LAFCO—Luxury Articles and Fragrance Company—was established over 20 years ago when founder, Jon Bresler, quit his job as a lawyer to pursue his passion for body care. In 1992, Jon began travelling across Europe, in a search for hard-to-find specialty items and learning about how they were made. He then began to study the nuances of alchemy and perfumery and became fascinated with the rich history and traditions of this discipline. He envisioned LAFCO as a company that would actively participate in their preservation. LAFCO grew as Jon trained with internationally renowned creators of natural skincare and perfumes, and eventually imported their entire collections. He carefully maintained the spirit and integrity of every line as he brought them together to recreate an authentic European apothecary experience in his native New York.
We asked Jon Bresler to answer our Etiket Questionnaire, to get to know a little bit more about the man behind the brand. Here’s what he had to say:
A good day starts with a good… stretch of the back and spine, according to the 4 movements of the spine.
I feel great when I… shave. I only shave once per week using our LAFCO soap and get an incredible shave. I always feel clean and handsome when I shave.
I never leave the house without my… note pad. I love to take notes of things I think of or see during the day.
My next guilty pleasure purchase is… a custom-made sport coat from my favorite tailor in Rome.
The place I always come back to is… home. I travel often for work and love coming home after a long trip.
My personal style can be described as… comfortable and casual, but well dressed. I wear what makes me feel good. Especially shoes.
The scent I most identify with is… the celery thyme fragrance I developed for LAFCO. It smells so organic and herbal and makes me feel like I am bathing naturally.
When I travel, I always make sure that I… bring my LAFCO soap with me. I use this on the road to shave, wash my body and face, and to wash my hair.
When I want to relax, I need… to meditate. I practice mindfulness meditation and practice this daily when I return home after work.
When I have a bad day I always… make sure I have a good dinner. Good food makes me happy and can take me away at dinner from a bad day.
I find inspiration in… the people around me. While I am the president of LAFCO and ultimately make the final decisions, I always consult my co-workers and find inspiration and guidance in the words they say and always consider their opinions when making decisions.
My go-to gift is… for women, a Hermes bracelet. For men, a bottle of great Italian Olive oil.
I would never want to miss out on… hearing a live Tara Brach lecture and communal meditation session.
In my fridge, I always have… San Pellegrino water and a bottle of Salmon Billicart Rose champagne.
On my night table I keep… LAFCO hand cream.
My perfect weekend is… going to the shoreline. The sound of waves is very soothing and the smells at the beach are inspiring when creating scents for our home products.
My most inspiring travel moment was when… I spent time with Lorenzo Villoresi at his atelier in Florence Italy. Lorenzo is a world famous master perfumer and has been instrumental in my learning about fragrance (particularly the blending of natural essences) and in the development of my fragrance style.
The inspiration behind the LAFCO brand comes from… just before I started the company. It happened in Zurich Switzerland where I first was introduced to homeopathic skin care and fragrance aromas in 1991. Since then my passion in product development has been geared to producing natural botanical skincare with proven homeopathic ingredients.
If I had to lose one of my five senses it would be… HEARING. My passions and my business rely heavily on sight, smell, touch and taste is something I enjoy on the side. There’s nothing like a home cooked meal after a day at the office.
The one question I want to be asked in interviews is…“How did LAFCO begin and where do you see it going?” And my answer would be: Twenty plus years ago when I started this business I was on a quest to discover the most niche and desirable European apothecary and personal fragrance brands and subsequently introduce them to an unknowing American market. Over the years, on this quest, I have learned incredible things about formulation, fragrance composition and artisanship, all of which I pour into my daily development work for the LAFCO brand. With our LAFCO brand, I want to deliver product that elevates one’s daily experiences, from washing one’s hands to creating an ambiance in their homes. Truly, I want LAFCO products to become tools for the luxe life.
1 thought on “The Etiket Questionnaire: Jon Bresler, Founder of LAFCO”
Hi Jon!! I ran Millstreet Interiors and Antiques in Menlo Park when you started out. I met you after my long trip to Florence buying antiques for a client and came back home with one whole suitcase full of F Santa Maria Novella in 1997 and you were testing the waters with them. What a great success story!!
I remember your kind personality, your ambition, determination and tenacity – a good package!! Happy to hear you are well. I am living now in a 12th century stone house on the coast of Kent 1 hr south of London and I can see Calais on a clear day!
Best wishes, John and Milaena
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