Give us a little background as to how Thorn + Bloom came about. What initially drove you to start your brand?
I'm very sensitive to synthetic perfumes and could never wear them without experiencing discomfort. When I switched to natural perfumes, I found many 'aromatherapy' style blends on the market but nothing that really spoke to me. I missed the complexity, sophistication and longevity of synthetics but could do without all the harmful ingredients and 'synthetic' olfactory qualities. I started Thorn & Bloom as a way to bridge the gap between aromatherapy and fine fragrances, naturally. Since then, I've found that many of my customers have gone through the same search and are thrilled to see a brand that addresses these issues. Perfume is often the very last item in a person's beauty repertoire to be replaced with a natural formulation because wearers are so reluctant to give up on the qualities they've grown accustomed to in synthetic perfume. Thorn & Bloom strives to make that switch easier, offering truly fine 100% natural fragrances that rival the very best synthetics.
When creating your products, where do you take inspiration from?
I often rely on memory and nostalgia when formulating. For instance, Stranger in the Cherry Grove is an homage to my father's cherry pipe tobacco that I remember so vividly from childhood. Scent can be such a powerful trigger; it's very satisfying to recreate those memories in the form of an ether, almost like bottling a memory.
I love that you have shaped your business to be authentic and ethical in the creation of botanical perfumes. Why is this important to you?
Integrity is extremely important to me. So much of what is on the market is misleading when it comes to the terms 'natural' and 'ethical', especially in the world of perfume, as labels don't require full disclosure. This is why I joined the Natural Perfumers Guild and became a Guild Certified Natural Perfumer. The Guild defines and identifies natural perfume and has the strictest certification requirements of any organization in the world. For instance, the Guild does not approve the use of GMO isolates, which are commonly found in many 'natural' perfumes. These isolate are often derived from a complex genetic modification procedure in which bacteria are designed to produce a certain aroma. So many commonly known brands that consumers trust as 'natural' are using these isolates without having to explain their GMO origin status to consumers. When formulating for Thorn & Bloom, I knew that I wanted to keep the ingredients as pure and whole as possible. While we do use isolates derived from fractional distillation (stopping the distillation process at different times to collect various stages of an essential oil), we do not use GMO isolates. We also choose not to use animal musks and source endangered aromatics from ethically harvested sources (our Sandalwood comes from cultivated groves in Australia).
What do you love to do in New England, when you aren't busy running your business?
I love to eat! I'm constantly find new and interested places to dine out and love trying 'strange' food. My passion for fragrance spills over into taste and mine is insatiable!
You have certainly found some fantastic early success! Where do you see Thorn + Bloom headed in the future?