I am that contrary sort of introvert who is both paralyzingly shy–I don’t want to talk on the phone, or go to parties, or even go out in public most days because human interaction is not just tedious, but genuinely terrifying–and yet. Yet. I don’t want to talk with people but I want people to talk about me. I want everyone to know who I am. I want to be in people’s hearts, in their minds, my name upon their lips–but just don’t point those lips in my direction, or you’ll undoubtedly scare me off. I don’t want to be forgotten, but more than that–I want to be remembered. (Preferably for something good, but I will take what I can get.)
This weird, TMI confession is relevant. Seance Perfumes is a collection of hauntingly beautiful scents created by Lacey Walker, “for those who want to be remembered,” and oh, how those words ensnared my timorous heart; oh, how I thrilled to that familiar, closely-held sentiment.
And as someone who believes wholeheartedly in the transformative, transportive power of fragrance, its ability to conjure memories and evoke dreams (and as someone who is in eternal lowkey pursuit of kindred spirits) I feel an almost super-natural affinity toward Lacey, when she speaks to her love of aroma and how it developed, “I believe scent is a truly powerful sense. It has always amazed me that a certain whiff of a smell can take you back to a time and place in your life- memories and nostalgia- I was fascinated with how a smell can leave its mark in history on you. This is what inspired the stories behind each of my smells… each perfume has its own tale… I wanted to create a piece of art behind each perfume… take a sniff of your perfume and imagine this story behind it, these characters, these settings and environments.”
Obsessed with perfume oils for as long as she could remember, Lacey was never able to wear traditional, mainstream perfumes, due to migraines exacerbated by the synthetic components contained in so many of these conventional fragrances. Challenged by her lack of options, she began dissecting her aromatic preferences and became a bit of a mad scientist, mixing and matching oils and teaching herself the art of perfumery along the way. She believes that perfume oils (as opposed to alcohol-based fragrances) are the purest way to wear a scent.
“You really smell each note,” she enthuses, “… it transforms on your skin and layers with your aroma, truly making it unique to you and your body’s natural chemistry…”
I’m forever intensely curious as to people’s “favorite stuff”, and so it was imperative to suss out Lacey’s favorite notes, along with her “must-haves” in the Seance Perfume collection. With woodsy musks and incense at the top of her list, she shares:
“I have always been a musk woman. I like my scents incense inspired. Woodsy and dark. My favorite creation thus far has been Natural History– the smells of old books, black tea, amber and leather. Its the perfect library scent. It was my mission to create one because of how romantic that picture was in my mind… this beautiful old towering library filled with rare wonders… to capture that in a scent is pretty special. I also love Dearly Departed… I just love florals… however they are so difficult to do, because they always end up smelling soapy. It took me a while to perfect it, but I did. Its floral bouquet, like you can smell the flowers and stems.. fresh dirt, and rose. It layers so perfectly… it creates this elegant and romantic scent. Crowley is my next go to… Nag Champa incense has always been my favorite smell. It was for many years my staple scent. I wanted to make a version that smelled like actual incense. I didn’t want it powdery… I wanted it to smell like the old occult shop, fresh burning resin… its perfect. I am usually wearing one of those three scents.”
With scents evoking occult imagery and mystical personalities ranging from Divination and The Medium, to Marie Laveau, to Aleister Crowley, it is apparent that Seance Perfumes draws a great deal of inspiration from the paranormal and metaphysical, and has cultivated these influences into a medium (pardon the pun) to facilitate –through fragrance– in finding, as she notes on the Seance Perfumes website, “… a place for those things that may only be felt”
Highly intuitive from the time she was a child, Lacey nurtured and expanded these abilities through courses on tarot, runes, tea leaf reading, as well as reiki classes, mediumship and meditation classes. However, she quickly learned that the more tools she had at her disposal, the more clouded the messages would become. “I learned to do readings without any assistance, ” Lacey reveals, “which lead me to doing Medium readings. I worked for years as a reader and developed a pretty good reputation for it. It all really baffled me because I am such a skeptic and such a lover of science and rationality. ”
“So I guess the short answer is my fascination came from all the really weird shit that has happened to me that I could never rationally explain. …There really is no good way to explain it other than it’s just there… you just feel it.”
One of Lacey’s offerings that I adore with a demented sort of glee is the Our Darling line, diminutive perfume bottles to be worn around the neck, a nod to certain Victorian mourning traditions. By now, of course, we all know the myth of those Victorian-era tear catchers. Writes our own Sonya Vatomsky on the custom: “During the Victorian Era, it’s said, the grieving would weep into the delicate containers which turn up now and then in estate sales and gloomy, cobwebbed corners of the Internet for quite a pretty penny. The grieving would weep and, when the tears dried up, well… it was time to move on.” Due to the dearth of information regarding those fanciful lachrymatory customs, however, we can conclude that many of those bottles were were not used for collecting the tears of melancholic mourners, but simple flasks for “scented vinegars, smelling salts, perfumes and toilet waters to scent handkerchiefs.” The tear catching belief was a great story–but a story is all that it was.
I can’t help but to admire this bit of fantastic marketing genius at Seance Perfumes–while Lacey is responsibly dispelling the the myth about tear catchers, she is also using the fiction as a selling point for the perfume bottles! In this regard, Lacey, a long-time collector of strange relics and peculiar antiques, remarks, “Thank you! I have been a collector of oddities for fifteen or more years…I love the history behind these things. And the folklore is often more romantic and dark then the reality- and that makes me love it even more… I knew that being a perfume line inspired by the victorian and macabre… I needed my ode to it!”
Offering perfume oils (full bottles and samples), candles, room and body sprays, and the above mentioned adornments. there are myriad ways in which Seance Perfumes’s ethereal vapors can eerily enhance your personal aura, as well as, the atmosphere in your home. And as lovely as being on the receiving end of these treasures for yourself can be, they make splendid gifts for other special people in your life, as well. Every scent comes beautifully packaged in a silky, black drawstring bag, and includes a small, shimmering piece of clear quartz, each stone cleansed for good energies before making its way into your hands, or those of a loved one.
My personal favorites so far? Dearly Departed, a gorgeous, grassy rose (and I am not much of rose-fancier, so this loveliness took me by complete surprise); Crowley, the most perfect warm, resinous, and dragonsblood-y nag champa; and Laveau, a gently musky scent with notes of sandalwood and bourbon, and which smells fantastic in candle form on an early spring night, with the breeze (or maybe ghosts) softly ruffling the curtains. And The Medium: this is one of the most beautiful scents I have ever experienced in my life, and I promise, I’ve smelled a lot of them. A chilly, creamy white floral with a ghostly antique leather note that’s so soft and well blended you almost can’t tell it’s there, but which grounds this lofty fragrance so wonderfully
By now you may be curious and fascinated yourself with regard to these hauntingly unforgettable scents–and your timing, I must say, is perfect! Seance Perfumes is offering 15% off for Haute Macabre readers! Use code MACABRE15 at checkout to take advantage of the discount.
All photos courtesy Seance Perfumes