A couple months back, I made my first ever purchase from Southern Comforts (linked), not knowing what to expect. I went the opposite direction and bought the scrub and dry shampoo, instead of a perfume. I did get 2 samples of some Hamilton perfumes, but since I have so many perfumes from Harvey Prince, I didn't want to invest in a new brand.
Well alas, I ended up caving and got 2 new perfumes for my collection. The limited edition one for Moonpie's birthday, and Kentucky Harvest. Moonpie's pin and perfume come out the 4th of this month at noon. I highly suggest picking this up, I can't stop smelling the perfume. But enough about that, let's get to know Allison, the lovely creator of this brand.
As most people know, Southern Comforts is an alcoholic beverage, is that where the name came from? And if not, tell us how it came about.
I wanted something related to the South. I'm from there, I do my academic research there, and it's a special region to me. I have a lot of olfactory memories of my time in the Southern states, and I knew from the start that I wanted to recreate some of those scents. When I was trying to think of a name, Southern Comforts popped into my head. It's catchy because most people know of the booze, and it also relates to my original theme!
You make perfumes, scrubs, dry shampoo, body wash, shaving cream...you name it, you probably have it. Out of all of those, which one is the most difficult and which one is the easiest?
Making samples suuuucks. It's incredibly tedious and we have to make hundreds every month. As soon as we get settled in Indiana, I am hiring a student to just bust out a ton of them one day every month. Easiest is definitely roll-on fragrances. It's just squirting things into a bottle and capping it. Funny that the easiest and the hardest are so similar in nature.
You have an extensive amount of smell options, which is YOUR personal favorite and why?
Woof. That's like asking me to pick a favorite pet! Hmmmm. I wear Coat of Many Colors the most right now, but I always go back to Baby Cakes. I just love smelling like cake and flowers.
How did you get into making handmade stuff?
I am one of those super type A people who just always has to be productive. I think it relates to having pretty severe anxiety. I've had a billion crafty hobbies over the years, and none ever stuck until I discovered perfumery. One day last spring I ordered some individual fragrance notes and started playing with them, and I just fell in love.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live, and why?
Vietnam! We visited there for just over a month right before we got married, and we just fell in love with it. The food is amazing, it's so beautiful, and the people are wonderful. They make this fried bread topped with sesame seeds that's lightly sweet, and I have dreams about it still.
What are 5 things on your bucket list?
Going to India, running a rescue for special needs pets, writing a book about food (not a cookbook, but something like The Omnivore's Dilemma), going to all of the Disney parks, and getting a tattoo of Dolly Parton from Nikko Hurtado.
You truly care about the animals, what made you be cruelty free and vegan?
I can't justify hurting animals for superficial reasons. It just isn't okay for me personally. I know not everyone feels that way, and I respect that each person has their own path, but I just want to avoid harming critters as much as possible.
What are some of your favorite indie shops?
I love this question! I am all about supporting my fellow creators! I love Darling Girl, Femme Fatale, and My Pretty Zombie for makeup. For wax tarts, Ten Digit Creations, Scoopable Wax, and The Bathing Garden. Darling Clandestine is an amazing perfumery with really unique, evocative scents. Humble Pride Glass makes cute blown glass items. Comet Vomit makes the best nail polish, and I'm not just saying that because I love the owner like a sister. Hmmmm, I am sure I am forgetting some...
Do you think the Hamilton cast on Broadway would like and rock your products? Better yet, Hamilton himself?
Oh my gosh that would be amazing! I did really try to capture the actors' portrayals of the characters when making the line. I totally think Lin would rock Just You Wait, and I could definitely picture Leslie Odom Jr. in Wait For It.
Lastly, what is something you'd tell yourself 5 years ago?
Get help. Untreated mental illness is no joke, and there are resources for those who need care but can't afford it.
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Allison through the cruelty free/vegan community and I am so thankful. Southern Comfort Fragrances is Leaping Bunny approved, and Melissa approved. She also does custom perfumes, so if you want to come up with your own concoction, I highly recommend her.
Allison has also offered the readers a coupon code of 15% off, CODE: MELISSA. This can be used whenever, no expiration date, but cannot be combined with any other coupons or during sales.