Beauty alert: LAFCO New York

Founded in 1992 by Jon Bresler in New York, LAFCO combines traditional craftsmanship and the purest ingredients to create transporting home fragrances and personal care products. The luxurious collection of soaps, lotion, diffusers, and candles are made from rigorously sourced essential oils. The products are hand produced using both time-honored botanical production practices and cutting-edge technology. The fragrances are designed to evoke an emotional, sensory response. We met the founder, here below our conversation:

How and when did u develop the brand and launch? Philosophy and values behind it

Our founder, Jon Bresler, began the LAFCO brand after leaving New York City and moving to Switzerland in the ’90s. While living in Europe, he discovered and fell in love with the continent’s traditions in aromatherapy and botanicals. His hunger for travel, combined with a new love of fragrance and old-world craftmanship, led him to beautiful cities in Italy, Portugal, and Greece. It was there he had his first experiences learning about and then launching unique European brands to the American market; brands such as Santa Maria Novella, Claus Porto and Korres Natural Skin Care, all of which are globally recognized today. In 2010 Jon launched his own home fragrance line, LAFCO New York, based on these European traditions, but with a modern New York twist.

Our concept has always been to create a full ambiance with the elements of mood, scent, and color. We design our home fragrance offerings with these details in mind and associate them with a place in a house or a type of setting. For example, our Chamomile Lavender candle is calming in scent, and the glass vessel color is a warm, neutral beige that evokes the relaxation of a bedroom. Our Office candle fragrance combines notes of rosemary and eucalyptus, both invigorating and revitalizing scents. The glass color is a vibrant green, a stimulating color, making it the perfect choice for an office

Since LAFCO New York has its roots in botanical and natural fragrance and skincare, and because our philosophy is to create products that smell good (and are good for you), it was imperative to us we use the cleanest and safest ingredients available. We create our candles with a clean-burning blend of soy wax, with no petroleum. Our reed diffuser fragrance formula contains zero alcohol, so it not only is good for you, but the fragrance lasts much longer. Also, all of our candle glass is hand-blown, using techniques from one of the oldest glass factories in Bohemia. Each glass piece is a creation as unique as our customers!

Which are your core products? 

• Signature Candle – Our original creation has a 90 hour burn time and is hand-poured here in the USA.

• Signature Diffuser – Our reed diffuser has an innovative design that allows it to be completely refillable; it’s eco-friendly luxury! The glass vessel is hand-crafted and may be enjoyed for many years.

• Hand Care Collection (Liquid Soap + Hand Cream + Bar Soap) – Artisanally crafted in Italy and Portugal, our hand care collection uses natural ingredients, without any sulfates, parabens or palm oil, that is gentle to your skin, as well as the environment.

Can we have a message of hope and support to other small-medium companies from NY to Italy

As business slows right now, and we all hunker down together as a call to public safety, our hope is that we help remind people that there is still so much beauty in the world. Now, more than ever, people are looking to their favorite brands to offer inspiration and escape. We feel our mission, as with all brands, is to continue to connect with our customers during this challenging time and lean in to their stories and ideas. We will all get through this darkness together, and in the process, learn valuable lessons that not only strengthen us, but also our companies.

Pick up your 5 favourite products and explain why?

Feu de Bois 3 Wick Candle – My NYC studio doesn’t come with a fireplace, but this is the next best thing. I love how the woody notes of cedar and sandalwood combine to create the warming effect of a roaring fire during cold winter nights. In the summer, it reminds me of the campfires of my childhood. I love it so much, I burn this candle all year long!

Amber Signature Candle – Amber has always been a fragrance I’m drawn to and this candle captures its essence perfectly. The deep blue color of the glass makes it feel modern and timeless at the same time. 

Sea and Dune Classic Diffuser – Our Classic Diffuser is a new design that we just introduced this year. The small size of the diffuser fits perfectly in a smaller space, like a guest room or even a closet. Sometimes I don’t have the time to burn a candle and this is a great alternative for adding scent to a room. The Sea and Dune fragrance transports you to a house by the ocean. Bring this as gift wherever you stay, and I guarantee the host or hostess will invite you again and again.

Discovery Trio– This is just brilliant! If you’re shopping online, the challenge is you can’t smell fragrance through the computer. How many times have you come across a product online and wished you could smell it? The Discovery Trio is the idea we came up with. You select 3 different candle fragrances of your choice. Each sample is a mini candle so you can experience the product before you commit to the full size. Its a great gift for those hard to shop for friends!

Wick Trimmer + Snuffer– I have a candle obsession (clearly), so I understand how important it is to take good care of your candles. My golden rule: you must trim the wick each time you burn your candle. Otherwise, the wax will tunnel and the glass becomes smokey black. There is nothing worse! Our Wick Trimmer + Snuffer is an ingenious design our team created that simultaneously extinguishes the candle flame and trims the wick. No mess and your candle always burns perfectly.

Where can people find your products? 

LAFCO may be found in many independent boutiques, hotels and spas across the USA. We are also available in department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales. Of course we also ship worldwide through our e-commerce store at LAFCO.COM.