When we began planning our photoshoot for Sandara—our brand-new scent, inspired by a mindful walk in the Redwoods—we knew it had to be something special. The location was a no-brainer: Portola Redwoods State Park embodied our vision for the fragrance. And the models, well, they couldn’t be just models. (Not that any model is ever just a model, but you know what we mean.) We wanted people who understood what Sandara was all about.

We were lucky, then, to find Kaeli Renae and Navid Golemohammadi, each of whom represent Sandara in their own ways. Keep reading to see what we mean—and hear some of the stories from the shoot.

Kaeli Renae

Where are you from?

I consider San Francisco home. It’s where I spent the last decade—there’s no place like it. I grew up down the coast in Salinas.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve spent the last couple of years teaching yoga, freelance writing, dj’ing and modeling while I travel. I am doing what I love, which comes down to helping people reconnect to their body, spirit and community through music, movement and meditation. You can read more at my lifestyle blog at www.kaelirenae.com or say hi on Instagram at @kaelirenae.

Why us?:

What really excites me about PHLUR is that it doesn’t have additives and harmful chemicals like most perfumes. I’m very picky about the products I use, so I was super happy to see that there are no parabens, phthalates, etc. Sandara is my dream scent. Light. Warm. Notes of sandalwood. It just feels very me. And I get compliments every time I wear it.

How has this experience changed the way you think about fragrance?

One of my favorite things is that PHLUR doesn’t differentiate fragrance in terms of ‘for men’ or ‘for women.’ I was having tacos with a dear friend from New York a few days ago who asked what scent I was wearing. I carry the bottle with me so I showed it to him and he immediately sprayed some on himself. I think we’re seeing people get over the gendered marketing gimmicks—pink razors, for example. Products don’t need to be gender-specific, just high-quality and something we like. It’s great to see this translating into fragrances.

Any fun stories from the shoot itself?

This shoot was a dream. We spent the days exploring lush fern groves, surrounded by towering redwoods, hiking to a serene waterfall, climbing fallen logs, lots of laughing… basically one of my favorite ways to spend a day. On Day 1, when we hiked to the waterfall, Navid, Monique (the makeup artist) and I kept singing “Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls.”  The next day we got into the car to drive to the location, turned on the local radio station and  “Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls” was just coming on. Next thing you know, the three of us are singing TLC. For me, little moments of synchronicity like that are gold.

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Navid Golemohammadi

Where are you from?

I’m from Berkeley, California. I live in Hollywood now, but I go back home all the time.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I just graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I got into modeling because my older brother is a photographer and producer. People always told me, why don’t you try doing that [modeling]? He took some pictures of me, I sent them into agencies, I got interviewed and signed and then learned just by doing. But the angle now is to be a TV actor. That’s why I moved here last summer. It’s been going well. It’s like any other industry—what you put in is what you get out.

Why us?

I like the marketing, and I like the aesthetic of the images that you guys have. And I’ve always wanted to do a fragrance ad. I didn’t know that this one was specifically an in-the-woods aesthetic, but I understood why they chose me for that look.

How has this experience changed the way you think about fragrance?

The experience changed the way [I think of] the future of fragrance. Cynthia [Korman, our co-founder] was telling me about how you send out the product [in our Sample Sets], so people can decide whether they like it or not. That’s the future. And then how you guys work with all the top-notch perfumers.

Any stories from the shoot you can share?
The hardest part for me was that I had to walk out on this log that was like 20 feet off the ground—maybe higher than that. I made the mistake of looking down [laughs]. Then they didn’t use that one! The easiest part was the general stroll through the woods—we saw like two other people out there the entire time. The locations are basically the essence of the perfume. Very similar to the Muir Woods, which is where I went growing up.

Navid Golemohammadi goes out on a very large limb.
Look, Navid—we totally used the log photo! 🙂