Explore Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte’s Tribeca home and learn more about the role scent plays in their holiday traditions.
Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte's airy apartment makes a perfect backdrop for their picturesque holiday display. Settled in the heart of Tribeca, the couple (and co-founders of Maman, a French café beloved by New York City dwellers) have built a home which mirrors Maman's rustic, feminine interiors. A true feast for the eyes, their intimate space embodies the festive spirit that the holiday season is all about. Scent also plays a huge role in this, and with a few prized House of Creed candles sprinkled throughout their studio, we'd say Elisa and Ben's place feels - and smells - like home. Read on to meet the duo and learn more about their thoughts on scent and holiday traditions.
From pastries that are just out of the oven to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, scent plays such a role in Maman’s overall experience. But since we’re visiting you at home, what role does scent play in your life when you’re off duty?
Scents are a very integral part of our home environment. We love incorporating them into our daily lives, especially in the home as they can be relaxing and create an inviting and comforting atmosphere. Seasonally, I love switching up home fragrances to ignite special moments or memories for us, so we always love to have candles burning in our home. Our favorites are light florals for the spring to warm spices for the holidays - we have enough of the 'fresh baked cookie' scent on a daily basis, though you can never really get enough of that!
Tell us more about your relationship to New York City. How long have you been here and what would you say are a few of your favorite areas in your apartment?
We have been in the same loft for three years, and we are so happy here! Our space is really a reflection of us, and our home is a collection of vintage acquired pieces, family heirlooms, and some DIY projects. My favorite area in the apartment is our lounge/sofa that we made from old crates and a collection of pillows. It gets flooded with sunlight all day and is the best spot in the home to cozy up with a cup of coffee or a great read!
Can you share your very first or most favorite fragrance-related scent memory?
I have to say it is the smell of my mom's perfume.
What drew you to this collaboration with the House of Creed?
The sense of smell is a powerful one in our lives - in our home and our work environment. Warm baked cookies help us to create an inviting atmosphere for our customers at Maman, and in our home, scent enhances our living environment in many ways. Creed shares our core values in selecting and using the finest ingredients as we do with our food at Maman and also shares our French heritage. The elegant tulip shaped glass perfectly matches our home decor while the range of scents is simple and highly concentrated, without being overpowering.
With the holidays just around the corner, can you share any scent memories that bring you back to past holidays growing up?
The scent of freshly baked gingerbread cookies is one of my favorites. Baking, especially at the holidays, was a tradition in my home with my mom and grandma and the delicious aroma of warm ginger and spices always ignite wonderful family memories which gets me into the holiday spirit!
How do you make your space feel like home for the holidays and what role does scent play in this?
I always turn to scent to get me into the holiday spirit! Holiday decor is a must for us - we love switching up the themes every year and having fun with DIY decorations, wrapping gifts, and creating a warm and welcoming environment when we have family and friends over. We love to further enhance the mood with scents, yet not be too overpowering and 'fake' which is why we love Creed.
What are a few seasonal traditions you hope to create together this year and why?
For us, traditions are what make the holiday season so special, and we love making new ones and memories together. Being such a busy time of year for us work-wise, most of our favorite holiday activities are all about cozying up inside our home. From holiday movie nights with warm blankets and a glass of wine by candlelight to cooking up some of our favorite family inspired holiday recipes, we are always coming up with fun ways to put a personal twist on our favorite holiday!