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Making the House a Home

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | July 27, 2010

Slatkin expands Nest candle range with Project Art.

Atop her perch in the tony Upper East Side section of Manhattan, Laura Slatkin was at the top of the world when she welcomed industry tastemakers to her residence for the debut of Project Art, the latest incarnation from Nest Fragrances.

Slatkin is renowned in the industry for her sophisticated home fragrance scents and luxe designs—infusing her signature aesthetic into every Nest Fragrances collection. Project Art features both personal care and home fragrance that are complementary—think reed diffusers ($22.99) and liquid hand soaps ($12.99) in distinctive scents ranging from Juliette Rose to Lavender & Sage.

The candles (ranging from 4oz. votives for $9.99 to 22oz. jars for $24.99) are crafted using Nest Fragrances’ proprietary, cosmetic-grade wax blend, according to Slatkin. The fragrance is blended throughout the candle to ensure that the scent will infuse a room or environment until the candle is extinguished.

“One of my favorites, the Pumpkin candle, is burning upstairs. It features a touch of Grand Marnier to make it unique,” she told Happi during a personal tour of the collection.

As for the candle packaging, it features a stainless steel lid—“inspired by the base of a frying pan,” quipped Slatkin—as well as editorial style imagery by way of stylized, vibrant color photographs of various flowers, fruits, herbs and food against crisp, white backgrounds.

“We were inspired by magazine covers such as Real Simple for the labels,” Slatkin said.

Founded and owned by Slatkin, Nest Fragrances emerged from its parent company, Slatkin & Co., after it was acquired by Limited Brands, Inc. The entrepreneur and her husband, Harry, have a long-standing reputation as leaders in the home fragrance industry. They also know a thing or two about running a successful business—both worked in management at financial firms on Wall Street financial.

Nest’s client list currently includes nearly 50 prestige companies in the fashion, beauty and home fragrance industries—all of whom turned to Nest to develop their own exclusive line of home fragrance products. Slatkin’s most famous side project was a limited edition slider hamburger candle for White Castle that’s become a collector’s item fetching over $100 in online auctions today, she said.

In 2008, Slatkin launched her own home fragrance collection, Nest Fragrances, which won the 2009 FiFi Award for Interior Scent Collection of the Year. This year, Slatkin launched a second home fragrance collection, Sprig Fragrances, and entered into a licensed partnership with close friend Vera Wang to launch the Vera Wang Home Fragrance Collection.

While Project Art began as an internal company project name, Slatkin soon realized that the phrase underscored what she set out to achieve when developing the collection.

“I am extremely excited to introduce a breathtakingly beautiful new brand, Project Art by Nest Fragrances,” said Slatkin in her presentation. “Project Art is an important new home fragrance collection consisting of outstanding core fragrances. It combines the art of home fragrance with the art of sophisticated packaging—an expertise I have perfected over the last two decades.

“Project Art is a truly unique home fragrance collection; I am very proud to finally bring this collection to fruition!”

The collection will be available at select Hallmark stores and at online in September.

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