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As someone who is very sensitive to the chemical smells wafting from the perfume counters at the department stores, I had all but given up on finding a scent that would suit my taste.
You can imagine how thrilled I was to discover a burgeoning group of perfumers and scent-artists crafting perfumes and colognes from ingredients taken from nature! Each of the following perfumers craft scent experiences for the wearer, taking them deep into the forest or to the moon with the scents that unfold from treasured bottles.
“Lvnea explores the spaces between the natural world and that of the ethereal. With a focus on pure plant essences and unexpected aromatic combinations, rare ingredients are sourced from around the world to evoke distant memories and awaken unwritten desires.”
LVNEA by April Lea
April Lea is the artist behind every hand-blended perfume by Lvnea. She pairs traditional French perfumery techniques with an inclination toward natural scent-stories.
When I received my sample box of four Lvnea scents, it was difficult to decide which scent to explore first. The whole experience of buying a perfume from Lvnea is beautifully crafted, from April’s word-stories of nights spent on the forest floor, to the packaging and, finally, the scent-story that wafts from each bottle. Being a nature-dweller, I was immediately drawn to those scents that seemed to alchemize a specific natural setting into drops of liquid.
Ghost Pine captures the scent of pine needles, wet leaves, wood, and moss. It reminds me of when the dense fog rolls around the bend of our mountain road, paired with a mysterious darkness that I can’t quite put my finger on.
Nuit Desert combines the scents of cedar leaf, jasmine, and smoke. The warmth of the scent reminds one of a desert campfire. It stays on my skin for so long that I awake the morning after applying it smelling like fragrant, jasmine smoke.
Both of these scents are unisex, as are most of her other perfume oils. April also crafts other luxurious products, such as serums, bath salts, and candles.
You can find April Lea and her perfumes on Etsy and at her beautiful web shop. If you live in the Brooklyn area, she will be selling her wares at the Renegade Craft Fair at the Brooklyn Expo Center on May 21 & 22, 2016.
“The exact formula depends on what we find in the wind, a conversation with the living, wild ecology.”
I recently told a good friend I was searching for storytellers, and she immediately thought of the guys at Juniper Ridge. When I began to explore the concepts that lay at the foundation of this company, I discovered a mission that was close to my heart.
The guys at Juniper Ridge use ancient techniques to create cologne, incense, tea, soap, cabin sprays, oils, and candles from wild harvested plant material. They obsess over the intricacies of each landscape harvest in order to truly reflect the scent experience of an actual visit to each West Coast location.
In order to freshen the air of our new mountain home in Southern California, I recently purchased two of their wild harvested incenses: Desert Pinon and Doug Fir Campfire Incenses. I usually find that store-bought incense smoke is thick and overwhelming, however, the smoke from the Juniper Ridge campfire incense has the weight and scent of real wood and wild herb smoke. The ingredients are listed as: tree wood/pitch, wild herbs, vegetable gum, and bamboo stick.
Along with my order, I received a copy of INTERACT, a Juniper Ridge publication detailing the adventures surrounding each of their creations. I was so excited to see that the team has spent time harvesting near my childhood stomping grounds around Truckee, California and at Gold Lake and the Sierra Buttes; two locations which have played a part in my family history for generations. Needless to say, I can’t wait to explore the rest of the scent-stories cooked up by this group of scent storytellers.
You can find natural concoctions by Juniper Ridge at the web shop and stay up-to-date on their rambles on the Trail Blog. For a picture tour of their California adventures check out the @juniperridge Instagram feed.
Juniper Ridge donates 10% of their profits to wilderness groups, an endeavor that totaled $22k last year alone. For the wilderness lover, this is yet another reason to support these guys on their wilderness scent adventures.
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