Starting a business in Scranton, in today’s economic climate, was “terrifying,” according to Alchemy owner and operator, Stacy Giovannucci, but she says that the “iceberg” is starting to thaw and leave room for local start-ups to grow, and that she is happy with the niche her company has found. Alchemy provides consumers an opportunity to create their own personal “scent story,” a memory or favorite smell in a wearable, natural perfume or in non-toxic cleaning products for the home.
It all started with a “lifelong obsession” with perfume. Now, Giovannucci uses her creativity to share her appreciation of fragrance and fascination with natural perfumes. Andrea McGuigan, also of Alchemy, recalls walking into Giovannucci’s apartment pre-Alchemy and seeing hundreds of perfume bottles lining her shelves. Since Giovannucci started her business three years ago, her collection may not have dwindled, but it has definitely become more personalized.
The personal nature of aroma seems clear when the ladies of Alchemy explain how their scents are not synthetic, allowing a bouquet to evolve depending on the time of day, the wearer’s PH, hormones, and emotions. The “scent trail,” or “sillage,” left by chemical fragrances in the wake of the wearer does not occur with Alchemy’s non-chemical perfumes. Also, allergy sufferers, rejoice! Both Giovannucci and McGuigan report that their severe allergies are unaffected by the natural, non-toxic scents.
While Alchemy does not sell body products, the company does produce scents, cleaners, and “oddities,” including beard oil and moustache wax. There are some premade scents, such as Batten Down the Hatches, a wearable ocean smell, or the purchaser can customize their own scent. One can fill out a questionnaire that includes inquiries about favorite color and movie, or request a specific memory or moment. Giovannucci recalls one patron describing his idea for a scent: wearable machine oil, paper, and sweat. The noses at Alchemy will not quit until the scent is approved. Some fragrances use up to 100 ingredients and take a week or so to complete. You can expect your custom order in two to three weeks, from the final click of the mouse to your home.
Alchemy products are available for sale online at AlchemyHomeCompany.com, where you can even purchase samples, or at pop-up boutiques and shows around the area (keep a lookout for events and pop-ups listed on the website), such as Handmade Holiday on the Square in downtown Scranton on December 6. Also on December 6, Alchemy will be showcased at Lavish, for First Friday, where art walkers can experience a blended perfume bar from 6pm – 9pm. For the holidays, Alchemy offers gift certificates for your gift-giving needs.