L.A. Beauty Guru Ron Robinson Spills On Beachy Scents, The Smell of Each R29 City, & More

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apothia-2Apothia's Ron Robinson is a majorly big deal. Any Angeleno knows his brand and boutiques, pretty much all of America is familiar with L.A. mainstay Fred Segal — where Robinson used to be Vice President — and he's garnered a cult following with his superbly selected beauty haven, Apothia. And the house brand, known for its beautiful packaging and Fragrance Foundation-approved interior scents, is one of our personal favorites. So obviously, we jumped at the chance to team up with Robinson to offer a hand-selected trifecta of his soy and paraffin candle sets, and then also lucked into the opportunity to talk to the Los Angeles icon about why he picked each scent for Refinery29. What do Refinery readers smell like, you ask? Ron has some ideas, but if you want to smell for yourself — or take an exquisite olfactory vacay — scoop these three exclusives (which are in extremely limited quantity) at our Holiday Edition hub. A perfect gift for any well-assembled home…including yours.

Why did you choose these three particular scents to package together?   
"I personally selected Wave, Bronzed and Soul for Refinery29 because they are three of our top selling home interior fragrances, honored with Interior Scent of the Year from the Fragrance Foundation."   

Why do these three work well as a trio? 
"Begin with Wave, reminiscent of mornings in a Malibu beach house, with sun, sparkle and pure salt air. Next head to the beach with Bronzed, which evokes groves of gold, bronzed bodies, and a sun-kissed day in the City of Angels. After soaking in the rays, take yourself to a sultry jazz bar with Soul. Imagine an intimate room, alive with energy." 

Can you pair each of these with a Refinery29 city?
"Wave takes me to San Francisco, where the salty smell of ocean air mixes with energizing grapefruit. Bronzed captures the sexiness and sunshine of Los Angeles. The soft blend of jasmine, orange flower, and petit grain reminds us of the sun sinking into our skin. Soul is perfectly suited for Chicago, like an oaken jazz club filled with the rich scent of mahogany and Tamboti wood."

Which scent would you choose for setting the atmosphere at a holiday party?
"Put on some Billy Holliday, mix up martinis and light your Soul candle to transform your space into a jazz bar."

What about a night meant for unwinding?
"Bronzed evokes a private beach with the sun in the sky, a gentle breeze in your hair and some hot guy/girl massaging of sunscreen."

Can you share any sneaky tricks for anyone who's hoping to host a holiday party this season?
"Light a row of Apothia candles and dim the lights. The patented halo will glow with warmth. If you’re worried about the combination of an open flame and clumsy guests, place your candles inside glass vases — like the ones you get from the florist."

What is your favorite scent of all time? The one that you can never get tired of smelling?
"Wave. How could you ever tire of smelling fresh ocean air?"

What was on your moodboard when you created each of these scents?
"I found inspiration for the entire collection from the fashion, progressive culture, sunshine, and energy of Los Angeles, a city that has been a vital part of my life. Specifically, Wave was inspired by a morning at a beach house. I woke up, poured myself a glass of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and then stepped out on the balcony. I wanted to create something that incorporated the salty air and crisp citrus notes. Similarly, Bronzed was inspired by a walk on the beach. I love the nostalgic scent of a certain French sunscreen I wore in the ’70s. And then Soul is the fragrance interpretation of a jazz club. You have the rich warm scents of wood representing the piano, bass and drums. Then, like a clear voice, crisp ginger cuts through."


An Apothia votive, to you, means...
"...a candle that blends art, luxurious ingredients and world-class craftsmanship."

How did you get into this retail/beauty world?  And how did Apothia the brand develop? 
"I have been discovering and cultivating new brands for over three decades since founding Apothia, the exclusive Los Angeles apothecary.  With the company’s prestigious location in Melrose Avenue’s ivy-covered Fred Segal enclave, Apothia is famous for attracting a constant stream of A-list celebrities and global trendsetters desiring the best in beauty. The boutique’s sharply edited assortment boasts some of the most exclusive and sought-after products in the world along with debuting innovative new brands. In 2006, I wanted to create a line of aromatic candles that combined modern, sleek design and fragrance with the highest quality ingredients. As a result, the entire collection was honored with the prestigious Interior Scent of the Year Award by the Fragrance Foundation. (The other nominees were Bottega Venetta of Italy, L’Artisan Parfumer of France, Crabtree and Evelyn of U.K. and Bond #9 of NYC.) The award, known as the FIFI, is the fragrance industry’s highest honor, equivalent to the Oscars."