Elise Pioch Balzac of homewares brand Maison Balzac started her business with the aim of capturing the scents of her childhood in candle form. Now her range extends to coveted glassware and whimsical decorative objects. It is the philosophy behind her scented home pieces, including candles, incense, essential oils and scented water, that echoes the sentiment of CULTIVER too - sensory rituals for everyday enhancement. Olfactory cues linked to memories, nature and rituals. We spoke to the French-born, Sydney-based creative about motherhood, family and her daily rituals.
Who makes up your beautiful family?
My husband Pablo, our daughter Loulou and our ginger cat, Gigi.
What does your perfect Mother’s Day look like?
A sleep in, a hot chai tea with homemade nutella crepes for breakfast and a long lazy day at home by the water, with a little cruise to a nearby bay to watch the sunset with a coupe of champagne in hand!
What do mums really want for Mother’s Day?
To me, a soft kiss and gentle cuddle from Loulou are the most precious gifts on that day (and any other day too!).
It’s been said that modern motherhood should be less about doing it all but doing enough. In lieu of asking how do you juggle everything, we’d like to know how do you find balance?
My only way to recharge, balance and rest is to spend every weekend in our boathouse on Pittwater. The fact that it is only accessible by boat means that we leave land, cross the water and settle into our little home in the bush, by the water. We disconnect from our busy week, we sleep, cook, fish, read, swim and organise dinners between neighbours. Without that, I would be completely burned out.
Motherhood is never predictable. What have been some of the more surprising parts of motherhood for you?
I never thought I would enjoy it so that's the biggest surprise to me! I love being the mother of Loulou.
What influence has your own mother had on the way you parent?
Huge, I constantly catch myself doing exactly what my mum did with us growing up! But I also try to be a better parent: in France we have tendency to erode self confidence in children with insidious sentences like "you are going to hurt yourself" or "don't do this, silly" but I am glad I haven't repeated this.
Has your relationship with your mum changed since becoming one yourself?
We've always been very close and admirative of each other so having Loulou hasn't changed our relationship much. It has just grown my respect for her raising 3 children and working, given that I find it very hard to raise 1 child of my own!
Do you have any family rituals?
The one hour drive to our weekend house every Friday is a moment we love: we talk about our week, we come up with our ideal menus for the weekend, we laugh, and the drive back on the Sunday is also a precious time together!
What is your favourite daily ritual?
My morning chai tea.