Twin sisters Dawn and Samantha Goldworm first remember associating scent with a specific environment during their shared childhood in the mountains of New Hampshire.
But it was not until 2004 that the ladies found their particular fragrance niche: Dawn was investigating olfactive branding for iconic French beauty company, Coty, while Samantha was consulting in market research for Fortune 500 companies from L’Oreal to American Express. The duo noticed a hole in the market and promptly decided to fill it.
In 2009, they launched, 12.29, an olfactive branding company—known for unique, exclusive “scent identities”—that designs custom fragrances for retail and corporate environments, hospitality venues, special events and private homes.
Recently, they collaborated with founder Robyn Berkley to create a Live The Process signature scent called Karma, which projects both confident sensuality and delicate durability with perfectly balanced notes of tender iris, deep moss, dry cedar wood, clean ambergris and creamy tonka.
Here, the Goldworm sisters reveal how they juggle artistic expression and capitalist drive and describe how positivity, compassion and yogic practice all inform their shared ethos:
Live The Process: Dawn, before training as a nose, what role did scent play in your life?
Dawn Goldworm: I have always had a love affair with perfume, from the time my mother gave me her empty Coco parfum flacons from Paris to scent my lingerie drawer. I was 10. Still, I never imagined that I would be a nose. I envisioned myself first as a ballet dancer and then as a fashion designer—then my father sent me to business school. It was not until I interned at Avon during my sophomore year at NYU that I developed a professional interest in the industry. And then it was not until I had left the Master’s Program at Sotheby’s in London and returned to New York that I began training my nose at a perfumery school.
LTP: Running a company that is part business, part artistic pursuit is difficult. What sacrifices do you have to make to ensure that things run harmoniously?
DG: Designing an appropriate scent for a brand or an event is mostly about understanding the key objective the scent will play in the experience. Creativity is never sacrificed. A commercial scent can be just as artistically stimulating as one that is niche. The only sacrifice that we unfortunately have to make occasionally is the timeline of creation.
Samantha Goldworm: Allowing our perfumery team to be creative and design amazing scents is the core principle of our business. It's our reason for being or our raison d’être. If a business issue inhibits this process, we find a way to deal with that problem.
LTP: I know that yoga plays a key role in your lives. What drew you to the practice, and how do you feel it supports you physically, mentally and emotionally?
SG: Living in New York can be hectic and all-consuming. When I first moved here, I needed a place to reset and breathe. I found yoga helped me deal with the stress of New York on my mind and body, but also added to my spiritual development as a person.
DG: I started practicing yoga when I stopped dancing to rehabilitate my body. At first it was just a physical pursuit, but, over the years, yoga has proven to be one of the most important practices in my life for mental, spiritual and emotional balance and inspiration.
LTP: I know you both to be highly particular about the foods you put in your bodies and the products you use. From where does this awareness stem, and what is your philosophy when it comes to nutrition and health?
DG: We did not grow up with any junk food in the house, so we naturally do not tend to crave it. Instead, we were raised with wholesome nutrition and home cooking. I feel ultimately that we are in control of our bodies and minds, and food plays a major part in keeping ourselves healthy and on the path towards wellness.
SG: Playing sports my whole life, I have always been cautious about the food I eat, especially when dealing with inevitable injuries. Your body works from the inside out. Providing the correct energy through food is the only way to keep your body strong and at its best. Also, our family has always been keenly aware of our surroundings and how we affect the earth. Jivamukti yoga has heightened this awareness and helped me make better choices about what I eat and why and how I treat others.
LTP: Do you follow a particular path or outlook on life? What role does spiritual nourishment play?
SG: I try to put positive energy into the world everyday. Whether it's by mitzvah (Jewish good deeds) or simply thinking positive thoughts and love.
DG: I meditate daily. I find that it helps me to be more conscious of my part in the world and how I contribute to my community, whether that be my family, friends, business or those I interact with on a daily basis. I believe that compassion is underrated and is often de-emphasized when people are on the path of life. There is no bigger statement or more important action than to care for those around us. We are all one.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
DG: Happiness is love, growth, change, nourishment and compassion.
SG: Happiness comes from within. I am happy if I am being the best I can be, personally and professionally, and if the people around me are happy.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process”?
SG: “Living The Process” is doing your best every day and being passionate about living your life. “Living The Process” is about having purpose and not being afraid to go out, pursue and live.
DG: To “Live The Process” is to be conscious of your thoughts, actions and the part you play in the world, whether through what you eat, how you communicate or where you share your happiness and love. It is a daily practice that hopefully we improve on every moment.