10 Questions answered by Kristy Payne, Maison Blanches Creator.
1. How do you think scent, fragrance and smell plays an integral part in peoples lives?
Because the part of your brain that transmits smells from your nose is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it’s sometimes called the “emotional brain”, the brain automatically links scent and emotions and therefore smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously. The power of smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people’s moods and even affect their work performance.
I love that I get to create scent for peoples homes that can do all those things, and because I don’t know the stories of my customers, it’s one of the best compliments to hear that one of my candle scents reminds someone of a wonderful time or person in their past.
2. Candles are often perceived as a female oriented item, how could candles be integrated into an average male’s lifestyle? Are there particular appealing scents?
I think that the idea that candles are a ‘lady product’ is starting to become less and less true. The men in my life buy and use candles just as much as the women. I get photos all the time of them with a candle burning whilst watching the footy, when they go camping and even once when one of them took a bubble bath! Men go crazy about good smells; it’s just about finding the right ones. I find that floral isn’t a big hit with men (unless its Gardena or Jasmine- I think it’s a mum’s garden thing). The earthy and fresh scents are the most popular, like Lime + Sandalwood or Fig and Cranberry.
3. Do you find your individual fragrances identifying with certain personalities?
There is a constant pull between what scent people identify with the most vs. what scent they want to burn in their home, so it’s quite difficult to find trends. I think there are a lot of go-to scents that people are comfortable committing to for an entire 80 hour candle- Coconut or Vanilla for example. But once going outside their comfort zone, I think it all changes. I know that before I was making my own candles, if was in a monogamous relationship with vanilla candles. But once I had the freedom to have any candle scent I wanted, and I didn’t have the pressure to make the right decision, I found out that I really enjoy citrus fragrance rather than sweet. But in saying this, that changes depending on my mood, or the room…
4. If you were to make a candle for the White House, and the President himself – what blend would you create that closely resonates to the President, and the ambience of the place?
If I were to make a candle for the Whitehouse and the President, it would have to include an earthy base of musk and mahogany to keep the scent grounded and strong, a dash of whisky and a subtle top note of sweet rose, Americas national flower, as an ode to the first ladies of the Whitehouse.
5. Ignoring money and rules what would your dream project/artwork be?
I would want to travel to world and make bespoke candles for people. Get to know them, learn about who they are, what they like and what their dreams are and create the perfect unique fragrance for them to burn in their home. Scent is a really personal and powerful medium; one smell can take you back to your childhood, your wedding or remind you of your first love, imagine how nice it would be to have a fragrance, with all these memories layered, unique to your story.