Designer Spotlight

Designer Spotlight: Smoke Perfume

Hot on the tail of the release of her newest scent, Ritual, Kathleen Currie joins us to talk about her path to being the creator behind Smoke Perfume

All smoke perfumes are packaged in handmade prism shaped vessels made from reclaimed wood.

All smoke perfumes are packaged in handmade prism shaped vessels made from reclaimed wood.

1. How did you come to be a designer/maker? 

I've always been a creative person, and have dabbled in the arts my entire life.  Everything from painting, to writing, to cooking.  I used to do encaustic collage in college, and that was the first time I started thinking about pursuing art in a serious way, and really scheduling the time to work everyday.  I gave it up to go to massage school.  After massage school, I was experimenting with essential oil blends, and stumbled upon a blend that would become the signature scent in my fragrance company.  This was in 2009, and I just decided to go for it full-on and produce and launch my own company (which launched in 2013).

Kathleen Currie with the original Smoke Perfume

Kathleen Currie with the original Smoke Perfume

2. Where do you find inspiration? Do you have a method or process of finding inspiration?

I find inspiration from traveling, as well as from being in nature.  Getting away from my every day life and routine and seeing the world from a new perspective always gets the creative juices flowing.  

3. What's your favorite thing you've created so far? 

I'll always have a soft spot for Smoke, the original fragrance in my line!  I also have fond memories of my days working with ceramics, and there are some pretty memorable meals I've created that I've loved sharing with people.  Cooking is my favorite way to be spontaneously creative, and I never take it too seriously (which is the death of creativity!). 

4. Do you have any plans for where your line is going in the future? Any special projects in the works?

Yes!  I am in the process of launching the brand in the UK!  Other than that I always want the brand to keep growing, new scents, new design, new markets.  

5. What are your other passions or projects in life?

I am studying herbalism right now, and that has been really inspiring and exciting lately!  Otherwise, I love to travel.  

6. Are there any particular steps in your creative process that you enjoy most? 

I enjoy the very beginning moments...when the idea hits, and starts to take form.  Whether it's a new scent, product design, or even marketing blurb.  Turning those new ideas over in my head, before the hard work of trial and error is very exciting.  

7. If you weren't doing this, what do you think you'd be doing? What would you want to do? 

I would probably have delved deeper into the healing arts.  My work as a massage therapist is something I have loved, and I've considered going to rolfing school or acupuncture school.

8. What is your work soundtrack?

Depends on my mood.  I'll put on Pandora or Spotify, and it's anything from electronic to Bon Iver.  I also really enjoy listening to podcasts...I like On Being and Tara Brach has some beautiful Buddhist teachings, and the most soothing voice!  

9. Can you tell us about your work space? What is your ideal work environment? 

I work in the lower floor of my best friends house!  It is spacious, but a little funky (unfinished wood walls, etc.).  It opens out to a backyard, and we just put in an herb and veggie garden!  It's four blocks from my house, and my work day often ends with wine on the front porch with my bestie! 

10. Is there anything you'd like to add? 

 Thanks for the fun questions:)


Congratulations on the launch of Ritual, Kathleen! 

All photos courtesy of Smoke Perfume and Kathleen Currie

All photos courtesy of Smoke Perfume and Kathleen Currie