Tag: Ingredients

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.

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Perhaps you noticed this tidbit in our recent interview with perfumer Nathalie Benareau, regarding our newest fragrance, Améline: “In our palette we have this specific rose that no one else has,” she told us. This unique and exclusive ingredient is a special rose absolute that was created by our partners at Symrise, where Nathalie crafted Améline.

Suffice it to say there’s a story behind it. After the jump, we share that story…

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Our newest fragrance, Améline, is not your grandmother’s rose perfume. Like femininity itself, this rose has been updated for the modern era. In the case of our fragrance, that means adding hints of sandalwood, patchouli and sparkling Italian bergamot, even a little violet, for a resulting scent that’s fresh and floral, earthy and watery. All to make a scent that embodies both Old World style and 21st century womanhood, and channels classic French style filtered through an American lens.

We spoke with the perfumer, Nathalie Benareau—a thoroughly modern French woman who now resides in America—to find out how she did it.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time: Take some of our fine fragrances, and make candles from their scents. After all, if you love the way something smells on your skin throughout the day, why not perfume the air with it, too. Easy, right? Well, in the immortal words of the Brad Pitt film Moneyball, it’s incredibly hard.

Fortunately, we had the incredibly talented perfumer Nathalie Benareau to help us, and she made it seem effortless. In roughly two months, she took her original scents from Hanami, Olmsted & Vaux and Hepcat, and translated them into Annica, Claremont and Howl, respectively. “This guy I love to work with is very knowledgeable, and he gave me a few ideas on what to use,” she says. “I called him in and he said ‘Augh! These people who try to turn fragrance into a candle. It never works!’ [Laughs.] But it does if you do it the right way.”

We couldn’t agree more. We spoke with Nathalie to learn just what the right way entails.

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When we first founded our business, one of our first decisions was that we would be a values-based organization—one that always takes into account all of our stakeholders when making any decision. This means that we consider the perspective of our clients, our partners, our team, our investors and our planet, with everything we do.

This might seem like the obvious thing to do, but unfortunately it’s not a common one, as many businesses make decisions only through the narrow lens of short-term profitability. By instead considering all stakeholders, we believe we will make thoughtful and balanced decisions that will, in turn, create the best outcomes for all of our stakeholders—including, most importantly, you.

Happily, we’re not alone in adopting this approach. In fact, there is a  wonderful organization dedicated to helping businesses focus on creating what many call “conscious capitalism.” That organization is B Lab, and we’re thrilled to share that we’ve just been certified by them as a B Corp.

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“There is no smell like this smell from the timur pepper.”

So says a representative from Mane, our partners for our new fragrance Sandara, describing that scent’s key ingredient, Nepalese timur pepper. It’s prized for its lemony top notes, with traces of ginger, grapefruit and spice. (It is a pepper, after all.) As Sandara’s perfumer, Gino Percontino, puts it: “The heart of the fragrance is the timur pepper. It’s one of the shining stars. To me it means so much.”

But as with many star ingredients, Nepalese timur pepper isn’t easy to come by. It’s rare and therefore precious, a reminder that in ancient days, spices were as valued as gold, and just as subject to counterfeiting and fraud. (That said, the pepper is not as rare as, say, Indian sandalwood, which has been harvested to the point of near-extinction.) Mane sources it responsibly, partnering with impoverished communities in Nepal to ensure that the pepper is a critical source of income not just for the women who live and work there now, but for generations to come.

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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:

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