Scent Style: Kendra Pugh, Founder of Bureaux Modern Mercantile

Words by Sara Harowitz

Photography by Kendra Pugh

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For many of us, the concept of a general store likely conjures up images of creaky corner shops filled with jars of candy, cans of tomato sauce, and racks of neon baseball caps. Cute, to be sure, but the more modern interpretation of the general store has taken things to another level.

Enter Bureaux Modern Mercantile, an Abbotsford, B.C.-based shop for the contemporary conscious consumer. Offering an array of delightful home goods—kids’ books, nut butters, natural deodorants, reusable mugs, accent pillows, essential oils, and more—Bureaux is a beautiful place designed to inspire your own beautiful place. And it does so extremely well.

As the founder of Bureaux and the mother of two little kids, Kendra Pugh is kept busy from morning to night. Scent plays a huge part in her routine throughout the day, helping her find small moments during which to relax, to stop, to breathe. Keep reading for her fresh aroma of choice.

Scent is so personal. What does it mean to you?

Scent is powerful. It has the ability to transform my mood and general well being. It can comfort and calm me, energize me, make me feel sensual; scent can evoke memories of people, places, or certain times in our lives, for good or bad. For me, scent is akin to music in this way, which also plays a vital part in my mood and general well being. A good cologne, a favourite song from the summer of Grade transports.

Describe your personality in three to five words.

Has a hard time turning off (and will try to rework that sentence grammatically until it is actually only three to five words). My husband suggested: can’t stop, won’t stop.

With those words in mind, tell us about the diffuser cocktail that you’ve created to represent your scent style.

Between starting a business and slowly DIY renovating a house in the last two years with two young children, I feel like my mind and body are constantly going in all different directions (I’m like Chuck Norris: I don’t sleep, I wait). I typically crave bright, citrusy scents that are both refreshing and energizing and allow me to stop, if even for a minute, and breathe in deeply. I started experimenting by choosing Boost as my base (it’s my go-to and a top-seller at the shop with good reason). From there, I played around with adding more citrus notes, settling on a true fruit cocktail with Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, and Lemon.

Why did you choose each of these oils and how do they work together? What does the final aroma smell like or remind you of?

I knew that Boost was my favourite blend for re-energizing myself and my space already, so I started with that and slowly added the additional citrus scents. Boost contains Grapefruit, Bergamot, Juniper, and Lime, so I knew that adding Sweet Orange and Lemon would be complementary. Then I added more Grapefruit because of its bright and refreshing properties (the more the merrier).The final aroma reminds me of being outside in the fresh air, lying in the sunshine under an orange tree with an ice-cold lemon water (I’ve never done this, but sounds nice, doesn’t it?). My daughter thinks it smells like a lemon lollipop.

What room do you diffuse this scent in and when do you diffuse it?

I diffuse this blend throughout my main living space, where most of the hard work takes place (no disrespect to my husband in the bedroom!). From early mornings with kids to evenings spent working at the kitchen table, this blend revitalizes me when and where I need it the most.

Aside from scent, what else makes you feel truly at home in your space?

Scent plays a huge part in making me feel at home in my space; it’s rare that I don’t have a scent going (much like at Bureaux). But outside of that, I feel most content and at home sitting in the sunny spot on my couch with a blanket, strong coffee, and good magazine, watching my kids play together and be silly. The magazine might not get cracked open and the coffee usually goes cold, but in the words of Aerosmith, I don’t want to miss a thing (and these are all of my favourite things within arm’s reach).

What’s your favourite thing about your home?

Having a boutique affords me the privileged opportunity to incorporate some beautiful items into my house; it’s my personal canvas and often my trial for some of the products I choose to bring into Bureaux. But in the end, a house is just a house full of stuff without the people in it, and so it’s my family that makes it home—they’d be my favourite thing, of course.


5 drops Boost Essential Oil Blend

5 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil

5 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil

5 drops Lemon Essential Oil