Real Fragrance

Real fragrance, the kind that comes from plants, trees, moss and wild herbs, rearranges your insides and takes you away to the quietness of wilderness - clearing a trail in the mountains above Big Sur, a campfire in the Mojave desert, hiking in the Sierra with the smell of winter right around the corner...

We are the only company in the world extracting and formulating 100% real, plant-based fragrances. The only one. 100 years ago any of the big perfume houses in Paris could have made that claim. They used to work with real plants, but they gave it up a long time ago. We’re doing it the old fashioned way from start to finish in our Oakland, California workshop.

No Fake Fragrance

The fragrance industry is addicted to cheap, petroleum-based synthetic fragrances. Everything from the fancy perfumes to the more crunchy fragrances sold and whole foods stores, it's all made with fake fragrance. There are at least 4000 different chemicals used by the fragrance industry, many of which have never been tested for safety (A single fragrance can contain up to 200-600 individual chemical ingredients). And while all those fancy perfume companies talk a big game about rare ingredients, the facts are that virtually all of the stuff in the bottle is fake. Here's some links about the prevalence and nasty health effects synthetic fragrance ...

The Story of Cosmetics (You Tube Video) by Annie Leonard

"Why go Fragrance Free?" by invisibledisabilities.org

Why do they all use synthetics? Because it’s cheap - really cheap. That little, precious $180 bottle of cologne in the fancy big black bottle costs about $1.50 to fill ...

The Cost of Perfume, Los Angeles Times, by Paddy Calistro, Nov. 13, 1988

Our fragrances cost ten or twenty times that much! It takes over 500 gallons of Redwood Trimmings to make a pint of aromatic oil. That’s expensive, and that’s why none of the big perfume companies work with natural materials anymore, it’s just much cheaper to make petro-chemical fragrance than it is to make real fragrance.


Every Juniper Ridge product has a harvest number stamped on the front of it. These numbers are how we indicate the vintage of each fragrance. Like wine, the scent palette of our fragrances vary over successive years based on rainfall, temperature, and harvesting locations. You can look up the harvest number on your package at the top of this page to see photos of the plants in your fragrance and the Juniper Ridge crew who gathered them.


Juniper Ridge was founded in December of 1998 at the Berkeley Farmers Market by avid hiker, mushroom forager and all around nature freak Hall Newbegin

Hall - “Juniper Ridge was founded on a very simple idea – I wanted to make fragrances that smelled like the outdoors, like the real places that I knew and loved as a hiker. Nothing smells better than taking a hike in the Bay Laurel and Oak woodlands of Mt. Tamalpais, the sage covered mountains of the Big Sur or the Timberline Trail on Mt. Hood in the height of wildflower summer. The subtle aromas you pick up when you’re on the trail are so incredibly evocative– they sink in deep and rearrange your insides and take you away to the stillness of the outdoors. Smell is the oldest of our five senses - it was with us 65 million years ago when we were just rodents crawling around on the forest floor and, being the oldest of our senses, bypasses reason and goes straight to our emotions. But most folks don’t even understand the beauty of real fragrance because all we’ve known for the past 60 years is a cruddy, petrochemical shadow of the real thing.

All my friends hate fragrance - I hate fragrance. I’m a backpacker and I’d never buy a perfume or cologne from a department store, but I knew how beautiful and transformative it was to crush Black Sage leaves or Mountain Fir needles under my nose. The reason everyone hates fragrance because all they know is the fake stuff. The French fragrance druids would like to make you think that they’re only ones who can formulate fragrances, that what they’re doing is so complex and specialized that no one but a handful of highly trained technicians could ever do it, but if you pull back the curtain you’ll see the stuff they’re putting in the bottles is crap (pardon my french :D ). Fragrance is much more primitive than those folks would like for you to believe. We have an intimate, direct connection to plants from our evolutionary past - it’s already inside you, it’s in your DNA and when we begin to awaken that dormant part of yourself, you’re tapping into something deep”

Hall sold his fragrance products, fresh wildharvested sage bundles, wild herb teas, wild mushrooms and other goodies at the market for years - harvesting in the mountains, making soap and fragrance in his kitchen during the week and selling at the farmers markets on weekends. We’re bigger today (a dozen people - 6 in our production workshop and 6 people on the phones and running the business), but the premise of what we do is still the same: we make real fragrance from the quiet places in the mountains and deserts that we love.