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“I think rituals are one of the keys to happiness, they act as touchstones
in our day and bring a sense of ceremony to our life.”




Zoe Cuthbertson



Emily L’Ami did not wait to be offered her dream job, she created it. The New Zealand native moved to Los Angeles, California in 2014 where she found the creative grounding for modern wellness brand, Bodha – the expression of her lifelong study and fascination with the therapeutic power of ritual and scent. Emily’s creations combine ingredient integrity with considered design; Bodha’s Ritual Incense Holder, crafted from pure brass by a 100-year old Japanese foundry is a favourite in our home. To celebrate the launch of Objects, we caught up with Emily to talk about her rituals for living, and the blessing of starting anew.

Auckland, New Zealand

Los Angeles, CA

Can you tell us the story behind Bodha and the mantra – come back to yourself ?
In 2014 I moved from Sydney to L.A. and started my dream business creating a new world of therapeutic perfumery. I’d studied traditional perfumery and aromatherapy and wanted to bridge these worlds to create scents that smell beautiful while working on you at the deepest level. The concept of ‘coming back to yourself’ underpins everything we do. I believe we’re all looking for ways to reconnect with ourselves and scent, in particular scented rituals, is a powerful way to do this.

You speak of the comfort and ceremony rituals bring to our daily lives. What are your personal rituals?
I have daily and weekly rituals but my morning ritual is the one I crave the most. I get up when it’s still a little dark out and the house is quiet. I make a pot of tea, light a stick of incense, note three things I’m grateful for, read Jeff Kober’s daily thought and then meditate for 20 minutes. I think rituals are one of the keys to happiness, they act as touchstones in our day and bring a sense of ceremony to our life.

Ritual incense Holder
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A New Zealand native, what drew you to starting a business in L.A.?
We won Green Cards in the diversity lottery and decided we should give it a go! We’ve lived in quite a few places and to be honest we didn’t want to start again, but we also knew we were lucky to have this opportunity. I really believe we have to make the most of every day and I want to experience as much as I can. Starting a business in a new country with no contacts has definitely been the hardest of all our moves, but we’ve been lucky to meet lots of amazing supportive people and I’m so glad we did it!

What local creatives are you most inspired by?
Being surrounded by so many passionate creatives is one of my favourite things about L.A. - Saskia Wilson-Brown, founder of the Institute for Art & Olfaction - Masa & Jon Kleinhample, owners of Klein architecture and furniture studio - Ally Walsh & Casey Wojtalewicz, founders of Canyon Coffee.

We’re inspired by California’s commitment to eating well. When cooking at home, what is your signature dish?
Making dinner is my evening ritual. Once I start cooking I try to not check email or do any work stuff. A constant go to dish is by Alice Waters, founder of the farm to table movement in America and the owner of Chez Panisse restaurant. It’s a simple spiced fish dish that’s perfect with some crusty sourdough and a green salad. Whenever someone has it they ask for the recipe!

What are your favourite scents?
My favourite raw perfume material is Haitian vetiver for its depth and mysteriousness. And my favourite perfume (at the moment) is Bigarade Concentree by Jean-Claude Ellena. Jean- Claude works with a super simple palette but manages to create such interesting refined scents that I always want to smell more.

What’s next for Bodha and do you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
We’re currently working on a new Vibration collection of therapeutic perfumes. I’ve got the scents mapped out in my mind in terms of the shape, texture and how they’ll make you feel but I’ve got a lot more work to do to bring them into reality.

Aromatherapy Eye Pillow
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