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Jolie Laide - Heather Kaufman

Heather was born in San Francisco and was raised 15 minutes north in Mill Valley. It was a bucolic place to grow up, surrounded by trees, mountains, and marshes. A creek ran past her backyard, filled with fish and birds, and the smell of wild fennel drifted in from the banks. As a child, she took an early interest in the scents of nature and learned the names of plants and flowers. As she grew older she found she had a knack for picking out subtle fragrances and flavors in wine and food. Eventually, her interests lead her to essential oils, and about 10 years ago, to Mandy Aftel, with whom she studied to be a natural perfumer.

Jolie Laide Perfume, a botanical perfume line that embraces nature, came out of the years of studying with Mandy. 'Jolie laide' translates literally to ‘pretty' and ‘ugly,' but is a French phrase meaning unconventional beauty, the idea being that perfumes combine natural scents that are both luscious and odd, coming together in a way that is unique to each wearer.

Heather also has a keen interest in French films, mainly the New Wave films from the 1950’s and 60’s. They were an inventive genre of film that broke conventional barriers and sought to form a new narrative. In many ways, she discovered her process to be similar, and these films became the inspiration for her scents.