Love can be one of the greatest inspirations in life. This is why businesswoman, Salomé Reizis, has not only created local shopping and entertainment hub Reizis Square, but also an amazing life for herself. The artist at heart opens up about her love for animals, architecture, perfumes and classic cars.
“This is just the beginning,” says Salomé with a smile. She leans in as she recounts her unexpected venture into the retail industry. “My late husband wanted to build a centre here. It was after he had passed away more than eight years ago that I tried to go ahead with it. In the process I had to change the plans twice and buy another piece of land to make it what it is today.”
Salomé has a background in both graphic and interior design but not many would guess that she’s mechanically inclined too, having rebuilt two vintage cars from scratch. “I love building and making broken things new again. I cannot tell you exactly what it does to my soul but I love renewing things. I bought two scrap cars and without any knowledge, I started fixing them and replaced the engines.”
“I love building and making broken things new again. I cannot tell you exactly what it does to my soul but I love renewing things.”
She shares her villa-inspired two-storey home with two playful Italian Greyhounds and four rescue cats, Sam, Snow, Speedy and Stone. “I found the male puppy in Pretoria but the female was found in a cage. I knew that I had to take her in otherwise it wouldn’t be long before she would have died. She was part of a litter of eight puppies but she was the sickly one. When I took her to the vet, she was on a drip for about two days and I didn’t know if she would make it, but she pulled through. Now, she’s the one who’s always up to mischief!”
The house has been almost completely changed to become the gorgeous home it is today. Only two door frames and the wooden flooring of the original building have remained. Every room has been thoughtfully made into her vision; from the dark marble-countered kitchen to the upstairs French bedroom with golden baroque mirror frames.
“What I love the most about perfume, is that it’s a mixture of the most unexpected ingredients that together make the most heavenly scent.”
Salomé is an avid traveller who considers both Italy and France her favourite destinations. However, because of the pandemic, she chose to spend the last festive season at home instead of absorbing herself into the food, people and architecture of cultures abroad. “I love to travel because you get to see new things and try new food. My favourite part of sightseeing is the architecture of buildings around the world; there are definitely different places for different things,” she says. “If you want to relax, a Greek beach is perfect; if you want to see amazing buildings, you go to Italy or France; if you want to shop, Turkey is great.”
Her home is filled with collections from her many travels, including a wonderful and vast selection of perfume. Along with travelling, Salomé shared a love of beautiful fragrances with her late husband, and she credits their trips together for her developed appreciation of perfume. “Perfumes react differently to different people. So I think in order to find the right one, you have to put it on and let it develop on your skin. If, at the end of the day it’s still there and you get compliments for it, then it’s probably perfect for you.”
“What I love the most about perfume, is that it’s a mixture of the most unexpected ingredients that together make the most heavenly scent.” She expresses that a perfect evening for her would be spent relaxing in a bubble bath before spritzing on one of her fragrances. “When I wear a particular perfume, the smell always takes me back to a happy memory.”
Text: NOMAQHAWE MTEBELE. Photographs: FLAMING FIRE PHOTOGRAPHY. Make-up artist: LANÉ PANNELL.