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The Fragrances

The flowers of Añoranza

Our tenth and newest fragrance, Añoranza, conjures the Havana of...
The Interview

Meet the perfumer behind our newest scent

Gino Percontino is the craftsman behind Añoranza, inspired by the...
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 Story

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

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

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Gino Percontino is the craftsman behind Añoranza, inspired by the Havana that exists only in a dream. And indeed, that’s how it exists for Gino—he has never been to the Cuban capital, though he has spent plenty of time in the Caribbean, experience that helped inspire his execution of that ethereal concept. The end result is stunning: floral and fresh, somehow reminiscent of mojitos and the salt of the sea and sensual nights spent dancing on cobblestone streets…

We wanted to hear how he did it. Gino was kind enough to give us a little of his time. Keep reading to see what he told us, including how his research for Añoranza included a little trespassing, and why it was like bottling paradise.

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Our tenth and newest fragrance, Añoranza, conjures the Havana of our dreams (and, we hope, yours), thanks to a pair of unique flowers, each of which embodies our Cuban inspiration in its own way. One is literally the national flower of Cuba. The other is an unusual jasmine that our perfumer discovered while trespassing in the Caribbean. (That’s a whole other story.) 

Keep reading to discover the amazing backstory behind these two special flowers.

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As you know, we make every effort to ensure our ingredients are responsibly sourced, and safe for your skin and for the planet we all call home.

That’s why we’re thrilled to tell you about the bourbon vetiver inside our newest scent, Añoranza. It’s an ultra-rare ingredient that essentially disappeared in the ‘80s. Basically, cheaper (if inferior) vetivers came along, and that was that.

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“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