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The Fragrances

Why did we call it S.C. 59, anyway?

Surfing, in one sense, is ancient. After all, there’s nothing...
The Interview

Q+A: Clara Settje, model/surfer for S.C. 59

Like the ocean itself, Clara Settje contains multitudes. Just peep...
The Interview

Q+A: Timothy Reed Murphy, surfer/model for S.C. 59

“I could stare at myself all day.” So jokes Timothy...
The Interview

How our surfing perfumer made the ultimate surf scent

We have a long history with perfumer Nathalie Benareau. She...
The Story

We’re a B Corp now. Here’s what that means.

When we first founded our business, one of our first...

Latest posts

“I could stare at myself all day.”

So jokes Timothy Reed Murphy, after some phone issues have us FaceTiming for our interview. That said, who could blame him? The guy surfs and models, and has the looks for both. Those two things alone made him a great choice to embody the spirit of our new surf-inspired S.C. 59 fragrance in our photo shoot, but Timothy is more than the proverbial pretty face: He also devotes his time to surf therapy, helping both special needs children and wounded veterans get on the water. We asked him about his important work, and how he came to surf in the first place, over FaceTime as he walked from Whole Foods to his new home in Venice Beach.

Here’s what he told us.

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Surfing, in one sense, is ancient. After all, there’s nothing more to it than a board and a wave, and someone to ride atop both. Scholars are still debating who did it first, and where, but on this there is no doubt: People have been surfing for millennia, if not longer.

But in another sense, modern surfing began roughly 60 years ago, on the beaches of southern California and Hawaii. That’s why we named our new fragrance family S.C. 59. The changes that began that year vaulted surfing into American culture at large, where it interacted with the changes already underfoot to create something new and enduring: A still-evolving surf culture that remains with us today.

So why did all this happen in that fateful year?

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Like the ocean itself, Clara Settje contains multitudes. Just peep her Instagram bio: “Rock Climber | Lazy Yogini | Doula | Surfer.” And oh yeah, she models, too, having spent the past 12 years globetrotting for countless campaigns and editorial shoots. This multihyphenate resume made her a perfect pick for our S.C. 59 photo shoot, given how the scent also escapes easy definition—it’s surf-inspired, yes, but in a modern way, with an amber-y finish that evokes the feeling of sun on skin. Clara has that sunkissed look, and it’s one she earned the old-fashioned way: by spending her time riding the waves.

We asked her how she got into surfing, and how she makes time for her varied pursuits. Here’s what she told us.

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We have a long history with perfumer Nathalie Benareau. She made three of our first six scents, and has now made two of the three scents we’ve introduced since launch. In addition, she translated three of those scents into candles, and four of those scents (and counting!) into body care products. We love her, she loves us, it’s a wonderful partnership.

And yet, our newest scent might be the best fit yet. It’s S.C. 59, a scent inspired by the bold and daring surf clubs of the 1950s, who took a rough-and-tumble approach to riding the waves at a time before surfing went commercial. (Think Dick Dale’s careening guitar work instead of the Beach Boys’ soothing harmonies.) It turns out, Nathalie surfs—or used to, anyway, in her early 20s.

So how did the former surfer make the ultimate surf scent? We asked her—and so much more—below.

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Art is a fascinating thing. To depict a beautiful natural setting like the beach, you might use synthetic paints created in a faraway lab, on a canvas made with cotton grown halfway around the world.

Same deal with fragrance. To evoke the fresh feeling of a day on the waves, for example, you can’t just drive to the beach and bottle up a bit of ocean, a bit of sand, and a bit of the sea-scented air that’s all around you. Instead, you—or rather, our surfing perfumer, Nathalie Benareau—use all the tools in your toolbox to craft a scent, S.C. 59, that somehow evokes a totally unrelated scene, like a wizard concocting a potion.

To learn how she did it, with the help of one unexpected ingredient, keep reading.

