their bedrooms, dining rooms...
JB: Our original concept was to create candles specifically for different rooms. So for example if a person wants to burn a candle in their dining room when they're eating, particularly with guests, they should be careful it doesn’t taint the smell of their food. We made a candle for the dining room, celery and thyme, it’s a soothing and non-interfering fragrance. I would hate to be burning a gardenia candle while I was eating Mexican food! We use a lot of essential oils in our candles. We even created an office candle which is rosemary and eucalyptus which are both very invigorating and circulation enhancing aromatherapies.
You’ve been in the business such a long time—how have you seen the home luxury business evolve in the past few years?
JB: It's gotten more decorative! If we look back 10 years there was hardly a candle that was not in a clear glass cup and I think we were the first to put them in colored glass. We were certainly the first to put them in hand-blown glass that wasn’t spray painted! We did that for a particular reason, to create a color mood as well as a scent mood.
What tips do you have for making a home (even a tiny New York apartment!) feel luxurious?
JB: I’m a big fan of reed diffusers! They provide scent 24/7. You don’t have to wait for a candle to burn and start smelling. You can enter your home or have an unexpected guest and if you have a reed diffuser there’s a wonderful smell waiting for you!
What launches are you most excited about for summer and the rest of this year?
JB: Star Magnolia. It’s a blend of magnolia and hyacinth. I have never done a big robust white floral before so this was my opportunity to do a big white floral that’s perfect for burning on a hot day but not too thick and heavy.
Tell us more about the Discovery Trio!
JB: If you’re shopping on the internet you can't smell something. In the past years, our online business has exploded, and we’ve been struggling with a way to have our customer smell our candles. The trio is the idea we came up with. How you sample a candle. Exemplative enough that a customer can really get a sense of what they're buying from us. We are a luxury candle company and we are proud of our fragrances and we knew that if we could get them out to be tested it would increase our sales.
Summer is upon us - lots of barbecues to attend, weekends at friends’ houses in the Hamptons - candles are obviously a fabulous gift. What are your tips for picking out a scent for a host?
JB: It goes without saying: think about your host, not about you! Is your host a gardener? Then choose something with a floral note. If your host is a man maybe something more woody or spicy or citrusy as opposed to a floral. Also, consider color choice; our candles are in colored glass, so if your host has an intense passion for cobalt blue, then we have a cobalt blue candle!
Which scent will you be burning in your home this summer?
JB: Sea & Dune Beach House candle! We made it eight years ago and it’s still my go-to summer fragrance. The mix of salt water and sand just makes me feel like it’s summertime!
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Photography by: Photography courtesy of LAFCO