MVP caught up with luxury fragrance designer, Kim Spadaro. A Florida native, the luxury fragrance designer, has spanned the globe in search for what her soul has needed to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. What does one do after losing their best friend/mother to cancer, ending a 20-year marriage, playing single mom to 3 children, recovering from brain surgery, hitting a milestone birthday as a newly single woman of 50 and all while maintaining a worldwide fragrance empire in the making? Well to put it in Kim’s words “they EAT. PRAY. LOVE and they learn to LIVE OUT LOUD.”
MVP What fond memories of your childhood do you cherish that you can share with our readers?
KS As a young girl growing up in Florida, I was wonder-struck at the thought of traveling the globe. My youth was about exploring and discovering. From riding the surf at the beach, to the heat of the sun and warm, salty ocean, to sailing the rivers, I remember the scent of the river breeze billowing the white sails and the sound of the water lapping the hull of my family sailing boat with the aroma of freshly oiled teak wafting in the air. I remember blueberry picking and summers in Charleston South Carolina with my aunt, staying in an old plantation home with acres of land and gardens. I am curious and have the longing to explore… a bohemian alchemist, in search for what the world has to offer…
MVP How did Spadaro come about?
KS I started my brand out of a passion for aromatherapy and perfume. With no previous experience in the field, I started mixing drops of essential oils I would collect from previous trips abroad. I studied aromatherapy to become an aromatherapist. I loved using oils from plants to heal and to help give cancer patients an aromatic uplift to their symptoms. Some aid in easing nausea and anxiety. I experimented with home scents, creating individual home fragrances for friends and families. Once this became a demand, I knew I had something.
I have turned my wanderlust into real life exotic adventures, jet-setting the globe for inspiration… inadvertently encountering a few sensual experiences along the way, which led to beautiful friendships throughout my voyages. I want to inspire people; I want to transport them to places they have only dreamed of with journeys reflected in my beautiful collection of fragrances.
MVP Having made the decision to get into the perfume business what steps did you take to prepare yourself regarding experience and skill?
KS I embedded myself into hours or research, reading and making critical contacts in New York. I joined every organization you can imagine, got an apartment in NY So I could be close to Skaggs Design, who was working with my developing my website and packaging. I Networked as much as I could. Every day was a new day to concur.
MVP You made a healing scent called ‘Noche Del Fuego’ which you went on develop as a perfume, what inspired it and what does it mean?
KS Noche Del Fuego was developed from a sexy dance from the Island of Mallorca on the coast of Spain. Moonlit evening, candles everywhere and dark skinned Spaniards dance around a fire pit, I was pulled onto the stage to participate. It was a very sensual, erotic dance and thus became my “Nigh of Fire”, (Noche Del Fuego). It was never developed to be a healing scent, but a deeply spiritual scent that turned out to be an aphrodisiac, a lover’s potion.
MVP Amazingly, you have managed to bottle your travel experiences into perfume bottles. Which other perfumes have proven to be more popular and what was the inspiration behind the four Spadaro scents?
KS Every fragrance has its unique story and own destination. Noche Del Fuego has always been the staple of the brand, winning awards and remains Fragrance Connoisseur’s first choice.
Noche del Fuego, meaning “Night of Fire,” A hypnotizing scent inspired by ancient terraced landscapes and an encounter with Spanish fire dancers during an idyllic escape to Majorca.
Doux Amour, meaning “Sweet Love,” was developed while on a journey to Morocco. Inspired by lush desert blooms, the smooth finish of Moroccan wine, and a heated midnight dance contest under the desert stars.
Sole Nero, Sunny Italian Grapefruit is imbued with a precious spice accord of White Pepper and Cumin, enveloped by Musk and comforting notes of Sandalwood, Almond, and Vanilla. I re-discovered my Italian heritage while wandering the island and reminiscing with natives about her connection to the land. Sole Nero, Sunny Italian Grapefruit is imbued with a precious spice accord of White Pepper and Cumin, enveloped by Musk and comforting notes of Sandalwood, Almond, and Vanilla. I re-discovered my Italian heritage while wandering the island and reminiscing with natives about her connection to the land.
Beso Del Mar, meaning “Kiss of the Sea” is a fresh, clean light scent inspired by a trip to Cabo at Las Ventanas, gazing out at the sunset over the sea of Cortez.
MVP What would you say are the essential elements of the Spadaro brand?
KS I developed each scent based on my life experiences embedded in my heart. As an alchemist, it’s poetic to pull memories together in a scent, and create a work of art. Just as in art style, they are unique to me, and not mass market. I think of them as having a soul, life, and living purpose.
MVP You were a mother of three when you decided to follow your passion. How were you able to manage to be a wife, mother, and still travel all over the world?
KS My family has always traveled together. My children have explored and visited beautiful countries since they were young; they understand what it feels like to be a global citizen. My kids are also very proud of me, MOST OF THE TIME. We laugh and joke around all the time. Two are now adults, living and traveling on their own, and my youngest is my translator when I travel abroad. They share my wanderlust.
MVP What was it that allowed you to keep going after the divorce?
