30 Years of Inspiration and Passion for Fragrance
Embark with us on LAFCO New York founder Jon Bresler’s journey of self discovery, formative experiences, and enduring relationships that helped him create the brand you know and love today. This journey reveals an ongoing exploration into the possibilities of fragrance.
The Aromatherapy Revelation
Jon quit practicing law and began working and traveling in Europe. In Zurich, a fortuitous find in the Bellevue Aoptheke led him to purchase anti-stress aromatherapy bath oils. This began an extended odyssey around Europe exploring the apothecaries and purveyors of homeopathic tinctures. His quest to get more, learn more, and smell more began.
Jon founded Luxury Articles & Fragrance Company with the intention to actively participate in the preservation of authentic European botanical and artistic perfumery practices. It was the start of a decade of importing and developing niche fragrance and beauty products for the U.S. market.
This was Jon’s first opportunity to work with European perfume houses to develop his fragrances and begin learning the art of perfumery.
For the Love of Soap
In Porto, Portugal, Jon discovered a small, antique factory (est. 1880) with a rich history of artisanal soapmaking. Here, he developed the Claus Porto brand which included fragranced bar soap wrapped in historic art deco patterns – the first European luxury soap introduced to the U.S. market.
Natural Perfumery and Botanical Skincare
Jon learns all about botanicals and natural perfumery from the experts at the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.
The Art of Perfumery
While Santa Maria Novella represented the school of natural perfumery where fragrances are derived from a finite, much smaller number of ingredients from which scent can be extracted, Lorenzo Villoresi was a classical perfumer whose compositions were much more complicated, sophisticated, and robust. To create a rose-scented perfume using Lorenzo’s classical perfumery approach, for example, 15 different species of rose and hundreds and hundreds of additional notes are blended to compose a classical rose fragrance.
Jon opens the first LAFCO New York retail store in Tribeca, lower Manhattan. It is the first Santa Maria Novella store outside of Florence, Italy. Jon is widely celebrated in the beauty industry for making what was thought to be the nearly unattainable attainable.
- Santa Maria Novella owner Diana Stefani, W Magazine
Italian brand Eau d’Italie composed distinctively modern olfactory experiences in a contemporary Italian creative key. LAFCO New York launched the brand in the USA and a close bond was formed with the owners and creators.
House & Home: A New Era
With more than 15 years of accumulated expertise in essential oil-based formulas, and both classic and modern perfumery, Jon launched the LAFCO House & Home Collection of luxury scented candles in colorful, blown-glass artisanal vessels.
It was the first-of-its-kind collection developed around the idea of combining scent, color, and design intended to transport consumers to a room, setting, or destination. The concept was to empower fragrance in candles to demonstrate how scent can transform a space and create an immersive sensory experience.
Bath & Body as an Art Form
Jon went back to Europe to work with small, family-owned businesses to make natural skincare products. This endeavor included a multi-year quest to create the perfect bar of soap, sulfate-free liquid soap, and hand cream based on highly reparative botanical oils.
A Family Affair
Jon went from being the “cool uncle” to “boss” when his nephew Marty Shapiro joined the company as Chief Operating Officer. Over the next several years, Marty implemented a successful strategy to focus on distributing LAFCO-branded products only, leaving Jon free to focus exclusively on creating new products and fragrances.
The Absolute Collection
LAFCO launches a colletion that celebrates the core values that have defined the brand from the very start: Artistry, Integrity, and Luxury.