• Brands We Love: Valchemy Lab

    With Valentine's Day approaching, we've got perfume on the brain. Our newest obsession? Houston-based apothecary Valchemy Laball-natural line of oil-based scents and mists started by Valerie (hence the brand's name!) Grant. As is the case in many of the homegrown fragrance and beauty brands we interview, Valchemy started as a hobby, with Valerie making natural skin-care products, lip balms, and candles at home that she'd gift to friends and family. We'd say her experiments were a success. Read on to learn more about what goes into making each of her products so special, what the benefits are of wearing oil-based perfume, and her tips on choosing the perfect perfume. 
    Photos by Bridget Collins

    How does one of your products come together?
    It starts anywhere from being inspired by sampling a fragrance product at a store, or sometimes ideas stem drafting sketches on paper for packaging ideas. Moving towards the theme, and how I want this product to feel upon application, not just physically on skin, but also as a lifestyle product, is something I take into consideration as well. Designing the fragrance composition and the packaging are both intensive stages, sometimes back-and-forth even, to see that the final product falls in place perfectly. As far as ingredients, Valchemy Lab perfume products are all formulated with both plant and lab-based materials and are each 70% natural or more. We try to keep up to date in relationship with our suppliers, to see that no animal-testing is being performed on ingredients used in our products. 

    Can you tell us more about what Hair Essence Mist does?
    My most intensive project yet, as it had taken me over a year perfecting these formulas! A hair essence is a water and oil-based perfume for your hair. Mist 2-3 times and run your fingers through your hair to even out the fragrance. Not only does it fragrance your hair, but also leaves it feeling soft, light, and hydrated, with no greasy-after feel once dry. Now tell me, how great would it be for someone to be able to smell flowers in your hair? ;)

    What are the benefits of wearing an oil-based perfume?
    While I love both oil and alcohol-based fragrances, I love that an oil-based perfume doesn’t dry out the skin and leaves it feeling soft. 

    We read that you try to start and finish projects within a moon cycle: can you talk more about this? 
    The best times to start new projects are during the new moon phase. The things you start during the new moon comes to fruition when it reaches full. I always try to wrap things up before the next new moon to be able to start off on a clean-slate. Its a cycle I work with and is something I find very useful in both a spiritual and practical sense. Many small business owners know that completing tasks requires a great deal of discipline on your own. And you don’t have anyone telling you what to do and when to do it. Always having this timeframe in the back of my mind provides structure on reaching my deadlines on time. 

    What's your personal "signature" scent?
    I often go through phases having “signature” scents, but right now I’d say it’d have to be amber. A close friend introduced me to amber oil. It's sultry and magnetizing, having somewhat of a fluffy texture. This fragrance is so lovely to wear-alone as a single scent.

    What perfume did you wear growing up?
    Brands I love now have changed so drastically. But growing up, I remember loving Victoria Secret Love Spell. I’m pretty sure I wore it all throughout high school.

    What are your favorite scent memories?
    I love the smell of camp wood. We use to go on family camping trips on sites like Big Bend or other places in Texas. I remember waking up and loving that smoked wood fragrance.  

    Fragrance is such a personal thing — can you share some helpful tips for how to explain fragrance in words? How do you, for example, describe the way your products smell to someone who has never smelled them?
    Fragrance, rather than something that “just smells good,” is a lifestyle. You are in a sense, projecting a particular aura by the fragrances you wear, and it's something you want to use to attract and draw others in. Choose fragrances that are appropriate for your mood, events, or with what your wearing etc. to compliment your personality and draw others in. Wear something floral, citrusy, and fresh for your morning pick-up-fix. Choose something woody, smoky, and sultry to make your statement bold when out on a night with friends.
    I would think that my products smell rather differently from the typical commercial fragrances you may be use to smelling at the mall. They are in fact, very personal and are to be worn only smelled by those close. Pick and choose by mood, you’ll notice they have a lasting effect.  

    Are there any scents, fragrance profiles, flowers, scent concepts, etc that you're currently really interested in or are trying to experiment with?
    As I mentioned above, I’m loving amber right now, and am working on including this magical fragrance in VLP. 

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