Artisanal perfumers are experimenting with natural edibles to concoct memorable food-based fragrances.
True Nature Botanicals
Mill Valley, CA
Created by the CEO of Marie Veronique Organics, this new line of all-natural, creamy perfume balms is designed for travel (they won’t spill or break in your bag). Each of the three herbaceous scents is designed to evoke a specific Californian locale, like acypress-and-citrus grove on the Pacific coast. tnbotanicals.com.
The brainchild of aromatherapist Persephenie Lea (trained by incense experts in India), this line of botanical products, from lip balm to perfume, taps into the health properties of scent. Lavender-rosemary smelling salts aim to relieve stress; sage incense infused with honey and red wine is meant for spiritual cleansing. persephenie.com.
This luxury line includes scents based on actual places, like the Sahara desert or western Ireland (a blend of mints, grasses, olives, fig leaves and wild thyme) and imaginary places, like Cloud 9. Perfumer Danielle Ryan knows a thing or two about traveling—her family founded European airline Ryanair, and she lived in Sri Lanka as a child. roads.co.
Honoré des Prés
Produced in Grasse, a French town famous for its old-school perfume experts, this organic line is favored by health-conscious style-setters like Jessica Alba. Perfumer Olivia Giacobetti’s most recent creations are tongue-in-cheek takes on trendy diets, like a coconut-vanilla fragrance inspired by the coconut water craze; it comes packaged in a chic version of a to-go coffee cup. honoredespres.com.
Friends are often the inspiration for Brooklynite Anne McClain’s super-small-batch, minimally packaged perfumes. One of her first, a tobacco-vanilla-pine essence called Hunter, is based on the sweet, woodsy scent of an acquaintance who worked in maple-sugaring cabins (she suggests wearing it with flannel). mcmcfragrances.com.
CB I Hate Perfume
Christopher Brosius blends unusual scents that evoke memorable life experiences, many of which have culinary roots. One of his most daring, Beast, was inspired by a customer who commissioned him to create a perfume with notes of roast beef. A more crowd-pleasing fragrance called Gathering Apples is the essence of sweet fruit and dried leaves; a November-themed scent, which he describes as having notes of pumpkin pie and chanterelle mushroom, is comforting rather than kitschy. cbihateperfume.com.
Hall Newbegin went from foraging mushrooms for dinner to foraging mushrooms for earthy scents and soaps. His low-tech process didn’t really change: He and a small team of earnest, outdoorsy employees venture into some of America’s most gorgeous wilderness (like the banks of California’s Yuba River) to handpick herbs, flowers and fungi. They dry their foraged finds on outdoor clotheslines or extract them in an on-site, steam-powered still. The results range from cologne to pine-needle tea. Newbegin is working on a line of simple syrups flavored with plants from Marin County’s Mt. Tamalpais. juniperridge.com.