Forget traditional special-occasion fragrances. Lite + Cycle is introducing fragrances meant to make every occasion a special occasion.
“These are perfumes that you can really live in. They’re healthy, and they are not overpowering. You can slip the rollerballs into your bag because they’re slim,” said Kristi Head, owner and founder of the brand, which started three years ago with candles. “They are almost like the lip balm of perfume.”
As is often the case with lip balms, Lite + Cycle is releasing a range of options to suit various moods and preferences. There are three $58 essential oil rollerball perfumes: InGrace, InHeart and InRapture. The first pairs lavender with rose otto and is designed to foster serenity; the second couples vetiver with sandalwood and is intended to be grounding; and the third combines bergamot with petitgrain sur fleur and is devised to promote joy.
“People asked me all the time if I had the candle scents in roll-ons. With the fragrances, I took three candle scents — lavender, bergamot and vetiver — and gave them a little more depth, while staying true to their core,” Head said. “When I think about perfume, I think about being accosted by scent. I like things lighter. I want perfume to delicately scent the skin. These are intentionally intimate.”
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Unlike most perfume marketers, Lite + Cycle doesn’t rely on a fragrance house to blend its scents. It procures wild-crafted oils and creates its own blends. The fragrances are free of parabens, synthetics, phthalates and solvents. “I can tell you what’s in every scent that I make. I feel it’s my duty. I believe in being straightforward because that’s what I would want as a customer,” Head said.
On the perfume bottles is a pattern that Head called a personal mandala. Also found on the candles, she conceived of the mandala using the principles of string and pin art. “The idea is interconnected lines, and the harmony of nature and one’s self,” Head said. White and gold are the main colors in the perfume packaging. White symbolizes a blank canvas to Head, while the gold brims with warmth. “I try to make things that are inviting and that everyone can be comfortable with,” she said.
Merchandise from Lite + Cycle is available at roughly 40 stores, spas and hotels worldwide, including ABC Carpet & Home, The Carneros Inn, International Orange and the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Geared toward prestige positioning, the perfumes are hitting shelves in December.
Lite + Cycle’s entrance into fragrance marks a return to the category for Head. She established the natural perfume company Lurk with Anne Sanford, but left around the time she launched Lite + Cycle. “At Lurk, my business partner was more at the helm of the perfume development, and we have different tastes when it comes to scents. I like things that are very simple. I don’t create deep and complex fragrances,” Head said. “I am not trying to make the natural version of Comme des Garçons.”
Don’t expect Lite + Cycle to bombard the fragrance segment with products. Churning out stuff just to churn out stuff isn’t Head’s style. “It’s not going to be a big huge collection because I try to be minimalistic,” she said. Instead of always pumping out products, Head is willing to adjust the current trio to fit the marketplace and customers’ desires. “I’m not rigid,” she said. “I pay attention to how people respond to each new product and change accordingly.”