Seeing possibilities where others see limitations has been part of Langmuir’s business savvy since her early days in the fragrance world. “Perfumers are a unique breed of pretty sensitive people,” she says. “I was just born that way – I was always aware of sensorial things.” One of her formative mentors, the nose behind signature Aveda Chakra scents, was an early champion of natural ingredients. “When I trained with George Chapoulie 20 years ago, he had already stopped using synthetics, and perfumers thought he was crazy,” she says.
At 25, Langmuir started an aromatherapy company, renting out a kiosk in a Toronto-area mall to sell essential oil blends – or at least try to. “Everyone thought it was potpourri,” she recalls.
In the years that followed, she focused on fragrances and steadfastly built a career around her own label, in addition to product development for brands as varied as Playboy, Elizabeth Arden and Anthropologie. “Even when I was creating and [had] launched Bite Beauty, we were sending 40-foot containers of product to Urban Outfitters because that was our bread and butter,” she says. “It was like the artist waitressing to pay the bills until she has her big break.”