Beauty is on the mind of Maurice Harris, founder of Bloom & Plume — the luxury floral studio found in Los Angeles’ Echo Park. The florist counts Beyoncé and fashion houses like Louis Vuitton as clients.
“I want to continue to grow, from beauty to fragrance to home, home scents,” Harris told WWD of plans ahead. “Soaps, lotions and potions.”
Expansion — and what that would look like — has been on his thoughts lately, he revealed at Diptyque’s cocktail party, held on the rooftop of the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., to toast Harris’ “Eau Rose” partnership with the French parfumerie.
“This was a great experiment for me to see how people would engage with scents,” he said of the collaboration.
Inspired by the rose, the limited-edition collection showcases a $150 eau de toilette and $190 eau de parfum created with unexpected notes, which are reimagined and deconstructed with four candles — “Camomille,” “Artichaut,” “Litchi” and “Roses,” at $76 each.
Creating a bouquet, you “reconstruct [the scent] when you burn the candles,” said Harris. “I just thought that that was so romantic, so poetic and beautiful.”
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With Diptyque, he’s able to reach a global audience. And while he remains in the world of luxe, it’s a category that has new significance amid COVID-19, he said: “With the home being such a point of focus right now with the pandemic, our luxuries that we’re focusing on are more spatial.”
His striking floral arrangements start around $350, but Harris also runs another endeavor: the Bloom & Plume Coffee shop in Historic Filipinotown, which brings his brand to life in a physical space while offering accessibility.
“Coming to our coffee shop and getting a $5 coffee in one of our beautiful cups, surrounded by all of our beautiful florals and plants and all that, it’s a lot more approachable,” said Harris. “One of the reasons why I got into the coffee space — coffee was originated in Africa, yet coffee shops predominantly are white-men-dominated spaces that look like a Scandinavian boring zone.”
He sees parallels in the beauty industry.
“We’re so obsessed with the health and wellness space, and things always come from people of color, whether it’s Indian culture, African culture, Asian cultures, Latin cultures, but usually the face that presents it for Americans to digest are always white people,” said Harris. “And it’s always a white woman.”
He added, “Basically, my goal is to be free, to be able to creatively express myself in a way where other people, everyone, can be inspired as well.”