Interview: Q&A with Kathleen of Smoke

Kathleen Currie - Smoke

Name & Age:

Kathleen Currie, age 31

Professional Title:

Owner of Smoke Perfume & Massage Therapist

A little background: 

I grew up in Belize, and from day one spent my time in nature, playing outside, eating fresh food. 

There was no fast food or shopping malls or mass consumerism growing up. Local was the only existence I knew! 

This went on to shape me in many ways!  I studied holistic health in college, and became a personal trainer, and later, massage therapist. I was always very creative and painted and made art throughout my life.  I love the solitude of the creative process, but gave up painting to attend massage school while working full-time.  

How did you become a perfumer?

I created Smoke in 2009, when I moved to New Orleans, after falling in love with aromatherapy while working as a massage therapist.  I created a blend that would become my signature scent, and it took on a life of it's own!  While the process was accidental, I feel like working with scent is a very exciting medium for me to work in--it reminds me of cooking!  

How do you source your ingredients?  

Quality is very important to me.  I like to buy oils that are available in bulk (since I use a lot of oils for my perfumes, candles, and scrubs), but also really high quality and ethically sourced. Eden botanicals is my favorite essential oils company!  

What are some of your preferred signature scents?

My line is unisex, and that is important to me. I prefer my fragrances to tow the line, not too floral/feminine and not too musky or heavy. I like a full-bodied yet natural scent.  

What are some challenges you face with running a beauty brand online? 

Exposure and consistency! 

Also, it's difficult to sell perfume online, people need to smell it and try it!  I've had alot of fun with Instagram, and it's a great networking tool!  Giveaways have been successful for me.  

If you could invite any individual for an intimate dinner who would it be? What would you ask?

From a perfumer's standpoint, I'd love to have dinner with Cleopatra!  There are so many fascinating rumors swirling about her lavish perfume use. I'd love to separate truth from fiction!  She literally bathed in the most wonderful all-natural plant essences, sailed on ships with perfumed sails, and more! 

She's the ultimate example of lavish self-care. 

She was a true queen and treated herself as such! I think every woman could learn from her unapologetic self-care.  Also, I'd love to girl talk about Marc Antony.  

 IMAGE CREDIT - Monica Bellucci as Cleopatra

IMAGE CREDIT - Monica Bellucci as Cleopatra

Can you share some of your favorite LOCAL spots in NOLA?

I love the herb shop Rosalie Apothecary for bulk herbs and Bacchanal for beautiful outdoor dining, wine, music, and food. Peche for delicious seafood and fun atmosphere. The New Orleans Athletic Club boasts a gorgeous marble steam room, and is the oldest gym in the nation and has elegant high ceilings and a saline pool.  City Park is my favorite urban nature spot.  There's a huge live oak tree filled with wind chimes that I love to meditate under.  

Describe your brand in the 3 words:

Natural, Elegant, Beloved.

Favorite quote or proverb:

"Happiness begins with Gratitude" - Unknown