By Catherine Rigod
It’s cold out there! It’s winter and the sweet smells of summer are gone. The days are serene again – with a little help. A little indulgence in a bottle (No! Not that kind of bottle!) to help ease the bitter pangs of frost (as frosty as California gets) and brighten the day. Summer scents are among the most memorable to me (after Christmas trees). Blooming flowers in the warm air, and sipping lemonade while lounging by the pool. Summer’s essence is in the scent of lilacs, sweet tea (Southern exposure anyone?), and green leaves. Elizabeth W is a perfumery that can elicit memories and long-forgotten experiences to bring some life back into the dark-days of winter. Based in San Francisco, Elizabeth W has boutiques all over LA, but it’s still a tiny company with a big goal ““ to appeal to your sense of smell in a very positive and uplifting sort of way.
Named after Elizabeth Wightman, her grandson, Albert Nichols”“former architect ““ along with partner Michael Lindsay created the line Elizabeth W in honor of Nichols grandmére. Nichols notes, “Her spirit of determination and independence went hand in hand with her romantic nature and classic elegance. She was the obvious inspiration for my business.”
“Scent is a potent reminder of our past”, says Lindsay. Scents can resurrect memories or evoke tremendous emotional responses, which give fragrance the ability to create beauty itself. Fragrance can provide a calming influence, or provoke passion. “One scent cannot satisfy all moods. Likewise, no mood lasts forever. That’s why we offer such a variety of original fragrances and indulgences for our customers.”
With fragrances like Lilac, Hyacinth, and Lavender, we are taken back to lazy days and sunshine. Other fragrances include more complex scents: Leaves, Blue Sage, Magnolia, Rose, Sweet Tea, Tuberose, Vetiver, and Violet Woods. For Citrus Vervain, “Our loyal and demanding clientele requested a uniquely distinct citrus scent”, says Nichols. The newest addition is Neroli Chamomile, a sweet blend of citrus nodes and chamomile – making it an ideal Winter fragrance – though I am trying to skip winter altogether (and it’s only December!).
With holiday gift collections ranging from therapeutic spa sets of bath gels, perfumed candles, and aroma sashays, to indulgent kits including body lotions and bath oils tightly packed in a linen case, which Sharon Stone has purchased from their San Francisco location, there’s something for everyone on your list. My favorite temptation is the 9″ hanger covers in ivory, natural pink or purple linen. These covers are filled with lavender and keep clothing and closets smelling fresh and sweet.
Elizabeth W was recently awarded Gay.com’s 2005 Entrepreneurs of the Year award. This is just one of many accolades the company has received, as it continues to succeed in providing luxury balanced with simplicity. The luxury bath and body collection was featured on Oprah’s “My Favorite Things” show. Elizabeth W has also made numerous product donations to school fundraisers, which reflects the unique ideas and leadership of the company. It seems at Elizabeth W, a good scent is sometimes all you need to have a good day!
ElizabethW is available at Saks Fifth Ave., Bloomingdales, Gumps, Anthropologie, Ritz Carlton Hotels and, of course, W Hotels. ElizabethW.com – 1 800 781-6126. 1226 Pacific Ave., San Francisco, CA 94109.