a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
Artist Maria McElroy is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, where she completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting in 1986. During her attendance there, she found herself captivated by Asian abstract paintings. She moved to Japan after completing her education and taught art and English at the Daiichi High School in Tokyo, Japan. McElroy had other interests while living in Japan, such as studying Kodo (the ancient art of fragrance), Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), Koto (Japanese harp), Shiatsu massage, Japanese tea ceremony and finally Zen Buddhism, solidifying her appreciation for Japanese culture and aesthetics. These studies gave her a well-rounded experience for her future pursuits in perfumery. It was her experience with the Japanese incense ceremony that sparked her interests in perfumery. McElroy furthered her studies in Australia where she became a Certified Aromatherapist with the Queensland Institute of Natural Science.
McElroy found a way to blend her love of fine arts and perfumery.
“Blending fragrances in a bottle is like mixing colors on a palette,” says McElroy. “The scent becomes pigment, the body becomes the canvas. The nose responds to scent like the eye to color.”
McElroy’s Japanese journey culminated with the creation of her company ‘Aroma M’ in 1998. The idea for the company is purely artisanal, based on ancient Eastern fragrance traditions. Since the Eastern convention is based on beauty being a daily responsibility, Aroma M finds this an inspiration, offering unexpected ingredients such as lychee with rose, and white chestnut blossom with muguet. Aroma M wraps up the concept with a truly unique packaging created of Japanese Yuzen papers, handcrafted in Kyoto.
Another aspect of the Aroma M company is Aroma M Atelier. This is old world perfumery tradition at its best, mixed with a bit of contemporary art and fragrance creation, all presented in the artist district of DUMBO, Brooklyn. All of the fragrances found there are created and packaged by hand. You will also find the full collection of Geisha Perfumes and other Aroma M products as well.
McElroy also found time for a little romance while in Japan, where she met her Tokyo-born husband, artist and co-founder of Aroma M, Shinya Yokota. McElroy and her husband reside in New York.