queer af's inspiration comes from the person that i love with my whole being: my WIFE! since i met darline (she/they), she has always dressed masculine, had short hair and got mens cuts at the barber shop. they love wearing cologne and is sweet enough to let me pick out cologne sometimes! and because i love it when she wears cologne, i wanted to make this scent more 'masculine' because who doesn't want a candle that smells woodsy and a little sexy? i named this scent queer af because it's a bold statement, and this scent is bold and bright. in this collection, i wanted there to be a variety of scents and i decided on queer af to be a woodsy scent that anyone will fall in love with. this scent has been such a hit at the tower grove farmers market so far!
born this way:
fun fact: when i attended my very first pride parade, i went with my uncle. i drove to his house and then he drove us down to the parade. and on my way to his house and on the way back to mine, i rolled down the windows and blared born this way by lady gaga. the inspiration for born this way is not only because of that memory, but this scent with summery, tropical notes just felt like the right fit. growing up in the early 2000's was not the most accepting (but getting better) of the LGBTQ+ community and i had known only a handful of queer people. my uncle and his partner, my best friend from the 2nd grade had two moms, and a great uncle on my moms side. being gay was never talked about, but it was something i knew was a thing. i knew that i was born this way, and i knew that the people i knew were queer were born that way as well.
loud + proud:
now if you've been along for this ride with me since the beginning, you might recognize loud + proud from june 2020! loud + proud is a dupe for one of my favorite scents ever (rhymes with all-play-no) but it captures the exact same feeling i had at my VERY first pride parade. i was still closeted, but going with my uncle and seeing all of these beautiful people living so authentically and freely made me feel so hopeful and good. between the loud music, the beads flying, and the cheering from the crowd and from the parade i felt that a scent that is bright and juicy had to have a place in the pride collection! i named it loud + proud because so many people who were at the downtown st. louis pride in 2015 were so unapologetically themselves.
out of the closet:
out of the closet is a very fresh and clean scent. when deciding which scents i wanted my pride collection to have, i started to think about all of the scents that i didn't carry yet. and i didn't have a 'linen' scent yet, but had a billion samples of one that i wanted to offer- and i picked this one. think line-dried laundry on the beach, and because us queer folks are constantly coming out i felt that the name out of the closet was so fitting. the connection between a scent that smells like fresh laundry and the metaphorical closet felt spot on. whether or not you decide to come out or not is a decision that is completely up to you, and your identity is valid no matter what, and there is love for you no matter what.
love is love:
the inspiration for love is love comes from chosen family. whether you're part of the lgbtq+ community or not, we all have a chosen family; or a group of people that we've intentionally chosen to embrace, nurture, love and support regardless of blood or marriage. this scent reminds me of a home where i feel safe, loved, respected and important. it's sweet, buttery and cozy! and i decided to name it love is love because... love is love no matter who you share it with our how. it could be a romantic love or it could be a platonic love. and i wanted this scent to represent the various people we love.
if you made it this far, congratulations! sappho is the last scent from the pride collection, and the inspiration for this one is also a personal one. as a feminine-presenting lesbian, i understand that because of society's perception of me is different than my wife's for example. when i say that i'm married and people ask, "oh what does your husband do?" and i have to correct them, or the times people have said to me "oh, you're gay?!" because i don't look like whatever stereotypical verson of a lesbian looks like. i wanted a scent that would celebrate the wlw community and sapphics everywhere- no matter how we present, dress, style our hair, etc. sappho was an archaic greek poet, who is said to have been queer and she was from an island called Lesbos. both her name and the island she lived on are originations of female queerness. in the late 1920s, violets became associated with lesbianism, so i really thought it was perfect to have a scent that had strong notes of violet and would feel like an homage to a part of the lgbtq+ community that i'm part of.
so there it is- the inspiration behind the six scents of the pride collection! i hope that you're able to celebrate pride in a way that feels authentic to you, and i hope that any of these scents are the cherry on top! i would love to hear about your coming out story if you feel comfortable sharing- just tell me in the comments. have a safe and happy Pride month!