LAFCO is a luxury fragrance company that was founded on the inspiration, tradition, and experience of a European apothecary. The brand’s mission is to introduce the American market to natural home fragrance products and remedial beneficial botanical body care. As the founder and CEO of LAFCO, Jon Bresler has worked tirelessly for over 25 years to develop and perfect fragrances that are 100-percent unique from others—his fascination with fragrance permeates every aspect of his life. Below, Bresler tells Quest more about the special brand.
Q: Tell me about the founding of LAFCO.
A: I founded the brand after living in Switzerland in the ’90s and becoming accustomed to the aromatherapy traditions in Europe. My first experiences were in learning about and launching homeopathic brands in America such as Santa Maria Novella and Korres Natural Skin Care, and later moving onto creating our LAFCO line based on these traditions.
Q: With each LAFCO candle designed for a designated room in the house, what is the inspiration behind some of your favorite scents? How do you choose the rooms that correlate with these fragrances?
A: Essentially our concept is to create a full ambience with mood, scent, and color by designing our candles with these details in mind and associating them with a place in a house or a type of setting. For example, our Chamomile Lavender candle is calming in scent, and the color is a warm, neutral beige that we associate with a bedroom. Our Office candle is rosemary and eucalyptus, which are both invigorating and revitalizing fragrances. The color is a bright green (green is often referred to as a stimulating color) and is fit for an office environment.
The inspirations for my favorite candles are often based on a memory of a fragrance that I’ve smelled or the aromatherapeutic value for the scent or the room it goes in. One example is the Dining Room candle. For this we chose the color (white) and room name (we wanted a candle for a dining room experience). Since I needed to create a fragrance that I felt worked with food, I turned to herbs and crisp scents—I wanted to mix something fresh and herbal while not interfering with any food smells.
Q: LAFCO candles are 80- to 85-percent made with soy based and non-toxic ingredients. What was the reasoning for not using the typical ingredients and expanding candle care into soy wax?
A: Because LAFCO has its roots in botanical and natural skin care, and because our mission is to create products that smell good (and are good for you), it was imperative that we use a non-petroleum wax for our candles. Natural companies do not use petrochemicals at all (no silicones, no synthetic pegs etc.). I am a firm believer that one should not burn petroleum indoors (paraffin is petroleum). Furthermore, I believe that the soy wax base releases our fragrances in a more nuanced way due to the slower burn.
Q: What are the most important steps in choosing the perfect hostess gift?
A: It seems simple, but when you’re choosing the perfect hostess gift, put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. Think of stories they’ve told or experiences you’ve shared that might serve as inspiration for a gift. Something with lavender might reference a trip you took together in the South of France. An item specific for a room they’ve just renovated indicates you’re in tune with their life. Small luxuries like candles and room diffusers are universally appreciated. I love to share our Feu de Bois candle with friends during the winter months because it creates such a warm, fragrant mood If there’s a thought process to what you bring and it’s useful or unexpected, then you’ve succeeded as a thoughtful gift-giver.