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In a recent engaging interview with Candle Delirium, Jon Bresler, the founder of LAFCO, shared his journey, passion, and the evolution of LAFCO over the years. This article encapsulates the essence of that conversation, offering a peek into the mind behind the brand.
The Origins and Growth of LAFCO
Bresler began his journey over three decades ago, marking the inception of LAFCO as a brand synonymous with quality and innovation.
Initially, LAFCO’s focus was on importing goods to sell. “We started as natural skincare and niche perfume importers, so I learned skincare and I learned perfumery,” Jon reflects on the early days. This foundation set the stage for what LAFCO would become, embedding a deep understanding of scent and skincare into its DNA.
The venture into candle making in 2007 marked a significant pivot for LAFCO. This transition was not just a business decision but a reflection of Jon’s evolving understanding of fragrance and its role in everyday life.
Reframing the Focus: From Spaces to Essence
Initially, LAFCO candles were named after spaces, aiming to capture the essence of different rooms or houses. This unique approach, however, encountered perceptual challenges. Jon noticed that customers were hesitant to burn a “Ski House” candle in a living room, sparking a realization that the naming convention might be limiting the candles’ appeal.
This insight led to a significant rebranding strategy. Jon decided to flip the focus from the names of spaces to the essence of the fragrances themselves. This shift did not eliminate the original names but rather repositioned them, making the fragrance notes the forefront of the brand’s identity. This strategic move allowed customers to connect more freely with the scents, irrespective of the spaces they were named after.
The Heart of LAFCO: Craftsmanship and Quality
At its core, LAFCO is about celebrating the art of making. Jon’s dedication to craftsmanship is not just a business ethos but a personal mission. Jon says, “Craftsmanship is disappearing in the world. One of my missions is to celebrate it again. We celebrate craftsmanship with our hand-blown glass.”
The process of creating LAFCO’s hand-blown glass is a testament to this commitment. Jon emphasizes the intricate techniques involved in this process, highlighting the brand’s collaboration with skilled artisans. Similarly, the selection of fragrance houses is a meticulous process, ensuring that each scent is not just appealing but also crafted with the highest quality and care.
The Power of Memory in Fragrance
Jon passionately believes that fragrances are more than just pleasant scents—they are vessels for memories and emotions. “The language of perfume is the verbalization of memories,” he shares, encapsulating the philosophy that guides LAFCO’s fragrance creation.
This approach makes each LAFCO product a medium for storytelling and emotional connection. Jon’s philosophy elevates the role of fragrance in daily life, making it a tool for recalling cherished memories.
Sustainability and Authenticity in Ingredients
Jon’s commitment to using natural ingredients and promoting sustainability is a significant aspect of LAFCO’s identity. He advocates for the careful selection of ingredients. This includes every LAFCO product from candles and diffusers to hand creams and soaps. This stance reflects a broader responsibility towards sustainable practices in the beauty and fragrance industry.
Jon’s emphasis on avoiding palm oil, a main candle ingredient many brands use, reflects his broader environmental concerns. “Palm oil is a highly environmentally destructive ingredient,” he warns, urging a shift towards more environmentally friendly ingredients.
The cultivation of palm oil has been linked to significant deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, and even animal cruelty, particularly in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia where it is a major export.
The Future of LAFCO and the Fragrance Industry
Looking ahead, Jon envisions a fragrance industry that embraces creativity, innovation, and sustainability. He sees potential for growth and change, advocating for a shift towards more artistic and environmentally conscious practices.
For LAFCO, the future is about continuing to innovate while staying true to its core values. “I do this for the love of perfume and the passion of perfumery,” Jon shares, reflecting his vision for LAFCO’s continued impact in the world of fragrance. Jon’s vision for LAFCO is not just about maintaining its standing in the market but also about continuing to innovate and inspire in the world of fragrance.