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.
We know fragrance—now. But not so much when we started, which is why we turned to experts like Anne Serrano-McClain and Chandler Burr, amongst others, to help us get our bearings.
And now, as we explore new realms beyond fragrance, we’ve sought out expert assistance yet again. Folks who had deep knowledge in different product categories, and who shared our beliefs and values—and of course have a good sense of humor.
Well, as luck would have it, good folks were just down the road—our fellow Austinites at Texas Beauty Labs. They know deodorant, body wash and body lotion. And as it just so happens, we’re getting into the business of making deodorant, body wash and body lotion. (More on those in a minute.)
In fact, they created the Internet’s best-selling natural deodorant, so they know a thing or three about crafting great-smelling products that are also made with integrity. And since that’s sort of our whole thing, we thought we should get to know each other better. Here’s what we’ve learned.
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.