Body & Mind Inside Our Brands

Fragrance 101 with the creator of Ellis Brooklyn

Bee Shapiro

Ellis Brooklyn was created by Bee Shapiro, a chic Williamsburg mom who happens to be a style columnist for The New York Times. These sophisticated, multilayered scents, created by the perfumer behind Byredo, take non-toxic fragrance to a new level. We wanted to get a little Fragrance 101, and she was the first resource we thought of. Here’s some guidance from Bee to help you find the perfect scent, along with an inside peek at her scent creation process and what we can expect to see next.


Ayla: How do you suggest shopping for a new fragrance?

BEE: I like to start with what you have loved before — one or two scents that resonated with you at some point but you're ready to move on from. Then you take a look at those scents and what you loved about them. You can work from there and try a few things in those categories, or range out but keep a few of the notes you know you respond to. 


Ayla: How do you suggest choosing a Body Milk or an EDP?

BEE: It really depends on your lifestyle. A body milk is subtler, so if you're planning on using your fragrance during the day when you're at work, maybe it’s a good choice for you. An Eau de Parfum, on the other hand, can give you a greater experience of the scent. EDPs also travel really well because they have maximum impact in a concise format.

Personally, I wear body milk during the day when I'm at work and EDP at night. I think of scent as a 24-hour thing, from the smell of your sheets to a whiff of your baby in the morning to the perfume you wear in the day.


Ayla: Would the Body Milk of one of your fragrances smell different on skin than an EDP?

BEE: Yes! Body milks have fat content to them (like a body oil would), so notes that usually have poor longevity tend to read better-- like citrus, light florals etc. Also, I find scents read slightly warmer in body milks.


Ayla: Tell us about the creation process behind the Ellis Brooklyn scents. When do you decide to create a new one? What does that process look like?

BEE: The scents are all very personal for me. Because I've reviewed and tried so many fragrances as the New York Times beauty columnist for the last 8 years, when I start the creation process, it's always about creating something that I haven't been able to find the perfect version of.

The process begins as a conversation with my perfumer. I have my ideas, but I also love to discuss ingredients. Which ingredient has a great sustainability program? What's interesting to him now? It's a collaboration more than anything. Then he'll send me compositions and we go back and forth on feedback.


You can't go wrong with any of the scents in her Ellis Brooklyn lineup. Want to try one out first? Request a sample of the Body Milk or EDP of your choice using our Custom Sample Service, or start with their excellent sampler set, Chronicle.

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