Hi, Victoria here!
Thanks for visiting our blog :)
We thought it’d be nice to start from the beginning, so you can learn a little more about us and why we started LOHN.
Kat and I actually know each other from high school, we were two years apart. We went to the same university and graduated with degrees in Chemical Engineering. Those were 4 of the wildest and most gruelling years, we still both have nightmares about not passing some courses!
Anyway, after graduating, we both knew that the traditional roles one would pursue in the engineering field just weren’t for us. We both love the world of beauty and we enjoyed our time in the chemistry labs at Queen’s, we just had to figure out how to put the two of them together.
I was so lucky to fall into a job where I got to experience the world of cosmetic formulation and manufacturing. I was able to work with phenomenal brands like Byredo and Le Labo, raw material suppliers, packaging designers, buyers, production teams, R&D chemists -- the list goes on! I was obsessed, I finally found something I couldn’t get enough of and I knew I’d be in this industry forever! Afterwards, I pursued my ‘dream job’ for L’Oreal in Sales & Marketing -- and it really was. I can’t tell you how awesome it was to work alongside so many wonder women. We really do run the world.
Kat took off to France to pursue a Masters in Cosmetics and Fragrance in Versailles at Guerlain’s Perfumery School, ISIPCA. If you’ve never heard of Guerlain, he’s basically the godfather of perfumery. She’s a walking encyclopedia when it comes to perfumery. Anything you want to know about it, ask Kat! After her graduation, she landed a gig at Estee Lauder, working in R&D for brands like MAC and Tom Ford.
Since we left Queen’s, Kat & I kept in touch for six years (we mostly discussed our job situations and big dreams), until finally one day - June 29, 2016 to be exact - we connected and had the same idea to start our own thing. We spent months thinking about what we wanted our brand to stand for. We share an obsession for candles, scent, and its nostalgic powers and ability to transport you to another time and place! It didn’t take long to figure out what we were going to start with.
We went through some pretty kooky concepts before finally landing on LOHN, a name that means ‘scent’ in Estonian and ‘reward’ in Old High German. A huge inspiration for LOHN was our backgrounds (I’m Polish and Kat is half Estonian and half Lithuanian) and an ancient trade route that crossed these countries called the amber road. The amber road was used to trade amber, a fossilized resin and medium of exchange during antiquity, and it connected the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic. This is where the idea to design our scent collections came from. Having never travelled this road, we imagined the scents of the mountains, seas, forests and fields along the journey. Then with Kat’s perfumery expertise, we got to work on our clean, complex scents.
Over two years, we researched and tested tons of different types of waxes, wicks, vessels - you name it. We worked with industry experts along the way and after hundreds of iterations, we finalized our scents and formulations. Meanwhile, our friend Joanna was working on the coolest packaging design ever! The final product was well worth the wait. A clean, organic coconut & soy wax candle packaged in a recyclable glass and carton. Not to mention, it’s totally non-toxic, and made with a lead-free, cotton core wick.
LOHN launched in 2018 with four candles. We’re inspired by the road less travelled and our scents are designed to remind you of moments in time. That’s what we create, scents that you remember and keep with you on your journey.
We’ve hand poured our candles in Toronto since day one, starting in my apartment. But hey, apparently Guerlain built his perfume laboratory in his apartment, so who knows where this journey will take us ;)