As LAFCO celebrates 30 years of crafting home fragrances, the brand debuts some of its most spectacular scents to date.

The exotic Jungle Bloom candle transports with notes of coconut water, wild lily and mango wood. MAIN PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
The exotic Jungle Bloom candle transports with notes of coconut water, wild lily and mango wood.

Whether all aglow lighting up a tabletop or used as a vase or vessel long after the wick is extinguished, LAFCO’s iconic candles make a stylish statement ubiquitous with luxury living. Celebrated for its perfect scents of place, the brand has a bestselling candle for every single spot one might imagine. Beach house? Sea & Dune. Pool house? French Lilac. Breakfast room? Citrus Berry. Guest room? Star Magnolia. Office? Rosemary Eucalyptus. To find out more, we checked in with LAFCO founder and master of creating a mood, Jon Bresler.

LAFCO founder Jon Bresler
LAFCO founder Jon Bresler

The brand is booming! Have you seen a boost during the pandemic as people spend more time at home? We are so excited to celebrate 30 years! We have seen a rise in sales during the pandemic. I think all the time at home made people realize that scent can be very stimulating. Considering so many people have transitioned to working from home permanently, fragrances have become more popular and can be used as a small indulgence throughout the day. This is substantiated by the data showing an increase in particular in our Office candle, which is a blend of stimulating rosemary and eucalyptus oils.

Do you think home fragrance is something more and more people are paying attention to these days? Yes, I do. As people have been deprived of so many other indulgences of daily life, they are seeking easily attainable experiences; sensory experiences fit this. I’ve noticed people are paying more attention to home fragrance and how they can layer scents to best fit a space. If you burn multiple fragrances in your home at the same time, they will blend, so make sure they complement each other. Personally, I like scents designed for specific spaces and moods so you can keep different scents in different rooms of your home if you’re burning them one at a time, thus cultivating a signature home fragrance. Our candles are more than the fragrance, though, as they are designed to be sensory experiences that transport you to another place.

The Absolute Collection uses rare, true-to-nature ingredients called absolutes PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
The Absolute Collection uses rare, true-to-nature ingredients called absolutes.

You never miss when it comes to scents and they never overpower. What do you think makes your scents so approachable and appealing? Well, that is a wonderful compliment! Our high-quality scent experience is a function of our soy wax that delivers fragrance slowly and evenly. The fact is that our fragrances contain a high number of essential oils, which have a more nuanced and sophisticated scent than synthetic perfumes. Most importantly, I never give up on my pursuit to make each of our fragrances exceptional. It takes me a year to develop a fragrance and up to 10 rounds of modifications until it is perfect.

There have been several exciting launches recently. Where do you find your inspiration? When I founded the brand 30 years ago, I was inspired by the rich European tradition of natural perfumery and the use of botanical ingredients. These fragrances are made with premium essential oils to deliver a true, natural scent.

My scent inspiration is a wonderful gift that has been given to me partly from my hands-on training in Europe and partly by my gut and intuition. I allow my inspiration to not be limited and not bound by norms. They are often personal. Many are straightforward; floral inspirations come from time in the garden and imagining what floral will smell good when combined. Many others come from travels around the world. For example, our Feu d Bois candle was inspired by the scent of centuries-old fireplaces in French chateaus and Italian churches. Once, I even made a saddle leather fragrance that was inspired by a weekend of horseback riding. … I personally wanted to expose our audience to the incredible smells that were so much a part of that weekend—the smell of horses, hay, cedar barns and sweat.

The limited-edition Paradiso Fig candle collection boasts a four-wick size and notes of Sicilian bergamot, ripe peach and Paradiso fig. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
The limited-edition Paradiso Fig candle collection boasts a four-wick size and notes of Sicilian bergamot, ripe peach and Paradiso fig.

These days, I’m inspired by my travels as well as personal memories. Our spring launch, Jungle Bloom, transports me to a tropical rainforest where I’m enveloped by all its lush aromas and tranquil sounds; I find myself at peace. Jungle Bloom is an exotic fragrance that features three accords that blend multiple fragrance notes to create something unique and distinctive. The Jungle Bloom experience is coconut water, wild lily and mango wood.

LAFCO rules the hostess gift game! And so many people reuse your gorgeous glass vessels. What are some fun ways you have seen people reuse them? With sustainability at the heart of LAFCO, we love seeing how people use our vessels after their candle burns. The repurposing possibilities are, frankly, endless. They can become a flower vase, a plant pot, a makeup brush holder or a collection of beautiful drinking glasses. Using #lafcorepurposed on Instagram has allowed our LAFCO community to come together and share the many ways to repurpose our vessels.

What else is up next for the brand? Or what other news can we buzz? This month, we’ve launched a limited-edition Paradiso Fig candle collection for our 30th anniversary in our largest format yet—a luxe 12 ½-pound four-wick! This vibrant new scent features complementary notes of juicy and earthy fruits, including hints of Sicilian bergamot, ripe peach and Paradiso fig. It will debut in an exclusive handblown vessel that combines wisps of clear and colored glass that renders a delicate leafy pattern when illuminated. I can’t wait for you to smell it and begin enjoying more of our scents in this large format.

I have to admit that the launch of our Absolute Collection, which debuted late last year and is the first new collection done since the launch of our candles 18 years ago, has been one of the most meaningful projects. One of LAFCO’s core tenets is to explore new territories at the apex of home decor and fragrance. The Absolute Collection uses rare, true-to-nature perfume ingredients called absolutes and gives me the opportunity to explain this concept to our audience. The glass vessels, each different unique works of art, are a result of hundreds of hours spent in the Czech Republic designing and working with glass artisans. This exploration of antique processes and employing antique European factories is part of LAFCO’s DNA and reason for being.