Scent has always had an empowering nature, especially for women. Slathering yourself in your favourite body wash during your morning shower can act as armour against the day's events; it uplifts your mood in a way that you feel like anything is possible. Smelling the scent of your body oil on your skin can give a small, but necessary moment of joy. It may be menial, but these small moments are part of many that'll decipher our mood that day.

The power of scent is something that cult bath brand, Sister & Co truly appreciate. With their products designed to initiate a pause and moment of reflection when using, their ethos affirms how beneficial smell can be. Their newest venture – three candles in their signature scents: Myrtle, Rosa and Holly – continue the brand's aromatherapeutic tendencies, while also praising womanhood, with three different artists creating unique artwork, of that theme, for each candle. As well as empowering female creatives, the brand is contributing to female empowerment in the capital city. With every sale of each candle £1 goes to Solace Women's Aid,  a charity that offers refuge, advice and support to women and children in London escaping domestic violence or abuse.

We spoke to Allegra Parlavecchio, the first artist to have her illustrations decorating the candles, about how scent and creativity play into womanhood.

How does your artwork empower women?
My humble way of empowering women through my work is by creating a feeling of relatability. For the longest time, women were not represented as real human beings on social media: their feelings were muted and all their flaws and quirkiness were erased. Of course, there is still a long and tough road ahead of us, but it’s incredible to me how the perception of women shifted in comparison to when I was growing up. I longed for a moment when I could just relate to someone else’s everyday life – where common feelings, thoughts, worries, dreams, are portrayed. I just try to create something past-me would’ve connected with, hoping a present-someone-else could do the same. 
The way I see it, by depicting everyday life’s feelings, my illustrations allow women to bond over something, even if it’s minuscule, even if it’s abstract. When the feeling of togetherness grows, women grow stronger and more empathic, and I’m happy to be giving my, ever so small, contribution to that. 

What inspires your creativity? Does scent play into that?
My main inspiration comes from the little things and the little joys of everyday life. The feeling of the first sip of tea in the morning, a baby leaf on the plant you forgot to water, a new pair of socks, a text from a friend, a walk in the park, a fragrance that reminds you of your childhood.
Scents are incredible triggers of memories and feelings. Often, I find that my mind gets lost in endless thoughts when smelling a familiar scent. I enjoy the mental journey we make when trying to put a finger on what that scent reminds us of and the feeling of victory when we finally find our answer. This seemingly common mechanism usually sparks a new creative idea.

How do the scents of these candles connect with the artwork you designed for it? 
These 3 beautiful scents translated immediately into 3 different personalities and characters in my mind.

ROSA is sweet, playful, and refreshing. She likes to make the most of her life. For this, I depicted a group of tiny flower-women letting their hair down and embracing the world around them.

HOLLY is pure and adventurous. She likes to surround herself with nature. In this artwork, a single woman is portrayed, bare-skinned, and one with Mother Nature.

MYRTLE is interesting, friendly, and lively. She likes to always have company. This illustration sees two women, sharing the joy of being with one another. 

Shop the candles here.

Photography by Ena Andjelkovic.

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