Velvit Welcomes LVNEA
April Engloner, of Montreal based line LVNEA, enlightens us about her journey in fragrance blending, her personal favorite scent, and the role of perfume in the world of fashion.
Velvit chatted with April to learn more about Lvnea and the business of blending. April shared with us how she finds solace in Montreal, the first---quite pungent---scent she ever made, and how she harnesses inspiration for creating news blends.
Velvit: Tell me about yourself, the concoction creator behind Lvnea.
April Engloner: I was born in Philadelphia, and have been living in Montreal for 10 years. Montreal embodies the duality of my personality; 6 months spent indoors, mostly alone, reflecting, and creating. Then summer hits and it’s all about traveling, exploring nature, and being outdoors as much as possible and reflecting in a different way.
V: Why the name Lvnea?
AE: The name translates to Monday, or more specifically the moon’s day. It’s visually appealing to me which is something I was drawn to.
V: What inspired you to launch your company?
AE: Lvnea started as a hobby but quickly grew to an all out obsession. I started collecting every natural essence I could get my hands on. It became a passion and all I thought about all day everyday. Passion was something that I had been lacking for a long time. Once I found it, I never looked back.
V: How did your journey of blending perfumes begin?
AE: I have not always been fascinated with scent. Most of my exposure to the world of fragrance was through commercial perfumes and scents that really lacked soul. The journey for me began as I was making all natural products for myself. I started wanting to use more rare and very expensive plant essences. Perfume allowed me to explore these rare scents in a way that was like an art form to me. It opened up a whole new approach and way of looking at things.
V: What is the first scent that comes to mind you remember from childhood?
AE: My mother always wore Chanel and I hated it.
V: What was one of the first scents you blended?
AE: One of the first scents I blended consisted of rose absolute, earthy notes, mushrooms, and tuberose. It sort of stunk but in the most amazing and addicting way.
V: Which do you think is the most interesting scent you've created?
AE: The most interesting scent I have created is Black Sea. It smells just like the ocean to me but not in a tropical pretty way. It’s dirty, salty, and musky but yet so appealing to me. It’s not the favorite of most people, but one I often wear.
V: Tell us a little about the process you go through when you create a new blend.
AE: I will start with an idea and decide what notes I want to feature that represent the idea. I will then build up other notes around the main notes to form accords. I will experiment and create multiple blends until I find something interesting. It’s a long process that needs to be left alone and reevaluated a few times from an objective standpoint. Once a final blend is decided on, I will scale up the ingredients and make a large batch that will then be set aside to mature for a week to many months.
V: Where do you look for inspiration when creating new scents?
AE: I’m constantly being flooded with ideas. I have notes everywhere scattered throughout notebooks, papers, and digital devices. Everyday life inspires me. I often go back through my notes days or weeks later and see if an idea stands out to me. Research is involved in the end most often in naming a scent.
V: For those who don't know, can you give us a little insight on the difference between a solid perfume and a liquid? Why would someone prefer one over the other?
AE: Mostly it’s aesthetic. I enjoy the ritual of applying a solid perfume. The scent stays closer to the skin than a liquid perfume and is much more intimate. The wax used to solidify the fragrance traps the sent which is only revealed as it is warmed by the body. A liquid perfume is more present and the different notes more easily reveal themselves.
V: Scent is so powerful that often by smelling a particular note, we can attach that specific scent to a memory. Can you think of a scent to which you attach with a memory?
AE: Hyacinth is one of those scents that I keep coming back to. I have a small amount of Hyacinth enfleurage that I keep for myself. It reminds me of my time in Philadelphia and of my childhood and mother. It’s interesting because it’s not a type of scent I would ever really wear or think i'd be drawn to. I'm not a huge fan of overly floral perfumes. But Hyacinth triggers so many pleasant memories for me and is a bit therapeutic in that way.
V: How do you feel scent plays into the fashion world? why perfume and why not another sensory, (like fashion chocolates? music? etc.).
AE: Perfume is often viewed as a luxury item. It is not a necessity but a pleasurable experience. Much in the same way as high fashion. However perfume is often a more affordable item than a lot of fashion pieces. I believe fashion houses are aware of this and see an opportunity to reach a much larger audience allowing them to have a piece of the fashion house that may have normally been very unobtainable. Why perfume specifically as opposed to fashion chocolates or music, who knows? Maybe they are in our future!
V: Besides your own blends, what is a perfume that you enjoy and wear?
AE: I enjoy the perfumes of La Via del Profumo by Abdes Salaam Attar. They are beautiful, complex, and all natural without being cliche. And the creators philosophies are exactly in tune with my own beliefs. I am excited to say that if all goes well I will have the chance to study with him in the fall.
V: How about the relationship between color and scent. How do you feel packaging color reflects the perfume inside?
AE: I believe all our senses are related. Some studies have shown that colour, sound, and scent preferences are in tune with one another. Using these senses allows people a better vocabulary to describe the scents they like. Packaging also sets a mood and offers a complete experience beyond that of just a scent.
V: What is your relationship with the color black?
AE: I like it’s simplicity and understated elegance. It’s beautiful and sexy without trying too hard.
For more information on April and LVNEA, please visit her artist's page and shop our COVET collection.