Petra Nemcova Spills Her Jet-Lag Secrets, Is A Scent Guru



Petra4_mainPhoto: Courtesy of Petra Nemcova.
Every time another celebrity line launches, we've gotta confess to rolling our eyes a little. "Are they really involved with the product at all?" we often wonder. But, in the case of supermodel and activist Petra Nemcova, the answer is a wholehearted yes — the (absolutely charming) gal knows her stuff. A world traveler for both fashion and charity work (she had just finished a whirlwind trip of 10 countries in 10 days), Nemcova pulled inspiration for her luxury candle line, Be The Light, from her six favorite places, including Spain, Haiti, and the good ol' U.S.A., and worked at the ground level to help craft her line's distinct fragrances. We sat down over high tea to discuss scent chemistry, travel inspiration, and the jet-lag combatant she swears by.

You are so passionate about scents. Why specifically a candle line?
Scents make you travel in the fastest way — more than hearing. So, if you experience this candle at home and then bring it to your holiday, you will remember that. Or, if you smell a scent while traveling, it brings you back to that destination or memory.

The line is all about creating a warm, memory-filled abode. Where is home for you right now?
I moved to Haiti at the beginning of this year permanently [and] had been going back and forth a lot before. It’s the place where I feel the happiest and most alive — where I recharge. I’m still a gypsy, but that’s home. I just did 10 countries in 10 days. After that, I was a little bit shaken because my body was like, “What are you doing to me?!”

Tell us about this beautiful packaging.
My co-founder of Be The Light, Kristian, did all the designs, and they are actually hand-drawn in gold and based off old maps. Every candle is like a snowflake since it is hand-drawn; it has that element of uniqueness. When you get three, you can connect them to be a whole map and make a statement piece.

What was the scientific, technical side of creating the candles like?
I was working with fragrance masters here in New York. It was like escaping to another world, like Alice in Wonderland but with a positive, happy environment. I was like, "Can I stay in it forever?" The Czech Christmas one was very fast. They baked cookies and captured the essence and only added a few notes to make it spicier.

How does all your inspiration from your travels translate to your own home?
The final touches are made with treasures from my travels or expressions of a local artisan or artist. These special treasures create the uniqueness of each room, making me feel enriched and connected to rest of the world.

Do you have secret beauty tricks?
Because the candles are soy-based, when I blow it out, I put the hot wax on my hands, and it becomes like a moisturizer with a perfume mask.

Do you have any favorite beauty products for when you’re on the go?
I can't travel without and live without the Moisture Surge overnight mask from Clinique. It's my secret weapon against dry skin from traveling. Vitamin C oil is a wake-up call for my travel-tired skin, and All About The Eyes from Clinique is great at any time of day. 

Jet lag must be a beast. How do you deal with it?
The best way, and I swear by it, is sea salt. When you land, take a bath with it. Sometimes when you travel, you feel like you are there, but your spirit is somewhere in between continents. You’re drowsy and still in a different place. Our bodies are mostly made of water, so it's the salt that makes us land. If you stay in a bath for less than 15 minutes, it energizes you, but if you stay for longer, it relaxes you, and you're ready for bedtime. I usually fall asleep in the bath!