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?
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.
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.
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
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…
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.
Welcome to the latest in our series of conversations with people we admire. Our latest gracious subject? Our adviser Jessica Hendricks Yee—the founder of The Brave Collection, a line of jewelry that’s made in Cambodia and raises money to fight human trafficking. (You can see some of the collection in our shoot for our new Sandara fragrance.) In our conversation, she shares what inspires her, her favorite scent memories, and her 91-year-old grandma’s key to longevity. She also gives us the scoop on her next big project. (Hint: it involves jewelry). Check it out below.
“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.
Welcome to the latest in our series of interviews with people we admire. Kevin Fink is one of those people. He’s the man behind Emmer & Rye, one of the best restaurants in our hometown of Austin, Texas, if not the country. (Just ask Bon Appetit or Food & Wine or any number of publications singing its praises.)
What makes it so good? Much of it comes from Kevin’s mindful approach to food, which he honed at such iconic spots as Noma and The French Laundry. Everything he does he does with purpose, whether it’s exclusively using whole animals or buying heritage grains. These things ensure the food tastes better, sure, but they’re also the right thing to do—things that support the community, reduce waste, foster relationships with farmers and growers. We aim for a similar approach with our fragrances and candles, and that’s why we asked Kevin to host a special scent dinner when we launched last year.
We caught up with Kevin recently, and he was as busy as ever. He and his wife had their first child, a baby boy, this fall. And soon, he will open Henbit, a restaurant that brings the same mindful approach to food as Emmer & Rye, but for a more casual diner. (It will open at Fareground, an upcoming marketplace in downtown Austin.) As you might expect, Fink is deeply thoughtful and considerate, precise with how he speaks, occasionally cutting himself off mid-sentence to layer on a new idea, as if hurrying to match the pace of his own thoughts. We just tried our best to keep up.