Laura Slatkin of Nest Fragrances - Neiman Marcus
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Laura Slatkin of Nest Fragrances

Regina Campbell

December 24, 2014

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The art of lighting up our homes during the holidays is one of our favorite traditions, along with setting – and scenting – the mood with holiday candles. Those within the Nest Fragrances family are on our must-have list. After 22 years in the business of scented candles, the Slatkin family continues to grow their home and personal fragrances emporium, lately with the addition of the NM exclusive Ken Downing Candle and the Maison de Nest Holiday & Birchwood Pine Votive Set, inspired by the Slatkin’s own New York Upper East Side townhouse.

Laura Slatkin
Laura Slatkin

In the spirit of holiday entertaining, we reached out to Laura Slatkin herself and asked about her best tips for scenting the mood at home, what inspired her fragrances and how she’s made it part of her business to give back, especially during this special time of the year.

NM: Tell us how you sent the mood at your own house.
LS: For me, it’s so important to entertain and bring people into my home, share the holidays with them; it’s very much part of our life. We take the three-wick holiday candles and we put four of them at the entryway of our townhouse. So when people come in, the full grand parlor is infused with the aroma of holiday, and the fragrance waves up through the house.

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NM: How do you prepare when hosting a dinner party?
LS: We love to design menus and try new hors d’oeuvres. My husband and I always go to the flower market. You know, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a pretty dinning table. For example, recently we bought at auction these beautiful blue and white vases, and now we have about 30 or 40 of them. So if we are having a dinner party and the table is round, we put all the vases in the center and each one will hold a different flower.

Laura Slatkin's Thanksgiving table
Laura Slatkin’s Thanksgiving table

NM: What drinks do you serve?
LS: We like to serve champagne.

NM: How do you scent your powder room?
LS: Your powder room is where you can switch it up and put something unusual – that’s where you can have fun. I like Japanese Black Currant or I just keep it floral. The diffusers are also great because they are very strong and they really fill the room with fragrance. It’s nice to have them in your powder room if you don’t want to burn a candle there.

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NM: What about when you are the guest at someone’s house?
LS: The holiday candles, with their pomegranate, mandarin and cinnamon notes, are a great gifting item thanks to the beautiful packaging. If you are invited to a party during the holiday season, you might want to buy six candles and send them over as a gift a few days before with a note to the hostess saying “Thought you might want to scent your home for the holidays. See you on Thursday!”

NM: Since we are talking gifts, tell about the candles that support different charities in your collection.
LS: I have a lot of respect for the Lauder family for really having changed the face of breast cancer. Our Passion candle benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I also have my Blue Garden candle, which befits the Autism Speaks. We have a son with severe autism, so AS has been part of our lives for a long time. My twins were born in 1999, and my son was diagnosed with autism when he was 17 months old. Ever since, I’ve become very involved in the field of autism. And of course, we have the Elton John candles that benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Elton John Fireside candle
Elton John Fireside candle

NM: When you think about the winter season ahead, what candle will you be burning at home?
LS: One of our favorite fragrances, particularly during the fall and winter months, is Moroccan Amber. One night I had forty women over, as I’m part of this professional organization of women CEOs. I decided to cook an amazing Persian-Indian feast. So I open the doors to the dining room and someone says ‘Oh, it smells amazing, what candle is burning?’ It wasn’t a candle, it was just the food. The next morning I took all the spices that we had used to prepare the food to the office, sent them to my favorite perfumer who’s an expert in this category and said to him, ‘This is going to be our next candle.’ I also love the Elton John Fireside Candle during the winter. If you were in your library and wanted to create a cozy, warm environment, you would go for Fireside. But it would also make a good one to burn in the bathroom for a cold, winter day.

Images courtesy of Nest Fragrances and Laura Slatkin.

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