Maker: Smoke Perfume's Kathleen Currie
Tell us a bit about yourself - your background - what led you to become the maker you are today?
I studied holistic health in college and worked as a personal trainer in college and right after. This led me to enroll in massage school to deepen my understanding of anatomy and the mind/body connection. Through the study of aromatherapy in massage school, I became fascinated with essential oils. As a new therapist, I began experimenting with oil blends and making custom blends for myself and my clients. Eventually, I created the blend that would become the original "Smoke" scent, and the entire process of creating a perfume grew organically from there.
Describe your brand in 3 words.
Holistic, elegant, passionate.
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process?
My creative process feels very multi-faceted! It is important to me to stay inspired, and I do this through travel, exercise, meditation and alone time. Beyond that, when I am creating a perfume I try to begin with at least 1 scent note/ingredient I'd like to highlight. Once I have this ingredient, I begin pairing it with others to see how it fits. The process is very much about editing. I will go through many, many combos before I create a foundation to build upon.
Has living in New Orleans influenced your work?
Yes. I went through a massive creative period when I first moved here in 2009. My move here was very spontaneous and brave, and I felt really held by this city. It was a very free time in my life, and those early months remain very special to me. I feel honored to carry on the perfume history of this rich city, too!
What are some of your favorite scent pairings?
So many good ones! I love a deep floral with a grounding wood...like ylang and amber, vetiver and jasmine. I also really like rose and patchouli. I love a touch of citronella or lemon grass, and sweet fennel is fun to play with!
_________is healing to me.
Time in nature is healing to me.
Tell us about one of your rituals.
My rituals depend on the day and my mood. I have been meditating most days for 10 minutes a day, and that's going awesome. I consume herbs every single day in the form of tinctures or infusions, and those vary day by day (though I am partial to any herbs that support a healthy liver such as yellow dock, burdock, red clover, or nettle). Exercise is a ritual that helps me tremendously...from my anxiety to my physical wellbeing. Hot baths are key, and beyond that, any ritual that helps me get out of my head, into my body and into a calmer nervous system are a-okay in my book!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
It all feels so cliche, but all the usual stuff is true! Be kind and be true, mistakes are great as long as you learn from them and trust your gut!!
Any business resources you want to share for someone who wants to start their own business?
Just go for it! Find a mentor, role models and lean on any free services your city offers as business start up support.
Just For Fun
What are you reading right now?
I'm juggling a few books on my kindle right now. The Reluctant Healer and The 4-hour Workweek are two that stand out.
Any favorite podcasts?
Yes! I enjoy Hey, girl, Uncivil, The Lifestylist, Medicine Stories, and Dear Sugars to name a few. Big podcast fan over here!
What song are you loving?
Been really into Ife's entire album!
On a Saturday morning you’ll catch me...
sleeping in, drinking an herbal tea concoction and rolling into the gym around 11 for a leisurely workout, pilates and a steam! It's my favorite way to Saturday!
Tell us some of your favorite makers.