While S.C. 59 itself has notes of mint, lemon zest, orange flower and amber, those notes are powered by an array of ingredients, including ginger. But this isn’t just any ginger—it hails from Madagascar, where Nathalie herself discovered it while on a trip with her employer (and our partner), Symrise. It’s both rare and exclusive, which is just one of many reasons why you won’t find another scent—surf-inspired or otherwise—like S.C. 59.

So what makes this one special? Let Nathalie explain it. “Ginger can be soapy, but the one we have is super clean and fresh,” she says. This in turn helps produce the clean, fresh feeling you get while wearing S.C. 59.

Oh, and you know how we were saying earlier that sometimes art relies on elements that have nothing to do with its source? Well, sometimes there’s a nice bit of coincidence, too. It turns out that the island nation of Madagascar is a popular spot for, you guessed it: surfing.

Our admiration for Annie Jackson knows no bounds. She’s the co-founder and COO of Credo Beauty, where she has essentially redefined clean beauty for a new generation through the brand’s pioneering approach to retail, both online and off. (Not to brag, but you can find our products on Credo’s real and virtual shelves.) Before that, she helped build Sephora’s U.S. presence from the ground up.

That’s why we asked her to curate a Sample Set of her favorite scents, which you can find right here. (You’ll never guess which one reminds her of “a badass with a sharp tongue”—specifically, her grandmother.) While we had her, we made sure to ask her how she does it, why she does it, and how she overcame the many challenges that face anyone brave enough to start a business from scratch.

Read her answers after the jump.Read More

Every season, we ask someone we admire to curate a Sample Set of her favorite scents. This time around, we invited Tsh Oxenreider—the author and voice of The Art of Simple, a blog and podcast about living well and ignoring the rest—to give us her picks, which you can get here.

While we had her, we also had to ask Tsh how she does it. And by “it” we mean write, edit, podcast, travel, raise three children, and just plain live the life we see / hear / read about in her work. (She does it all from Georgetown, Texas, a stone’s throw away from our hometown of Austin.)

Read what she told us after the jump.

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We talk a lot around here about good, clean fun. And normally, by good, we mean our products are exactly that—good. (We’d actually say “great,” but “great, clean fun” isn’t a saying.) Everything is crafted with integrity by world-class perfumers given the freedom to practice their olfactive art.

Of course, good can also mean doing good, and that’s what we want to talk about today. If you didn’t know, we give $5 to the International Union for Conservation of Nature for every bottle we sell. (Well, except for anything Olmsted & Vaux—we give that $5 to the equally worthy Central Park Conservancy instead.)

What does that money do? Well, this year, it helped the IUCN assess and reassess around 1,400 species (!), which means each of those species was evaluated for its overall health and the health of its habitats. This monitoring helps the IUCN determine which species are threatened or endangered, so the IUCN can take care of the plants and animals that need it. In other words, thanks to your support, the IUCN was able to make huge progress in its important (and ongoing) mission to preserve wildlife across this planet we all share.

So thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you. The IUCN couldn’t have done it without you, either. We can’t wait to bring more joy to the world in 2019.

We know fragrance—now. But not so much when we started, which is why we turned to experts like Anne Serrano-McClain and Chandler Burr, amongst others, to help us get our bearings.

And now, as we explore new realms beyond fragrance, we’ve sought out expert assistance yet again. Folks who had deep knowledge in different product categories, and who shared our beliefs and values—and of course have a good sense of humor.

Well, as luck would have it, good folks were just down the road—our fellow Austinites at Texas Beauty Labs. They know deodorant, body wash and body lotion. And as it just so happens, we’re getting into the business of making deodorant, body wash and body lotion. (More on those in a minute.)

In fact, they created the Internet’s best-selling natural deodorant, so they know a thing or three about crafting great-smelling products that are also made with integrity. And since that’s sort of our whole thing, we thought we should get to know each other better. Here’s what we’ve learned.

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mod

/mäd/

noun

Short for “modification”; refers to any trial iteration of a fragrance before its scent is finalized.

“This mod is bright and luminous, but is lacking depth. Let’s add more texture.”

Now, that we got that out of the way, allow us to explain what the Mod Squad is, and why it was critical in helping us make Améline as wonderful as it is.Read More