Circa Home Launches Florence Broadhurst Collaboration

Circa Home has collaborated with Signature Prints to create a range of soy candles and diffusers utilising the classic prints of late Australian designer Florence Broadhurst.

Circa Home founder Nicole Eckels is passionate about strong fragrance, and insists that strong design comes with it. Visiting the Signature Prints workshop during the launch, Dijana Kumurdian spoke to Eckels about Circa’s new range of natural, Australian-made fragrances, and how they came to be inspired by the eccentric Australian icon.
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Dijana Kumurdian: Tell me a little bit about Circa Home.

Nicole Eckels: Circa Home is about making moments feel special, lived-in, and loved – all the fragrances are dated and they all have stories on the back. Circa came about by accident two years ago: everyone in Australia wanted to purchase Glasshouse Fragrances for their shops and so I said, I have this other idea – we don’t have to milk Glasshouse for everything it’s worth. This was our opportunity to do this design-home brand, this memories brand, and so we did it and immediately, because we had such a reputation for making beautiful fragrance, we had a base of customers.

VL: Why did you decide to use Florence Broadhurst’s designs?

NE: We wanted to do a collaboration with an artist because I love the idea of bringing a little bit of that into your home, to decorate your home. And Florence Broadhurst was just a natural thought for me. She was probably the most eccentric person I’ve ever heard of – she was absolutely crazy. She came from far north Queensland in this tiny little rural area, moved to Asia and started a dance school in Shanghai and claimed to be this master art teacher. She taught etiquette to people so they could go and meet the Queen. Then she went to London and she started a dress shop called Madame Pellier. She kept reinventing herself, and then when she finally moved back to Australia at 60 years old she started this business. She had all these different personalities, different lives and impacted so many people. So when I thought about her life, it really encompassed what Circa does really well, and I always look for ways to animate, for ways to bring stories in, to how we’re going to decorate.
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VL: They do evoke very different feelings, which would lend themselves to different fragrances.

NE: Absolutely. When you talk about Florence Broadhurst’s designs, there’s 530 in the library, and only 95 have ever been published. So I have all of this stuff I can work with and I just thought, what a great way, what a great story, to work with. And that’s a perfumer’s dream because you’re constantly getting content that can be inspiration for different scents. We can do something really tropical and flowery on one end, and on the other end we could do something really smoky and woody.

VL: They have quite a strong fragrance.

NE: They’re all strong, every single one of them. One of the things that’s vital to what I do is when you put a fragrance in the room and light it, if you cannot smell it within 15-20 minutes, it doesn’t get in the range. So 95% of what I get from the perfumer submissions, even after tweaking them, don’t make it into the range. It’s one thing if you can smell something it can be beautiful, but a lot of them don’t perform once you translate it into wax.

VL: How long do they last?

NE: This one lasts about 40 hours – it’s called Perfect Spaces, because it’s tall and you can fit it in small spaces. You always want to put a candle in the bathroom, particularly when you’re entertaining. Because it’s so tall it’s deceiving – but because it’s so tall it lasts for a really long time, it lasts for about 40 hours.linebreakcirca5

Circa Home is available online, as well as at David Jones, Bed Bath N Table and a range of independent stockists.

Words and photography: Dijana Kumurdian

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