KS We all at some point end up with a fork in the road, having to make a decision that can change your world, your family, and your life. For me, that came a few years back. Divorce is never easy, but what it did for me is made me into my individual. The independent, empowered person I am today. I am proud of myself, for my accomplishments, the life I have created for my children and myself. I’m Taurean, the third-born child, and an extremely determined woman. My ex- husband and I get along very well and have great respect for each other. We are both free spirits, so that helps.
MVP Your passion leaned on your ability to smell, so are you able to share how you got through that setback of losing your sense of smell? What treatment did you seek after you started to lose your sense of smell?
KS Well, I didn’t lose my sense of smell. I didn’t realize anything was wrong. My symptoms were dizziness and extreme fatigue and my blood pressure was very high. So I went tot he emergency room, and there they performed a serious of tests and then a cat scan that revealed the brain mass. Unexpectedly, I was diagnosed with a benign tumor in the lining of the brain. Dr. Wharen and a multidisciplinary team of experts from The Mayo Clinic successfully removed the tumor and saved my olfactory nerve. As an alchemist-fragrance designer, this brain tumor could have impacted my sense of smell and taste and could have detoured my life, my passion, and well… my career.
MVP Can you say that the brain surgery was successful and that you are almost fully recovered?
KS Most certainly! A few residual side effects but nothing I think about often. My sense of smell is sharper and more intensified. I am unstoppable, and I continue my journey of healing, self-discovery, relationship building, and research throughout the globe.
MVP Would you like to tell the readers about the Spadaro Foundation that you founded and what led you to do so?
KS My philosophy of having a brand that gives back was at the heart of establishing “The Spadaro Foundation”. For each product sold in the line, 4% will go to the “Foundation” for allocation at year’s end. My involvement with various charities throughout the years and working with the local Woman’s Board for the Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital has awarded me first-hand experience of making a difference. Both domestic and abroad, SPADARO will reach out to those with greatest needs.
MVP Can you describe your relationship with your late mother and her influence on who you are today?
KS My mother is my Keeper. I get a lot of my drive from her. She is my inspiration, and she’s never far. She comes to me in unexpected ways…she watches over me throughout her travels. She passed on 1/11/11. She will forever encourage me.
MVP Tell us about a few people, even from other walks of life that have made an impact on you and whose work you admire..
KS Traveling the globe you encounter some interesting people. Everyone has something unique about themselves. I believe as individuals we learn from each other, even if your meeting lasts only minutes, there’s always something to absorb. My father is 81 and continues to work as a consultant for the FAA, he enjoys his work as much as I like mine, and he’s my number one supporter and fan. I more than admire him.
MVP Your life story is really colorful and inspiring! Do you have any plans to write a book or launch out into TV?
KS Funny you mention a book. Numerous people have told me I should write a book. I genuinely do enjoy writing; I have a journal of personal quotes that I keep up with and refer to often. My life is an open book, so literally, what you see is what you get. My journeys include love, laughter and friendships…they include adventures, escapades, and romances.
MVP What is your take on finding love after 50?
KS Finding love after 50… What is age anyway? If you take care of your health, your age will take care of you. Love can be described many different ways by many different people. I have experienced so much love throughout my journeys, friendships, romances, and family. But only one person has imprinted himself in me. I am in love… so deeply in love with a Frenchman. Who would have thought out of all the countries I have visited in my life; my heart would end up in Paris?
MVP Do you still paint?
KS I paint whimsical, similar to the McKenzie Child’s type painting. I sometimes stare at my paintings in a nostalgic moment and remember every stroke. I often wonder why it’s been years since I have picked up a paintbrush. But then I remember; the passion I have for my company is enormous and it takes over my life at times. But painting has always been a form of meditation, where I sink into the canvas and leave everything else behind. Before this year ends, I will pick up that paintbrush and start a new piece. I miss it.
MVP What have been the highlights of your career in the perfume business?
KS When I launched with Nordstrom in the US it took a great deal of time. It was probably the most trying time of my career to date. Though years later I pulled the Spadaro line from Nordstrom and drifting away from mass brands to return to the boutique niche, the learning experience was one I will never forget. Nevertheless, it was one of the best decisions I have made in my business. After years of research and on the ground running, I’ve built a strong client base and established a unique brand identity. I can proudly say I have an incredible product.
MVP You are an amazing woman who has had a lot of significant achievements. What would you like to share with our readers to inspire and motivate them?
KS My source of strength comes from my foundation. Staying focus and always believing in myself keeps me grounded. It was difficult, as nothing good comes easy. The travel demands y source of strength comes from my foundation. Stay grounded, stay focus and always believe in yourself. Be you and never settle
MVP Any new project that you are working on or are planning to work on?
KS I will be introducing a new fragrance inspired by my soulful trip to Bali… called KASMARAN. My fingerprint. My breath. Impressions from my soul. The mysterious oasis of this exotic land. The incense of offerings. The spirituality of temples…The sensuality of desire, and the rhythm of the sea. “Kasmaran”…. Fall in love. Dream. Come away with me…