As far as we’re concerned, Nicole Miller is an alchemist, changing incense from smelly sticks we associate with college dorm rooms to truly covetable pyres, served up in charming gold tins. Nicole didn’t set out to create a line of fragrances, though—she just found a hole in the market while running a super-popular Seattle boutique. But now that the shop’s doors have closed (“Who wants to have the same job for 10 years?” she asks), Nicole spends her time conjuring up scents with the brand’s lead perfumer Aaron Way, who became obsessed with the idea while working at the Blackbird store and started experimenting alongside Nicole in their spare time.
Starting this new chapter might have been more daunting if Nicole wasn’t so down for exploration...and a little weirdness. Case in point: Blackbird’s offerings include Pipe Bomb, which is a teeny bit reminiscent of an explosion (but a harmless one!); Hallow, which calls to mind the smells wafting from swinging church censers; and Ploom, inspired by “the perfect family in their perfect home where everyone smells beautiful and all secrets are brushed under the rug.” But don’t worry: Nothing in the label’s collection of perfumes, incenses, or bath products is ever too on-the-nose. —Lauren Elizabeth