In Fiore $115
How this blender, perfumer, world traveler, and student of anthroposophy captured the natural skin care market with a luxury POV.
Written By JAYME CYK
VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers for their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit. Here, we talk to the founder of In Fiore, Julie Elliott.
A globetrotting devotee of natural materials, Julie Elliott is the perfect blend of spiritual and irreverent. Her luxurious green beauty brand, In Fiore, is no exception.
The San Francisco-based founder has always had a keen eye for beauty. Her mother, a distributor of French cosmetics, passed along her appreciation for the industry to Elliott. “I was one of those teenagers that would shop at all the pharmacies. I was obsessed with products, especially natural ones,” she says. “It was the seventies in Los Angeles, and I was reading everything [on plant healing] that I could get my hands on. This was pre-internet, so I had to rely on books and my teachers. I started with the fundamentals of plants, their basic healing properties, and how they were used throughout history.”
While working in New York in the fashion industry, Elliott wanted to move past beauty as a hobby and turn it into a career. She started experimenting with formulas and studied with the Australasian College of Herbal Studies. “A big part of the curriculum was around essential oils,” she says. “ We would dig into the constituents and what each ingredient contributes to a material.” Elliott began blending while living in New York, moved to San Francisco in 1998, and launched In Fiore in 1999. “I started crafting what is now our body balm while I was living in New York,” she says. “The body balm is probably our most couture product because it is all about energy. It has such a great texture and consistency.”
Inspired by old-world apothecaries and alchemists, Elliott honed her aesthetic by 18th-century formulas and updating them via In Fiore’s mantra of perfumery as medicine. “The skin is a sense organ. It has the same olfactory receptors that exist in our nose. When certain molecules connect to these olfactory receptors, they initiate a healing process. I see healing as starting with smell.”
In 2016, Asia’s leading manufacturer and distributor Albion took notice of Elliott’s unique point of view and asked her to collaborate on an exclusive collection. The offering, originally only available in Japan, was a marriage of tradition and innovation, pairing In Fiore’s botanical blends with Albion’s breakthrough technologies. Last year, Elliott brought the line over to the states. This partnership clearly exemplifies Elliott’s business style, which she describes as intuitive. “Have a clear vision as to why you’re entering the beauty space and what you’re bringing to the industry,” she says. “Have an open mind, stay transparent, and be willing to adapt quickly. Perspective drives everything. When I started In Fiore, my dream was to bring natural beauty to the luxury market because it just didn’t exist—look where we are today! A win for one woman is a win for all. Let’s keep it coming.”
What is the atmosphere of your bedroom?
The entire room is painted a dark indigo inspired by these incredible 18th-century geisha houses I visited in Kanazawa, Japan. It’s furnished with modern Eileen Gray pieces and flowers—I always have fresh flowers in my room. The atmosphere is complete soothing tranquility. It’s my sanctuary.
Please describe your bed and your favorite thing about it.
I have a low-platform, minimalist-style bed with all warm-white bedding in fine cotton and linens—it’s all about tactile appeal and hypoallergenic pillows. I also love Slip’s silk pillowcases.
What time do you wake up?
I wake up between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m.
How many hours of sleep do you require?
I get seven hours of sleep no matter what.
Any bedside beauty essentials?
Next to my bed is always a liter of water, homeopathic remedies, my In Fiore Veloutée lip balm, lab samples, In Fiore solid perfumes, flowers, and a stack of books.
Do you drink coffee or tea, eat breakfast?
I’m an espresso kind of gal. Every morning I have half a liter of room temperature water with lemon, and a short Americano. I rarely eat breakfast since I started intermittent fasting—it has changed my life. I have so much more energy and mental bandwidth.
Do you work out in the a.m.?
Realistically, not so much. Every morning I dry-brush and take a shower alternating hot and cold water to boost circulation and move the lymph.
What makeup and products do you use on a daily basis?
I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup. I set a nice glowy and plumped foundation or base with my skin care regime. Then I use NARS Creamy Concealer sparingly to even out my skin tone and bring lightness to dark areas, a kohl eyeliner in black or copper, black mascara, a touch of pink blush, and a matte red lip.
What’s your hair situation in the a.m.?
I have my hair washed and blown out twice a week. At night, I apply a light moisturizer or oil to the ends to control dryness and frizz, then I use a Slip scrunchie to do a loose top knot. In the morning my hair is soft and has some nice volume.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
What business do you conduct before 10:00 a.m.?
Before 10 a.m., I conduct east coast and international correspondence.
What time do you head to your office?