Asking Julie Elliott About Indian Jasmine

A collective Q&A with aspirational aficionados from beauty & beyond offering distinctive answers to questions that I simply want to ask.

Can the recent rise in appreciation of body oils & balms be attributed to Julie Elliot, founder of San Francisco-based In Fiore? I’d concur with Departures & GQ, who say so. Only the luxury few have stumbled upon her sophisticated blends using herbs, tinctures, and essences all hand infused under the sunny skies of California. Julie’s got that utter sense of cool that teeters with an effusive wit. You know she just gets high-end luxury in all that she does. Rumour has it Steven Tyler stormed the offices of Barneys NY asking them why they didn’t carry In Fiore. He loves her Shevanti Balm – a treatment truly worth obsessing over. Ultradeluxe packaging and botanicals aside, the minutia of Julie’s art matters to her every day in every little thing.

What are your musical inspirations as you create & concoct your fabulously inventive oils?

Julie: Interestingly, a teacher and mentor of mine uses music to express the feeling of an oil during his lectures so I learn a lot about the 'essence' of an oil through music. However, I'm more inspired by the actual complexity of an individual oil's character. For me blending is about letting go and "do nothing," allowing the oils to take over. The essences are the music.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

Julie: Freedom to travel the world in search of new experiences in culture, food, music, and art, and luxuriate in the beauty of nature…swimming in coves of turquoise blue waters and taking naps on yachts in the Mediterranean. All of the above enriched with dear friends, and a delicious love.

What is the one thing women don’t get about essentials, herbs, tinctures, etc.?

Julie: Well, I would say some people may not be aware that essential oils and herbs have bioenergetic properties that work with human bioenergy. The energy fields of essential oils vibrate at a frequency high enough to achieve resonance with the energy body. For example, lemongrass is associated with the sun and light body. Some people may think it is only the aroma of lemongrass that eases their stress, exhaustion, or depression, but there is an energetic shift as well. Essential oils act as a mirror image of a disturbance in order to bring balance.

What are your current beauty faves right now?

Julie: My favorite beauty products tend to come from foods and tonics. I don't care what anyone says, if your diet isn't good your skin won't look good. Blue Ice Royal (cinnamon flavor) by Green Pasture is genius. Blue Ice Royal is a blend of fermented cod liver oil with x-factor vitamin butter oil. I know I know, it sounds nasty, but the cinnamon helps make the medicine go down and it's worth it. This combo is said to be more effective than taking cod liver oil on its own. It is high in omega-3s, and vitamins A and D, and really helps to balance hormones and prevent breakouts. After just a short time of using this product, my skin is more taught and supple.

Nothing beats eating lots of fresh greens and vegetables for gorgeous skin, but when I'm traveling or simply not prepared I take Ormus Greens by SunWarrior. It is a blend of raw probiotic cultured greens in powder form with a hint of peppermint and stevia. I like to mix the powder in pure water or coconut water and drink throughout the day or on long flights. The peppermint and stevia make it really easy to drink. It is also great blended in smoothies.

I swear by Beet Kvass, a tonic made by fermenting beets with whey and sea salt. When I'm on my game I drink it every morning and evening. It is an excellent blood tonic, cleanses the liver, and alkalizes the blood. Beets in general have a regenerating effect on the body. I buy mine fresh made from Three Stone Hearth, but I'm starting to see them available in health food stores.

My favorite In Fiore products for this time of year are Visage Vitale and Nourrit Face Oil Concentré. Visage Vitale detoxifies and oxygenates skin and gives it a boost and acts as a catalyst by stimulating circulation and increasing absorption of nutrients. Nourrit oil provides just the right amount of nourishment for my skin during spring and summer months, and I just can't seem to get enough of that jasmine and frankincense aroma. The combination is very revitalizing.

My favorite products for an at-home facial: In Fiore's Masque Royale, a compound of flowers and royal jelly for deep healing and rejuvenation. Three times per week I give my skin a good exfoliation using Lustra Cleansing Balm Concentré. Afterwards I slather Masque Royale on my face, neck, and decolleté and allow it to penetrate for a good 15-20 minutes. Then I take a tiny amount of Fleur Vibrante in the palm of my hand, add a spritz of Vitale, and massage with the remaining Masque Royale into skin. Afterwards you skin is dreamy, dewy, and glowing.

I love a good red lipstick, but unfortunately this is the one product category where I have not converted to the pure naturals. I'm waiting for someone to totally "bring it" with the natural lipsticks. And when I say bring it, I mean in every capacity from color, quality, texture, staying power, and packaging. Until that day comes, my favorite is Serge Lutens. The faceted lipstick vessels are like holding little gems in your hands, the tip of the lipstick is shaped like a diamond, and the staying power is unsurpassed. My favorite colors are Mise a Mort and Garden Rose. First I smooth and nourish my lips with a little In Fiore Veloutée balm, then apply a light layer of Serge for color.

I'm big into layering scent, and my secret weapon is Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules. Molecule is a single note that evolves as a velvety woody essence on skin. I use it as a base when I start the layering process with my oils and balms. Orange flower, saffron, frankincense, rose bourbon, jasmine sambac, vetiver, patchouli, and traditional attars are my favorite oils to wear as scent.

Your Jasmine and Rose essences seem to have shadowy, exotic touch to them. Why is this?

Julie: I prefer the darker sexy side of florals so I use touches of patchouli and vetiver to bring out those characteristics. Frankincense is also a key component in my florals -especially within the Complexion Treatments range. If I want something a little more soft and subtle I will use sandalwood. I tend to stay away from using too much of the sickeningly sweet citruses as top notes. They ruin it for me, regardless of their properties. I'd rather find another way such as through the quiet use of herbal infusions in the base. My approach to blending is not like that of a classically trained perfumer. There is so much more I that I take into consideration when I approach a blend.

What jewelry are you wearing right now?

Julie: On one hand I'm wearing a gold ring that is set with a beautiful scarab carved out of Libyan gold tektite. It has this amazing phosphorous-like energy. On my other hand I'm wearing a gold signet-type ring of an Eye with the inscription 'IN VIGILARE' around the band. And on my toes I'm wearing several fine yellow and rose gold bands that I have been collecting throughout the years from when I was a teenager.

What’s up next from In Fiore?

Julie: We have a new website launching in June with some limited edition products exclusive to In Fiore. Many times I get inspired by a rare and special oil and produce a limited edition run that is sold only at our parfumerie on Post street. With the new web shop we will now be able to offer those online. We will also offer gift certificates and a sampling program.

I’m waiting for this next one…Huile de Nav?