PHOTOGRAPHY: Dane Tashima
“Be the flame, not the moth” - Giacomo Casanova
The above sums up Margo Breznik perfectly. Originally from Milwaukee - having lived in Minneapolis, San Francisco and New York City - she finally settled in Chicago, a city which just resonated with her. She initially moved there to work for a record label, but she made so many great friends and discovered a fantastic big city, with so many opportunities so she decided to make it her home. It was here, 18 years ago, she began making candles as a creative outlet, as an expression and culmination of her love of interior design, ambiance and fragrance. Being self taught, she spent every spare moment creating, testing and developing her candles and this soon led to the opening of Tatine as a housewares and gift shop in Chicago's Wicker Park area. It was here that Margo could really let loose, setting the stage for her work and as her candles proved more and more popular it eventually led her to completely rebrand Tatine into a wholesale brand, allowing her to truly pursue her passion for candles and her apothecary range, creating haunting fragrance compositions rooted in nature with a kick arse rock 'n' roll pedigree.
Her brand is lovingly handcrafted in small batches, using cotton wicks, soy wax, custom glassware and ecological paper - an experience for all the senses. Beautiful packaging with beautiful contents inside, making her candles unique. Her signature style is apparent throughout her range with an unrivalled quality to her artisanal products - full of heart and soul. She seeks inspiration from her own emotions, the experiences she has had, the love she feels, the music she listens to, the memories she has, her wonderful travels, sensuality and moments captured - all of this is also very apparent in both her home and the Tatine studio. It is about creating an atmosphere - the crackle of a needle on a record, a warm candle flame, her storytelling through rock ‘n’ roll and encapsulating fragrance blends. Which leaves little doubt as to why Tatine has such an enviable roster of clients worldwide and are called upon to create bespoke fragrance goods for Williams-Sonoma, Public Hotel Chicago, Terrain and Robert DeNiro's Greenwich Hotel NYC to name but a few.
Within her candle range, there are four collections to choose from and whilst it is understandably hard to buy fragrances online Margo's wonderful descriptions make the process an easy one such as her description of the Dark, Wild + Deep collection "Hypnotic. At once intense and rich. An ode to the night, and those who inhabit it. Whisky-soaked, moonlit, smoke + ash, fragrant with evening blooms and abandon. A dark, sexy, and cool set of fragrances". Garden and Forest are more harmonious in their quality, inspired by nature such as Norwegian Wood, Woodsmoke and Temple of Leaves. Within the Tisane collection meaning an infusion of fresh flowers or leaves, the candles are inspired by music, London and British design, we simply love Kensington Gardens and St. John's Wood - described as "looking through the bent backed tulips. smoldering chimney smoke. dried vines + brick walls, rock stories through lyrical fragrance". Finally the Pro-Fumare collection, meaning to perfume through smoke and flame is a more romantic timeless range, rooted in tradition with a stylised design, a lush collection of candles with rich, resinous, incense-like fragrances.
Within the Apothecary range you will find lavishly fragranced, handcrafted soaps made with natural butters, plant-based oils and extracts such as Turkish Apricot with hints of jasmine, cardamom and crushed tobacco leaves blended with vetiver, white peach and ripe apricot, this is a perfect summer soap in our house, taking pride of place in my Grandmothers old soap dish. Should you prefer liquid soaps and lotions, the Nectar collection with its unisex scents of pine orange bitters or absinthe make a perfect and invigorating choice. Nevertheless whatever you choose rest assured each item you receive from Tatine will be packaged with great attention to detail, there is a wonderful quality to her work and there truly is a magic when opening her boxes of delight. Margo always designs for a certain aesthetic that strikes a chord and when others respond to that, it is music to her ears, pure joy. Rather fittingly, Tatine has just moved their studio to Chicago's historic Hammond Organ Warehouse building - an environment that reflects her brand perfectly whilst stimulating creativity, happiness, a sense of pride and work.