Catherine Selig of Takasago takes us on the journey to capturing the signature scent of Keys Soulcare.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Our journey to creating Keys Soulcare encompassed all of the senses — with scent playing a significant part. The team at Takasago, leaders in crafting fragrances for products from cosmetics to perfumes, partnered with Alicia on precisely which soothing notes should take center stage in the line. Today, we’re exploring the story of the Keys Soulcare signature scent with fourth-generation perfumer Catherine Selig, a senior perfumer at Takasago who played a major role in bringing our olfactory experiences to life.
Tell us the history of your work with fragrance…
My great grandfather was a master perfumer. He had his own atelier in Switzerland and was creating fragrance, including for some royal families in Europe. He had a handbook where he wrote all of his formulas.
So when I was a child — at 10 years old — I got this book about fragrance and was very excited. Also, my father noticed that I had a special sense of smell. That’s how it really started. With that, I decided to be the fourth generation perfumer in the family.
Tell us about your experience working on Keys Soulcare…
This project changed me, because it’s all about generosity and giving something different to the consumer — even just the concept of being a lightworker and bringing more light into the world. At the heart of the project is everyone finding their moment to practice self-care. It’s so easy with work and everything else going on that you forget to nurture yourself because you’re nurturing everybody.
What effect does scent have on memory?
Music and olfaction (sense of smell) tap into the same part of the brain, so there’s an instant connection in working with a musician like Alicia. And both can move you to a different state of mind. With a song, you can remember the time when you listened to it, who you were with, and what you were feeling — it’s exactly the same for fragrance.
Scent and music use shared language as well. When we describe smell, we use words like notes and chords. You can’t see music or scent, but they both have the power to trigger emotions.
Which scents were the foundation for the collection and why?
The first scent, Sage + Oat Milk, is all about nurturing and protection. When Alicia smelled it, she said, “That’s me in a bottle.”
Even if we are different people, we all have a little child inside of us, and we have to protect this inner child. Oat milk doesn’t have [geographical and cultural] borders, so it translates no matter where you are in the world. We chose sage because it’s one of the most powerful ingredients for protection and spirituality. Combining them, for me, was a form of protection for our inner child.
Do you feel like there is something specific you want people to feel when they experience these offerings?
Yes, absolutely. I would love them to feel peace, happiness, and positivity, and be able to find balance and centering. It’s so easy to get out of balance, so I’d want for them to be able to find a moment for themselves and be grounded again when they use the products. And recharge for the next day.
Do you have advice for someone who’s looking to start a ritual based around scent?
I’d say approach it step by step. Start with candles, because of the beautiful smell and light — they can get you to a more calm and receptive state of mind. You can begin each day with just five minutes for yourself, meditating with a candle, or taking care of your skin or hair.
Beauty is much more about how you feel and your emotions than how you look — it’s about taking a moment to understand who you are.
What scents bring back positive memories for you? How do you incorporate scent into your daily rituals? We’d love to hear your scent stories!