Local Scents: a conversation about sourcing natural fragrance ingredients

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Local Scents: a conversation about sourcing natural fragrance ingredients
Cosmetics Design checked in with Janna Sheehan, founder and fragrance designer at Ojai Wild, an independent eau de cologne brand that prides itself in local sourcing to learn more about the possibilities and limitations of gathering raw materials from the local environment.

Last month, Cosmetics Design ran a series of articles about sustainability, including a piece on how and why small cosmetics and personal care brands are sourcing ingredients, materials, and talent locally.  

“People need to look broad spectrum at the impact that they’re creating with their brand and their consumer,” ​Ashley Prange, founder and CEO of Au Naturale Cosmetics, told Cosmetics Design; and she went on to emphasize that “we all have to be mindful that we can be the change our consumers want us to be.” ​(Read Small beauty brands weigh in on the importance of sourcing cosmetics and personal care ingredients locally​ on Cosmetics Design.)

Since then, Cosmetics Design caught up with Janna Sheehan, founder and fragrance designer at Ojai Wild. Here, she shares her insights on local sourcing for fragrance.

Home grown fragrances

Ojai Wild sells four fragrances: White Sage Leaves, Juniper Berry, Redwood Leaves, and Pink Peppercorn. And local sourcing is very much a part of the brand story: “Alongside organic botanicals and roots from our farm in the Ojai Valley, our hand-gathered materials are ethically sourced from trees, shrubs and fields grown on established estates and ranches all around California,” ​according to the Ojai Wild ecommerce site.

Asked about what exactly the brand sources from the area, Sheehan tells Cosmetics Design, “We grow white sage, pink peppercorn, and chamomile on our farm in Ojai. Our redwood and juniper berry are sourced in other parts of California.” ​(The Ojai Valley is about 30 miles square and located just northwest of Los Angeles.)

For Ojai Wild, local sourcing is about fresh materials and rewarding relationships. “Our objective,” ​says Sheehan, “is to work with farmers and land owners who grow California botanicals. We are interested in sourcing California botanicals from reliable growers with sustainable ethics.”

“That way,” ​she tells Cosmetics Design, “we can produce the freshest, cleanest fragrances and beauty products. Our formulation and manufacturing process is very labor intensive so this step is extremely important to insure a fragrant and fresh, high quality product.”

Sheehan also believes that being hands on with the fragrance inputs, gives her a creative advantage: “Because I'm involved in the care of the plants at our farm, I have a deeper understanding of their needs and their personality.  Having this depth of knowing allows me to reach depths of creativity I'd otherwise not be tuned into.”



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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