The Formulation of "529"
words from our co-founder, Asia Grant
When I was testing formulations for our first scent blend, it was in the dead of winter in New York in 2018. “Can’t make it a full New York block without stopping in a shop for warmth” type of winter. Honestly, the decision process to create a scent inspired by summer came from a sense of longing and anticipation. We wanted something that captured the energy of summer. Lively, fiery, unmistakable, unforgettable, visceral, sensual but approachable, accessible, impulsive, witty.
I found this long, thin shop in the West Village that sells high quality essential oils. When you walk in, there is a shelf with hundreds of essential oils lined up neatly, side by side, in alphabetical order. Their attention to detail is impeccable, from their warm hardwood floors to clean glass shelves, and especially in their range of products. Each scent was differentiated by location. Just for lavender alone there were 5 different profiles originating from Grasse, the Spanish coast, and Pacific Northwest. Every one of them with its own distinct profile and personality. Based on what we wanted to capture to reflect summer, we started with our initial list of notes:
Neroli, Geranium, Petit Grain, Palo Santo, Cedar, Ginger, Mandarin (Red), Lavender, Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Pink Peppercorn, Jasmine, Sandalwood
I spent hours at a time in the shop. Writing on test strips, waving three or four under our noses to see how each work with each other. I swapped out options and asking everyone that walked into the store for their thoughts. We would ask
“Where does this remind you of?"
"Can you tell me about the person who would be wearing this?"
"Can you describe this scent to me in one feeling?”
We wanted to make sure that it wasn’t summer time to just us, we wanted it to be summer time to everyone. ⠀
When I found the blend, it smelled like waking up under the sun, getting into trouble, listening to a bonfire burn, growing from heartache, and living your best life. The good, bad, and spicy of summer. I can always relive that time of exploration by listening to the playlist that I created to match the vibe of the scent. You can check it out here if you want to relive the experience with me, or just for some good vibes.
Have you smelled our blend? What does summer smell like to you?