And then there were seven.
For the first time, we are adding a new fragrance to our collection of six award-winning scents. The new scent is called Sandara, and we think it’s unlike anything else out there.
To explain just what makes it so special, we asked the man who should know: Gino Percontino, the perfumer who crafted it, and who is working with us for the very first time. Here’s what he told us:
1. The concept
Each of our fragrances begins with a moment, which we then translate into a brief—a virtual moodboard with words, images and even songs that capture the vibe of the scent. We then give our perfumers the brief, along with the time and the resources they need to create something beautiful and original.
Gino was eager for the creative challenge, and delivered something beyond our wildest expectations. “The one thing that says it all about the fragrance is that it makes you feel at one with the earth,” he says. “There’s something about it. The earth tones, the freshness. You can close your eyes and feel like you’re one with the earth and where you are. You feel grounded. It’s one of my favorite fragrances that I’ve made to date. Something about it—and I don’t want to sound corny—really takes you to the soul. It’s just simple and pure and beautiful.”
We couldn’t agree more.
2. The process
Much like a movie director might perfect a scene by having her actors perform take after take, we ask our perfumers to create multiple iterations of the same scent before we finalize the formulation. We call those iterations mods, and typically go through a slew of them before we find The One—not just an amazing scent, but a scent that embodies the original concept.
In Sandara’s case, Gino created 28 iterations, delivered and tested over several months, all based on an idea that had been percolating since before we launched. “It was a long process,” Gino says. “The biggest challenge was just that balance. When you have something so visual, to make sure you connect on every level. I’m going through the pictures [from the brief] now, and I’m thinking you really do smell all those things.” We think so, too.
3. The smell (of course)
Take it away, Gino: “I would describe it as an aromatic, woody floral. The timur pepper, the way the woods are very clean. They’re very clean and crisp, which is nice because it’s not heavy. And the other thing that makes it special is it has a floral aspect to it, which is really interesting and works for both men and women.”
4. Nepalese timur pepper
One specific ingredient stands out to Gino: “The heart of the fragrance is the timur pepper,” he says. “The timor pepper is one of my favorite ingredients because of how faceted it is. It’s one of the shining stars. To me it means so much.”
That pepper, like all of our ingredients, is responsibly sourced, meaning it’s harvested by workers who are paid a fair wage. Also, like all of our ingredients, it’s vegan, and isn’t listed on the IUCN’s Red List of threatened and endangered species. Making a fragrance where every ingredient meets these high standards can be a challenge. “It makes you focus on things you maybe don’t use too often,” Gino says. (Check out the unique story behind sourcing Nepalese timur pepper.)
While he wouldn’t say it himself, part of what makes this fragrance special is that, like our other scents, it was created by an artist, and bears an artist’s personal imprimatur. We asked Gino a bit about his background, and this is what he said:
“I’ve been at Mane [our partner in scent] for almost two years, and been a perfumer for 15 years. I was actually pre-med, I came into this industry by accident. I was studying for the MCAT and I took a job working in an application lab for another fragrance house. And i had no idea the industry existed. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and fell in love with it. I was lucky enough to meet another perfumer, who trained me, and I became an assistant, and now I’m a perfumer.”
You can experience Gino’s craftsmanship by trying Sandara now.