Instructor & Perfumer Donates Handcrafted Sanitizing Spray
Perfumer Sarah Horowitz joined the faculty at FIDM a year ago when she began teaching Fundamentals of Fragrance in the Beauty industry Merchandising & Marketing Program. She started creating fragrances in a little shop in Boston in 1989, bought the business in 1992 at the age of 22, and in 1994 moved to California and founded Sarah Horowitz Parfums. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., she started producing hand sanitizer to meet the need in the market. Her company has been able to donate Stay Safe Sanitizing Spray to nursing homes and hospitals in four states. We caught up with her to hear more about her industry story.
Tell us about your decision to manufacture Stay Safe Sanitizing Spray: When Covid-19 started taking hold, I started hearing about the shortage of alcohol. This was the second week of March—and I thought, ‘I have almost 400 pounds of alcohol in my studio (we buy it in large drums to make perfume for our lines as well as manufacturing for many of our clients). We can use this to do something to help.’ So we researched the CDC recommendation for sanitizing spray, and I created the scent that we are using today from the 100% natural essential oils that we had in house already, all with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It took off, and allowed us to stay open and in business during the shutdown, for which I am truly grateful. We have been able to donate to nursing homes and hospitals in four states!
Tell us a little about yourself: I started creating fragrances in a little shop in Boston owned by an independent perfumer in 1989. I fell in love with the customization aspect, the idea that each of us is unique, and that our fragrance should reflect that—should tell our personal story without words. I fell in love with not just the materials I was working with, and the history, the lore, the sacredness of perfume—but also the connections it made with people, how perfume connected us to the moment, to our memories, to our highest aspirations. I ended up buying that business from him in 1992 at 22 years old, and in 1994 I moved to California and founded the business that I still run today. It has evolved and changed over the years—but the core remains the same. I loved it all then, and still do. I have my own fragrance collections; I work as a perfumer and consultant for many brands both large and small; and most importantly I have an amazing husband, and two daughters that I am doing my best to raise in this crazy world.
What went into your decision to become an instructor and what do you enjoy most about teaching at FIDM? I actually took some time considering if I should take this position. I do work full time at my company, and was afraid of the time commitment. In the end, I absolutely LOVE teaching; I teach classes here in my studio as well as at FIDM. I love introducing the experience of smell, the art and history, the materials—all of it—to new students, and to get them thinking and excited about fragrance, both scents in the world and on their skin. I try to make it as interactive and as personal as possible.
Describe your teaching philosophy: I love to engage with my students, to make the subject come to life as much as possible, tell personal stories as well as historical stories—and of course share fragrance materials in class. The more I can share, the more they are apt to catch my excitement—and hopefully they get hooked.
Tell us about your brand Sarah Horowitz Parfums: My fragrances are handcrafted in small batches using both fine fragrance oils as well as essential oils and absolutes. Each fragrance is inspired by a moment—either a profound and powerful memory, or a moment I aspired to but have not yet lived. I love juxtaposition in all things, and feel that using materials that seem completely opposite but can work together. Something simple like citrus and vanilla (a classic) or fruit with patchouli—I love this and try to use juxtaposition in each perfume I create. I launched my first collection, The Perfect Perfumes, in 1997, and followed with The Perfumer's Palette in the early 2000’s and SHP Evolution in the last few years.
Who is your customer? My customers range—they are dedicated and love finding something unique. They are educated in scent for the most part, and love the niche world. The demographics skew toward females, 25-55, who love indie and high-end niche.
Anything else you'd like to share: I love what I do and absolutely love to share it. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach at FIDM—we learn when we teach, and I have enjoyed it immensely.
Learn more about Sarah Horowitz Parfums at sarahhorowitz.com and on Instagram @sarahhorowitzparfums.