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Check Out Carolyn Dunne Repp’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carolyn Dunne Repp.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started studying individual scent ingredients as a hobby in 1997 while working full-time in scholarly publishing. Dabbling in essential oils led me to craft therapeutic body care products while studying for a certificate in aromatherapy.

The aroma eventually eclipsed the therapy, though, and I found myself researching all I could on perfume. At the time, the internet was nothing more than a business directory, so I relied on ordering obscure texts by phone and buying oils, absolutes, and resins from every company I could find.

I started selling my products in 2001 mainly as a way to fund my expensive perfume-ingredient habit! Traveling to Grasse, France, the world capital of perfume, helped me learn more about and train under master perfumers (“noses”) in the larger industry. But I didn’t turn my business into a full-time gig until my midlife crisis kicked in, telling me IT project management wasn’t really my calling

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I opened a storefront in Downtown Cary in 2015 on the Field of Dreams premise: “If you build it, they will come.” To my naïve shock, I soon discovered not everyone was as obsessed with scent as I was and—even more upsetting—owning a business is 80% running it and only 20% actually doing the thing you opened the business to do.

On the combined advice of several mentors over the past few years, I’ve taken a more objective look at why clients come to my studio and the feelings they take away from their experience making a custom scent with me. The answers changed my whole outlook on my business, and on my role in it.

I now know what Escentuelle provides is less about composing a perfume, and more about the empowering experience of choosing individual scents that add up to a full expression of who my clients are. That makes them feel as unique and precious as the fine French eau de parfum in the bottle they bring home.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
One of my clients brought her boyfriend to create a custom scent and, at a certain point in the process, she exclaimed: “This is where she does her magic!”

Being a perfumer in and of itself is rare, but what I’ve come to realize is that a lot of the “magic” I offer my clients rises from a deeper knowledge than what I learned from books and bottles. The more I tap into how a client wants to feel when wearing their custom scent, the more my intuition leads me to just the right ingredients in the right proportions.

Likewise, the more clearly I envision what I truly want in life, the more I find myself making intuitive decisions that guide me toward it.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
Those interested in having a fully personalized custom perfume experience, or stylists and transformational coaches considering a collaboration, can set up a call via

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