What would you pack in two suitcases?
I’ve always been fascinated with fragrances as aromas impact every area of our lives. For example they are the heart of wine. Fragrances, and wine too, have the ability to transform our day, evoke memories, and also to stir emotions, hopes and dreams.
I have worked in the wine industry for many years. While it is a male dominated industry, in 2005 I earned the title of International Professional Wine Woman in Paris, France. The title was based on three categories: knowledge, tasting skills and vision. In terms of vision, mine is for women to excel in the wine world. Throughout my own wine education, I noticed a lack of academic degrees in the international wine business. In response to that gap, I created a degree program at Central Washington University. For fifteen years, I nurtured the program and helped guide students on their path. I received national and international accolades, but their success ultimately was my best award. I was invited to be a wine judge around the world, a presenter at wine conferences, and to visit the world’s best vineyards and most acclaimed restaurants. It was a dream life.
So why did I give it up?
I am a creator. In 2013, I received an offer to teach one course in wine studies in France. Taking a huge risk, I decided to make the leap.
I quit my job. I sold everything I owned: my house, my car, my furniture, my clothes…everything. Many people think, “How amazing that would be? To sell everything, to walk away, to have freedom!” But until you do it, you do not realize how heart wrenching it is. Yes, on one level they are just things. But as I watched these “things” go one by one, I remembered how as a child I would pile my stuffed animals on that dressing table that just sold for $100 to a stranger. The vases that held wildflowers, wind chimes singing on the front porch where I laughed and shared stories with friends over a glass of wine. It is not the things that count, it is the memories. It is not liberating to let everything go. It is excruciating.
I arrived in Aix-en-Provence on May 27th 2013, with literally two suitcases, two dogs and an idea to finally combine my passions of wine and fragrance.
Provence is known as the Perfume Capital of the World. All the major brands we know are produced here. The very air is scented with lavender, jasmine, rose, thyme, sage and vineyards.
I teamed up with Master Perfumer Richard Asfour and created Fragrances of Wine, a new and innovative line of perfumes that capture the scents found in white, rose, red and sparkling wines. Fragrances of Wine captures the enchanting blend of wines and perfumes made in Provence: from the citrus and amber tones of white wine, the lavender and vanilla notes of rose, the lush berries of red wine, and the dazzle of sparkling wines. Fragrances of Wine tells a story. I want the woman who wears it to know that she is worth it. Beyond everything else, she loves herself. I want her to walk out that door every morning knowing she is unique, special and amazing.
Bottles of our Fragrances will be donated to Dress of Success, an organization dedicated to helping women.
My two suitcases started my story. What started yours?