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tara swords_INTERIOR_Glossed & Found

They say that smell is the scent most connected with memory, with emotion; that it affects us at the deepest level. No one understands this better than TARA SWORDS, founder of the subscription-based fragrance discovery service OLFACTIF. “Even when I was a kid,” Tara says, “smells motivated me really strongly. I was obsessed with the idea of perfume.”

As her tastes—or smells, rather— matured and the idea for Olfactic crystallized, Tara realized she wanted to focus specifically on niche perfumes, rather than ones from mainstream fragrance houses, in the curated selection of trial size fragrances sent to subscribers each month.  (“Perfumes are churned out of these mega-conglomerates at a frantic pace,” she says. “They’re focus-grouped until all the life and creativity is sucked out. [When] I stumbled onto the world of niche perfume, I was mesmerized.”)

And through Olfactif, Tara is putting out a really good message about doing things for yourself—a surprisingly healthy concept. “You don’t listen to a certain kind of music because you think some guy is going to find it really hot; or choose to read certain authors because you think they’ll make you seem more attractive,” she says. “Why should you entertain your sense of smell any differently? Great perfumes can bring joy into your life in the same way that any other art form can.”

With all these sumptuous scents at her fingertips, Tara can’t pick just one. “For winter, I love Cuirelle by Ramon Monegal,” she says. “And for spring, I love Seville a l’Aube by L’Artisan Parfumeur.”


ART OF GOOD LIVING_guide header

for Tara
HEALTHY LIVING: Bibimbap at En Hakkore, Bucktown—“Ask for the sweet and spice sauce, it’s incredible.”  |  Brunch at Kingsbury Cafe  |  Meditation—“It’s a worry-slayer.”  |  Hiking

BEAUTY SPOTS: Massage at Urban Oasis  |  Haricut at Kovo Salon  |  Manicure at Spa Space  |  Cosmetics from Sephora—“Where makeup is concerned, it’s hard to beat Sephora for variety.”

BEAUTY TREND I’M SO OVER: Gel manicures with UV lights, and tanning—“Are we over that yet?”

plus watch Tara sound off and spritz in our ART OF GOOD LIVING film: