I’m so excited to share this new series: made. For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamt of owning a little shop. Though its name and concept have grown slightly, the dream has never gone away – seriously, I still look at storefront real estate (one day Detroit, one day). Unfortunately, those brick and mortar dreams are not coming true anytime soon, but I thought, hey wait, I don’t need a store to curate a space of beautifully made products and the story behind them, that’s what this blog is for! So I hope you enjoy this series and have fun learning about some great things made in your backyard and the people that made them. First up, LURK…
LURK creates small batch artisan fragrances, hand blended and poured in SoHo NY. Using pure essential oils in a certified organic jojoba base, creator Anne Sanford uses old school methodologies like enfleurage (a process where flowers are smothered in fats before pressing them between sheets of glass to extract their essential oils). Today I’m wearing AS01 and it is perfect for this cold winter morning.
How did you get into perfume making?
I’m most definitely beauty obsessed, have always been a product junkie (skincare, makeup & fragrance), have worked in the beauty industry for years in sales, branding, marketing, product development etc. etc. so it was a natural transition for me. I also fell in love with essential oils years ago when I owned an apothecary specializing in green beauty and during that time I became really interested in aromatherapy and that evolved into wanting to create fragrances using only pure essential oils.. I felt there was a gap in the market and really wanted to try to put something out there that was sophisticated and a little bit edgy but still natural. When I started mixing my own scents there were some amazing things on the market but nothing that I really loved so I set out to try and blend scents that smelled like true luxury perfume using only 100% natural ingredients. It has been a challenge and is something that I’m very passionate about. I really love what I do.
Was it important to be a natural or American made company? And how did you come up with your perfume making process?
Yes, It was very important to be natural, small batch & hand made. I felt that was the only way to insure quality and be able to be as creative as possible.
The process that I use for making the scents is very simple but it is labor intensive. I haven’t deviated from the original process because I feel it gets the best results and I can control the factors start to finish. The process was devised by trial and error and the way I infuse the concentrates into the base is a bit different from the industry standard but again, I feel that it yields the best results.
You have a background in branding, what did you want to convey with the name LURK and it’s branding?
I wanted to convey a definite edge, and I think fragrance should be a little bit shy or quiet so the word LURK speaks to that as does the simplicity of the packaging. It’s also a bit dark but has sense of humor which I love.
I also wanted the brand to be accessible to both and women and I feel that the name lends itself to a diverse customer base. It’s unexpected and can be thought provoking and I like that.
Where does the inspiration for your scents come from?
Inspiration usually comes from a single note that I really want to work with or an idea in my mind of how I want something to smell. That inspiration is sometimes tied to seasons, imagery, a certain place etc. From there I build on the scent and the story so to speak. I also don’t like to follow general rules of perfumery (i.e. certain scents should only be mixed with certain other scents etc.). I like to try things that are outside of the box and it can just be kind of intuitive and fun for the most part. I like to bend the rules a bit and see what happens. The process can be long and sourcing oils is also a bit of a labor of love. There are so many different types (genus/species) of lavender or jasmine for instance and they each have their own individual scent profile. The region where an oil comes from can also have a significant bearing on it’s scent and all of those nuances and subtleties can change and affect the scent blend in significant ways.. The process in and of itself becomes the inspiration after a while.
I’m inspired by the city, as well as nature and that creates some interesting polarities in my fragrances. I like the unexpected so I also get inspired by single notes that I run across during sourcing. These single notes can sometimes be notes that are hard to blend and I can stuck on those tough formulas.. But, in the end it’s always worth it..
I also get inspired by daydreams, places I’ve travelled or want to travel to.. Emotions, laughter. I have a bit of a dark side and that plays a role as well..
What’s a typical day like for you?
I would say first that no 2 days are alike :).. But for the most part my days start with emails, sales support, social media and just the business of doing business. It tends to be interspersed with creative bursts (I take a lot of notes about things that pop into my head that I want to work on and play around with regarding scent, products etc).
I try to reserve the afternoons for production and/or creative but that’s a battle as there can be so little time left after all of the business tasks. I also spend a lot of time with our customers (phone, email etc) on both the wholesale and the retail side which also doesn’t leave much time for other things but that is a hugely important aspect of the company that I strongly believe in.. Customer service is everything: if a buyer or client is taking the time to purchase what I make I am going to make them a priority. People want to know a lot about the company, the products and me so I want to give them everything that I can to that end.
What do you do outside of LURK?
Outside of LURK I’m a single mom, and an interior designer. I love what I do so the boundary between work and life is limited for sure. I’m also super introverted so I really just love to spend time with my son and close friends. I like to recharge with travel, the beach (when weather permits), reading and just trying to enjoy every minute the best that I can.
What’s next for LURK (or you)?
For LURK, more fragrances and skincare for sure.. For me, I’m not sure I have so many things that I want to work on and delve into but for now I think I have my hands full ;)..
photos courtesy of LURK