Do you love the strong smell of nostalgia that certain scents evoke for you?
Tonight’s Meet a Mom, Samantha Goldworm Soleimani, has one of the coolest jobs out there. Her and her twin sister, Dawn, created 12.29, an olfactive branding company that translate a brand’s identity into a scent. Their clients include Disney, American Express, Valentino and Bentley…to name a few… and they are responsible for creating these amazing scents that trigger your memories.
Samantha shares with us how she came to run this business, what it’s like working with her twin, and some of her favorite current scents.
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally? Names/ages of kids, etc.?
Hi! My name is Samantha. I am a mom of two – Jacob (6) and Olivia (4.5). I grew up in New Hampshire with my identical twin sister. After going to the University of Miami for college, I moved to the city where I lived for 20 years before heading to Greenwich during the pandemic.
Where do you live in Greenwich and what do you love about Greenwich and your neighborhood/ what made you decide to move there/ how long have you been there?
We bought our house in mid country 3 years ago. After 6 months of renovations we moved in and have loved it ever since. It’s a great location, close to schools and the train to commute into the city. Greenwich is the perfect place to raise our kids and I can finally wear my Patriots hat again!
For those of us who aren’t familiar, how would you describe your company 12.29?
12.29 is an olfactive branding company I started with my sister in 2009. We translate a brand’s identity into a scent. Our clients include Disney, American Express, Valentino and Bentley…to name a few. My sister is the creative director/Nose. I head up marketing and product development.
Can you please share about your professional background and career highlights – how did you come to start 12.29 with your twin sister, Dawn?
I started my career in consumer insights. I love understanding how consumers shop, what their media habits are, what motivates them and overall, why they are loyal to a brand. As our sense of smell is the closest link to memory and emotion, the idea olfactive branding marries my love for consumer loyalty with my sister’s unique talent for creating custom fragrances for specific markets and brands.
What are some design trends you’re loving in terms of scent?
Oud wood is one of my favorite ingredients. It’s deep, sensual and rich. Also, the tomato trend in perfumery is pretty cool as it showcases an ingredient called galbanum, which I love. It smells like turning over earth in a vegetable garden – fresh, earthy, green and slightly spicy.
What is your favorite scent you have created?
One of my favorite scents is a formula we created for Bentley. It highlights a honey wood that they used in their cars. It smells like sandalwood and fresh moss.
Tell us more about Scent for Good and healing through the emotional power of scent?
Scent for Good is our baby born in the pandemic. At a time when the world felt like it was falling apart, Dawn and I wanted to do our small part to help. We would ask ourselves “how can we use our scent superpowers for good?”. During that time, Scent for Good developed hand sanitizer (that actually smells good, protects you and makes your hands softer) mask spray, a candle and a children’s book. Each product is for sale with proceeds donated to children’s education. We also often donate product to hospitals, schools and non-profits like Welcome Baby.
What do you find the most challenging and most rewarding parts of being an entrepreneur?
One of our clients, Simon Sinek, often says that being an entrepreneur is banging your head against the wall for 10 years until you break through. I agree! Entrepreneurship is a journey… a marathon. However, it’s incredibly rewarding and we’ve had the opportunity to do and see so many cool things through our client relationships.
How do you and your sister successfully run a business together?
We both understand that we constantly have to work on our relationship as sisters and business partners. Communication is key. And being sisters (and good humans) always come first.
How do you find a balance with motherhood and entrepreneurship? Any tips for the rest of the Moms out there?
There is no balance. Every day is different. Some days I feel like I have it all figured out and the next day I have to cancel my meetings and stay home with a sick kiddo. Just do your best. Make decisions that feel right. Trust your instinct.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you for welcoming us to Greenwich. We are very happy to be here!
We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places when you are in Greenwich to:
Grab coffee – CFCF
Workout – I like running in my neighborhood
Go on a date night – Happy Monkey, Cottage, Le Fat Poodle
Go out for a girls night – Townhouse bar area
Go out to dinner as a family – Pick up from Ada’s and eat on the beach
Get your hair done – I still get my hair done in the city. Any recommendations?
Get your nails done – Posh
Have fun as a family – Bruce Museum