The smell of a chlorinated pool, or a musty farmhouse are aromas particularly close to my heart. Every time I smell those things I imagine ice cream cones after a swim meet, or feeling cozy and cared for in one of my favourite homes.
Scent has a strong tie to memory. Harvard professor Venkatesh Murthy has studied this link in terrestrial (vs. marine) mammals, like humans.* Scent is becoming increasingly used in the world of branding, but we also believe it's a powerful part of creating a home. To our scent designer and business owner, Emily, the feeling of home is something everyone deserves. Growing up, she saw and felt the difference between homes that were cared for and ones that weren’t. Emily soon became obsessed with the idea of creating the feeling home, both for herself and others. Check out her masters thesis here, there are some pretty pictures. Her early career work in architecture was focused strongly on the visual. A few years in she had the desire to expand beyond image and leaned toward exploring the other senses that make a home—particularly scent.
As you may already know, our goods are inspired by nature, especially found in Newfoundland. Our scents come from natural experiences and are crafted with foraged botanicals. Take Brackish for instance—the seed was planted while hiking on a surprisingly hot day in boots and wool socks (if you know our weather, you know this feeling). Emily came across a waterfall that streamed into the ocean. River mint grew along the banks and gave off its cool scent as
the water beat against it.
She took off her boots and put her feet into the water to cool down. The wind carried aromas of salty air and kelp up from the ocean. Wild roses and Labrador tea were just beginning to bud. We all have moments we wish we could relive, and for Emily, this was one of them, so she got to work, creating what's become our most popular scent, Brackish.
It may sound like a quick process—smelling and then making—but each of our
scents take about a year to perfect. Our goods are completely natural and each scent has at least one element made from foraged botanicals so there is a lot more trial and error than if we used synthetic fragrances.
We don’t mind taking our time—we think it’s worth the wait if it means bringing you closer to home.
If scent design is interesting to you but you don’t know where to begin,
we have some tips for you.
First, get o
ut and smell. Be
curious and play with your surroundings.
When it comes to nature, be sure to research something if it catches your eye—some things are beautiful and smell great, but can harm you (as an example, Giant Hogweed is nice to look at, but its fruit is poisonous and its sap can burn and cause temporary blindness).
If it’s edible, taste it.
Harvest responsibly—we leave on third of whatever we forage to ensure regrowth during its next cycle.
Try different things with your natural goods. Dry it out in the sun or put it in oil and see where the scents take you.
If you want to expand beyond that, we offer Scent Design workshops where you
can craft a unique scent of your own and take it home in the form of an essential oil and a scent spray.
Pop over to instagram, we save videos of us foraging in our highlights. And we wrote a recent article about our favourite Spring botanicals—lovage and spruce tips. I'd love to know about your favourite scents and the memories tied to them. We love hearing from you by email through the form below or on our social media accounts.
*There's a fascinating article I read about how scent, emotion and memory are linked in the Harvard Gazette, in case you're interested in delving deeper.