So multi-faceted. That’s my first thought about Glenda. I actually get a picture in my head when I think of her…it’s a bubble chart, well-organized, a big main idea in the center, but with all sorts of legs spidering off of it, making a whole story.
Glenda La Rue, the Richmond born, first-generation Filipino-America is the co-owner and always-smiling face of Palmetto Scent Studio. One of the store’s unofficial mottos is “waft in,” which is exactly what I did. My husband has always joked that I have a sense of smell like a blood-hound, and he might be right. I was around the corner when I caught the first whiff of Lowcountry floral fragrances, leather, wood, and spices that pulled me into the studio along with the breeze off the Kiawah River. I discovered, immediately, the candle that would become the signature scent of my home…LowCountry Library, a customized scent developed by Glenda’s husband. I can’t wait to see what the coming body fragrance lines will be like, now! Finding a “signature” has always been important to me, and this studio will help you find and create it if it isn’t already on the shelf. Once I met Glenda, I realized that her business gets this so right because she is its leader, and she has that strong sense of self we look for when we create things that reflect our own personalities. She knows the intricacies that customize her, and uses the favorite of her five senses –the one that’s so closely associated to memory and mood– to share it with all of us!
First of all, Glenda is a thinker. She’s analytical and logical. That’s the big bubble in the middle of that image in my mind. It’s no surprise that she was an engineer for a decade. But she also has a creativity present that we don’t always associate with people in STEM fields like this. An accomplished musician, she considered being a career concert pianist at one time. Her equal love and aptitude for the visually aesthetic world then had her debating becoming an architect. Finally, her adornment for physical fitness and proclivity for helping others offered her opportunities as a fitness instructor. I think all of these things that make up who Glenda is, paired with summer memories of rolling the car window down to breathe in the salt on Lowcountry visits, are the very reasons she ultimately chose to work in custom scent when founding her own business. Scent is often complex, stabilized by a main aroma, then hallmarked by other notes that create depth, making it truly unique. Isn’t this the truest metaphor for who Glenda is? Perhaps that’s why we, the customers, relish in scent so much too. It can be a real expression of who we are…perfect amounts of softness and sharpness, grit and grace.
Glenda’s need to share this with Kiawah and Seabrook islanders, vacationers, or day-trip visitors is her gift to the Lowcountry. We now have something to do on a rainy day, winter day, or much-needed break from the sun. The best part? It can wholly represent who we are as individuals, not just a scent someone else chose for us. We can pick it or pour it ourselves, tapping into experience and creativity…we can make a signature as original as the one we sign with the pen.
I encourage you to pop in and get to know Glenda while you make your magic in a jar. Get to know this Jane of many trades whose greatest accomplishment is her daughter, who continues to excel in all she does, who believes in a system of women supporting one another. Get to know her as a person, and as a visionary who wants to make your world a little brighter being part of quote, “a renaissance of fragrance appreciation.” ~
by Lorna Hollifield
Pop into the store in Freshfields Village and find out what it’s all about!
Did you know Glenda not only helps individuals, but also hosts bachelorette parties, showers, girls’ nights, and more! She’s also proud to work with interior designers, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and others in the industry to help “scent your life!”
Follow Glenda at Palmetto Scent Studio!