A smell you can’t quite figure out, but can’t get enough of either. Intoxicating in a good way. This is Strange Invisible. Their scents take you elsewhere, it’s hard to describe—something you just have to experience. Scent transports us to a certain time, place, memory—it’s usually nostalgic, think grandma’s chocolate chip cookies or the cologne your ex used to wear (yuck)! Poppy and Seed chatted with founder & creator Alexandra Balahoutis at her ultra-chic perfumery Strange Invisible on Abbot Kinney in Venice, Los Angeles.
You might think, great…perfume…who cares? I wear my favorite perfume every day, BUT have you ever considered the harmful toxic ingredients inside most generic perfumes? And you’re spraying that on your body? Breathing in and absorbing through the skin—it’s time we take a step back and rethink the conventional norms of beauty standards.
It’s been almost fifteen years since Strange Invisible’s humble organic beginnings when Alexandra spent hours experimenting with essential oils in her backyard lab. Surprisingly, she said, there’s actually very little science involved in creating her scents. Not giving her nose all the credit, it’s her hypersensitive perception that creates this finely tuned relationship with all the senses. A rare intuition.
Alexandra’s obsessed with blending essential oils to find the perfect scent. The woman had something to say, but could never find the right perfume to say it. So she created her own. Love it.
Strange Invisible tells a story with each scent—there’s meaning, feeling, spirit, life, and a whole lot of passion + inspiration behind everything! Very high standards about quality and resources might help just a little bit too.
Highest integrity in perfumery—end of story. Sustainable/natural while not being overly hippie/Ayurvedic—not only organic, but beyond it. Strange Invisible is super local (an overused word), but honestly this company is doing it! Their boxes aren’t shipped from China, instead it’s a ten-minute drive from their headquarters in Venice where they create, bottle, label, and ship everything.
They work with very specific age old distillery methods in extracting scents. It’s basically a specialized art form that takes a whole lotta of time + intention. A custom distilled esprit de Cognac alcohol from non-GMO, pesticide-free grapes blended with ethically sourced essential oils—your skin will thank you later! The purity of Strange Invisible scents shines through, maybe because Alexandra is a bit of a perfectionist, who would’ve stopped years ago if her product was anything less than absolutely amazing. She only works with people she knows and we love that she cares so deeply about what she’s doing.
The latest collection: Perfumes of the Zodiac. We are obsessed. I’m a Sagittarius, but my favorite scent is “Virgo The Exacting Romantic: Baked earth and palo santo reflect deep introspection and a dedication to nuance. Sparkling notes of neroli, temple mandarin, and rose speak to Virgo’s need for beauty and precision, sweetly quieting the critic.”
Naturals are just as good—wait no—way better than synthetics! Alexandra constantly shatters lackluster beliefs behind natural perfumes. She redefines scents, she seriously hates the fragrance wheel and most of her scents don’t belong in a category. Strange Invisible scents are super layered, out of the box, sophisticated, and less apologetic. They weave a narrative of our lives, they tell stories, bring back memories, and create new ones. They are so much more than perfumes, they are a part of who we are—they are identities. Whenever someone hugs us and says, “You smell amazing—what is that?” we can thank Strange Invisible perfume for creating unique scents that leave a lasting impression.