Meet Nina Lily Kim
Nina Lily Kim is the creator behind From Nina, a fragrance studio based in Auckland, New Zealand. She dreams up bespoke fragrances of the finest quality. You can take a look at her delectable candle range here.
Tell us a bit about how From Nina came to be
I have always had this deep fascination and obsession with fragrances. Ever since I was young, I would try to create new scents that I imagined by mixing fragrance oils and experimenting. My mum even said she remembers me drawing my own perfume bottle designs from when I was around 10 years old, so it was meant to be!
What are some things you need to have around you to feel inspired and happy at work?
My ideal workspace has a From Nina Perfumed Candle burning (usually Pâtisserie), occasionally fresh flowers (even better when peonies are in season) and my dog Charlie nearby. I also love having a cup of warm yuja tea, a traditional Korean citrus tea that's an absolute dream, especially in these cold winter months.
How would you describe your brand in 3 words?
Loving, classic and elegant.
Are there any aspects of the making of perfumed candles that are unique or interesting you'd like to share?
I think something that makes our Perfumed Candles truly unique and wonderful is that our fragrances are completely bespoke to us and made in the fragrance capital of the world, Grasse, France. We have designed each scent from scratch with our perfumer through countless samples. Making a New Zealand fragrance brand with bespoke fragrances from Grasse, where the big perfume brands source from, was a challenging way to start a small brand, but it's something we're so passionate about and think this is what makes our fragrances stand out. We also ensured our brand is certified vegan and cruelty-free from launch as this is very important to us.
What do you do to switch off when you're not working?
I love playing tennis, walking my dog Charlie, especially at the beach and taking long baths. I love these because they don't give me the headspace to think about work which I found is the key to truly switching off for me as my head will otherwise wander onto my next task.
Is there a particular scent that is your all-time favourite?
This is such a tricky question because it changes daily, as I love them all. If I had to pick, Pink Salt is just an absolute dream-come-true scent for me. When I was designing this scent with our perfumer Yves, I had such a clear vision for what I wanted it to be and honestly didn't know if we could make it a reality. I still remember receiving the final samples and thinking, "This is it! We finally did it!" It's hard to describe and create a unique scent that's just been sitting in my head and imagination, so I'm very thankful to our perfumer who stuck with us in perfecting Pink Salt into what it has become today.
Where is your favourite destination of all time and why?
My hometown is on the North Shore in Auckland, New Zealand. Every time I travel abroad and return home, I realise what a small yet wonderful place I live in, with stunning beaches on almost every corner.
This is definitely on par with South Korea, where my parents are from. It's such a beautiful country with a rich culture and amazing people. Despite not growing up there, I always feel so at home in South Korea and as soon as I leave, I always want to go back no matter how many times I visit.
Flo & Frankie is focused on showcasing brands that work hard to improve their business practices by reducing their impact on the environment, improving the livelihoods of all employees in their supply chain or giving back to the community around them. Is this something your brand does? If yes, can you share some details with us?
From the beginning of the brand, we wanted to ensure we were doing everything we could to be socially and environmentally conscious and responsible. All our products are PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free, and we aim to make our packaging components as sustainable as possible. Though small steps, our boxes are FSC Certified recyclable boxes that come from responsibly managed forests and are designed to be fully recyclable. We aim to avoid single-use plastic by shipping all our packages using paper tape, cardboard boxes, paper void fill, and Eco-Alliance tissue paper. There's so much more we want to do to improve our sustainability strategy, and this is something we're working on, so stay tuned to see these happen soon.
What are some go-to or hidden gems in your area?
A definite dining go-to is Kingi, a sustainable seafood restaurant in Britomart. Everything about the dining experience is incredible, and their Wakame Tagliatelle dish is exquisite.
If I ever want to escape the hustle and bustle, Muriwai Beach on the West Coast is insanely beautiful. There's something about its large scale that just washes away the stresses and makes my problems which sometimes seem overwhelming, appear so small and insignificant, which is comforting.
What is your favourite quote?
You're never wrong to do the right thing - Mark Twain.
It reminds me to trust my gut on big decisions and always try to do the right thing and the good thing.
Check out our range of From Nina products here