“You can use scents to train your olfactory memory in order to relax”
Sitting across from her in her office on Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, you might assume she has just returned from a four-week spa holiday. Laura Simonow appears deeply relaxed, refreshed and put-together. She is the founder and CEO of a young, ambitious cosmetics brand: This Place. The 38-year-old entrepreneur has many plans – and her days are so long, she would rather not say how many hours she spends working. But there is no trace of stress. Laura Simonow looks radiant. She clearly has her ways of generating strength, finding peace and making time for herself. And it’s certainly no coincidence that this is precisely what This Place is all about. “Functional natural cosmetics” is how Laura Simonow refers to her products, which include creams for muscle relaxation, improved sleep or period pains. Clean, vegan and produced in Germany with high-quality, natural ingredients.

Why the name This Place? Because the brand sees itself as a “place of wellbeing”. Every product is designed to delight all the senses, feel good to apply on your skin, and give off a pleasant fragrance. “You can use scents to train your olfactory memory in order to relax and signal to your body: now it’s time to switch off,” explains Laura Simonow. For each product, This Place recommends a little ritual, around two minutes long: conscious breathing, massage, meditation, mindfulness. “Little moments of relaxation can be so divine. I believe the most important thing is to have a routine. That’s where the magic is. Ideally, you should establish fixed times to relax. When you do it regularly, it truly has a positive effect on your health.”
Laura Simonow knows what she’s talking about. She studied medicine and spent many years working on fundamental neurological research. However, in between, she also spent a little over a year working at an advertising and branding agency in Los Angeles. “The world is full of worlds. This phrase has followed me since my early childhood,” explains Laura Simonow. “I have enthusiasm for many things. I’m constantly drawn to new topics, curious, and always wanting to learn something new. Sometimes it’s a blessing, sometimes a curse – in any case, I could never spend my entire life in only one career. That’s why I flourish so much as an entrepreneur. It combines many, many different aspects.”
“The world is full of worlds. This phrase has followed me since my early childhood”
Staying true to herself is probably just as typical for her as her dedication to quality and a solid foundation, structure and discipline. As you would expect, Laura Simonow also observes the two-minute relaxation rituals herself. She meditates and does yoga, at least every other day. “If I take a break for more than three days, my whole body starts to hurt.” And she loves incense and the smell of exquisite incense products. On weekends, she goes for walks in the forest with her partner, whenever possible. She loves nature, and collects pine needles, pinecones and other treasures of the forest. At home, she researches her finds, and anything suitable goes in a little incense jar. “Doing something that is totally unnecessary, doesn’t serve a higher purpose and doesn’t fit into your optimal daily routine can be very relaxing,” says the entrepreneur. For her, the ritual of burning gathered ingredients is soothing and represents appreciation and respect for nature. “It’s incredibly rewarding.”
In feel-good moments like these, or during yoga, she likes to wear clothes in light colours, white or beige. For work, she tends to select dark blue or black tones. She likes clean cuts, and materials are more important to her than trends or price. “When a beautiful material meets a clever cut, then I am very happy. I buy relatively few clothes and like to keep things for a long time.” Browsing the shops – a little here, a little there – is not part of her everyday life. “For me, it’s something sensual. I’m rarely in the mood for it. But when I am, I go all in for the experience, celebrate it and enjoy it.” Currently, Laura Simonow is also using her free time to prepare for a trip to Japan. She loves the country with a passion and has been there often. Now, for the first time, she will visit places off the beaten track. For example, a place where for many generations, people have been making washi paper by hand: a delicate, precious material with a fine texture. “Dedication to the product, attention to detail and respect for masters of the craft” are quintessentially Japanese qualities, she says – “they inspire and ground me”. While planning her trip, she likes to burn a Japanese incense stick, produced by a traditional family company. And retreats to a relaxing place of wellbeing – that energises her and makes her radiant.
Photography: Marlen Müller/Wildfox Running, Production: Michaela Stout, Styling: Ineska Baric, Hair & Make-up: Patricia Heck/Nina Klein, Text: Nele-Marie Brüdgam