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Dawn Goldworm

We interview Dawn Goldworm, Co-Founder, Creative Director and In-House Nose of 12.29, and an internationally recognised olfactive expert behind successful fragrances for Lady Gaga, Nike, American Express, Valentino, and Cadillac, to name just a few.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself ...

After working in the perfume industry for many years, I returned to New York University to attain a graduate degree and research what was to become “olfactive branding” in my thesis. I was incredibly passionate about traditional perfume and what my role as a fragrance designer had taught me but I felt there was more to explore with scent, emotion and memory.

After finishing my studies, I left NYC for Paris and started experimenting with the notion of creating olfactive identities for brands. I began with fashion shows and art fairs and quickly evolved into designing scents for brand environments and products. Today at 12.29, the company I co-founded with my twin sister Samantha, we work with some of the most prestigious brands in the world to create tangible connections between a brand and its clientèle.

Where do you call home ?

Currently, the Flatiron in NYC. But I still travel to Paris every other month.

What defines home for you ?

My home is a place that helps bring me comfort, peace and stillness. That can be in my actual apartment in NYC or my sister’s home in Brooklyn or the many yoga studios I frequent between NYC and Paris.

Who or what do you turn to when you have had a bad day ?

Depending on the day, I either turn to meditation, yoga, a bath, a giggle from my niece or nephew, or a touch of Japanese whiskey… Sometimes, all of the above.

Tell us about your Health + Wellness journey ...

My Health + Wellness journey started in childhood. From the time I was 12 years old and had my first sport injury that damaged my back, my parents brought me to Acupuncture and Eastern remedies for healing, rather than to a Western practitioner. This greatly influenced my perspective on pain and healing.

My meditation journey began with the practice of karate from 13 years old and continues still today with my daily morning sessions. At 15 years old, I stopped eating meat, partly for health reasons and partly because I didn’t feel the need to consume animals or animal energy any more.

Today, I attempt to live my life as the highest form of myself, by practising the many limbs of yoga from Yama (specifically ahimsa – nonviolence and satya – truth), Niyama (discipline in spiritual observance), Asana (Vinyasa and Bikram), Pranayama (restraint or expansion of the breath), and Dhyana (meditation).

Where is your favourite Health + Wellness destination ?

My two favourite destinations are the Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York and Miraval in Tuscan, Arizona.

Dawn and Samantha Goldworm

What's been your best Health + Wellness experience ?

My first visit to the Ananda Ashram was my first introduction to veganism and spiritually in practice through behaviour, rather than just reading about it in a book. The volunteers at the ashram sing while they prepare your vegan meals, so the energy is transferred when you eat. It is such a beautiful practice and stayed with me. Today, if I am feeling down, I will not cook for my family, nor myself, as I don’t want to transfer that energy onto someone else.

What is your Health + Wellness routine ?

Exercise: I practice yoga asana four times per week, minimum. This includes a combination of ashtanga, vinyasa, bikram and hatha yoga.

Nutrition: I am a vegetarian. I do eat eggs, cheese, yoghurt and butter but try to keep it to a minimum. My daily diet consists of quinoa or brown rice, avocado and vegetables. I also drink a lot of water, green tea and sometimes whiskey.

Spirituality: I have a daily meditation practice. On my meditation alter is a photo of my father who passed three years ago, a photo of my nephew in vitro and multiple ganeshas from my parents. The alter reminds me of loss, of life, and of the many obstacles we face daily. Finding stillness within these experiences will help us transcend and ultimately find peace, if only momentarily.

What are your favourite Health + Wellness essentials ?

Beauty: Cle de peau facial regiman including daily moisturiser, serum, night cream and toner, Aveeno oatmeal body lotion, SKII masks, and weekly baths.

Nutrition: Cooked vegetables, a lot of water, quinoa/brown rice, green tea and limited sugar. I don’t take supplements except for turmeric when I am feeling unwell and Reishi mushroom daily.

Athleisure wear: Live the Process and Nike.

Other: Acupuncture, once per month.

What's your go-to health food ?

Miso and soba.

What's your devilish indulgence ?

Avocado. I eat one a day!

What's your favourite yoga position ?

Ardha Chandrasana.

What makes you laugh ?

My niece and nephew – baby giggles.

What do you fear ?

Losing my sense of smell and sight.

How do you find serenity ?

A good book, Beethoven, a bath and a glass of Japanese whiskey in a crystal glass. Or swimming in the sea.

Samantha and Dawn Goldworm. Photo: Wendy Ploger

What is it about IKIGAI Global that appeals to you ?

It is a beautiful concept to start from a place of “reason to be” and expand that into Health + Wellness. It is so pure and simple. Modern, and yet profound. So necessary for the world of today.

What is the one book that has helped you discover your path and yourself ?

What has been the hardest thing to accept ?

The passing of my father.

How, what and why have you changed over the last 10 years ?

Ten years ago, I was 30 years old, living in Paris, working for Coty Beauty as their in-house nose. This year, I will be 40 years old, now living in New York City as the Co-Founder, Creative Director & Nose of my own company, 12.29.

What do you do to make the world a more sustainable place ?

I try to practice kindness, love and compassion with my thoughts and actions. I try to find softness when dealing with others. I keep a vegetarian diet, I recycle, I buy vintage clothing (mostly), I don’t participate in fast fashion, I limit my use of plastic, and I limit my use of air conditioning. At 12.29, we use sustainable practices when sourcing ingredients for all of our products, we don’t use plastic, ever, and we create products that are meant to be kept, reused and cherished.

Will you share an inspirational quote / song / image with us ?

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. Ohm Shanti.

Do you have a good luck charm ?

My twin sister.

Who or what inspires you ?

The woman in my family inspire me … my nana, my mother, my aunts and my sister. So strong, brave, beautiful and gentle.

What is your mantra ?

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.

My all beings everywhere be happy and free. (And may I dedicate my life to that happiness and freedom for all).

And finally, what is your ikigai ?

Taking care of those I love.
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