The world of perfume and fragrance is an especially personal one. One line that I discovered and fell in love with a couple of years ago is Pacifica. Pacifica is a high quality line of perfumes, soaps candles and gifts created by Brook Harvey-Taylor. I was thrilled when she agreed to answer questions for Beauty Bylines™. Meet Brook Harvey-Taylor, founder of Pacifica!
Beauty411: How did you become interested in fragrances? Did you know
that eventually you wanted to create your own fragrance line?
Brook: My mom tells me that I was
always interested in fragrance and that as a child I would mix spices and
create "smells". She used to say I was "born to
perfume". I really only understood this when my then four year old
daughter picked a rose and said, "mommy, this flower smells like
grapefruits and raspberries mixed with vanilla" (which it did). She
already has an incredible sense of smell. I guess that is what my mom was
As a child, I never thought
that I wanted to create my own fragrance line, but when I was about 17, I
started fantasizing about it after reading Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.
I first envisioned Pacifica as a perfume line, and every single scent I
create is with a perfume in mind.
Beauty411: I've read that
some of your fragrances were inspired by your travels. Where are some of
your favorite places and/or favorite scents?
Brook: Yes, many of my perfumes are
inspired by my travels. My absolute favorite is Sandalwood. It was
inspired by our travels around Southeast Asia. I loved the sandalwood
prayer beads at alters and the scent of sandalwood incense in the air. My other favorite is Waikiki
Pikake. This is inspired by a trip that I took to Hawaii. I love
the scent of pikake, and like a corny tourist I buy a lei the minute I get off
the airplane. I blended this with sandalwood which used to be endemic to
the Island chain, and is also one of my all time favorite scents.
Can you describe the process you go through when creating a new
Brook: Creating a fragrance
starts in my mind. I am inspired by something: a trip, a plant, a place.
I imagine each part of it. I try and break it down into little
scent parts, each building on top of one another that can tell a story.
There is a beginning, a middle and an end that work in a circular way.
Before I even attempt to blend anything I start writing my thoughts down.
I start to build the story in words. Then I will go to my library
of raw materials and start smelling. Then the blending begins.
Beauty411: The Pacifica product line has really taken off and
become successful; what's next for the brand?
Brook: Everything in our brand is
informed by fragrance. And to me, that could mean doing anything!
We have some exciting things on the horizon: a new fragrance,
rollerball perfumes and body butters in tubes so that you can actually travel
with them. We are launching a line of colored lip glosses this fall,
which is very exciting- moving into color. Baby steps, of course.
Beauty411: Of all of your fragrances, do you have a personal
Brook: I am a moody girl. I think that we have so many fragrances
because I want to wear different ones at different times. I can’t imagine
being dedicated to one fragrance. To me, fragrances are like emotions, or
like a really great jewelry. You have to mix it up to keep it
Beauty411: Finally, if we peeked into your makeup bag, what products would we
Brook: I keep it pretty simple.
Of course you would find about 3 to 6 solid perfumes at any given time.
Some lip gloss (I currently am testing ours which is AWESOME), The Eraser
Concealer by Tarte (I have a new baby so I need all the help I can get), a
whole bunch of products by NUDE (Advanced Eye Complex is my fav but I like to
buy the small sizes in sets at Sephora so that I can carry them around with
me), a shu uemura eyelash curler, a Tweezerman mini-brow kit, some black and
some brown liquid liner (I am not loyal to a brand usually but I am currently
using some by Stila) and Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 by Stila (this
stuff is pretty stellar- it brightens up your whole face and makes you look
like you had a good nights sleep). You would also find about 100 Goody
metal-free hair ties and a bottle of liquid vitamin B. I take it
everywhere I go.