How we made Winter Redwood Wilderness Perfume

As we celebrate the launch of our Winter Redwood Wilderness Perfume, let us take a moment to explore some of the traditional, or what we call “heritage” techniques, of perfume making. We employ these ancient techniques to extract the fragrance from flowers, lichens, moss, dirt, sand, and wood to deliver this unique snapshot of our life on the trail.

First off, it is Wilderness Perfume. Wilderness Perfume is a concept and an ingredient. Everything Juniper Ridge makes is a Wilderness Perfume from our Trail Soap to our Campfire Incense; we call it all Wilderness Perfume. Wilderness Perfume is also the substance we put in the bottles themselves across the whole line from the Backpacker Cologne to the Cabin Spray; it all contains Wilderness Perfume.

Wilderness Perfume is not made in a lab by white-coated science guys. Wilderness Perfume is derived from natural elements we find on the trail as we explore the tough landscapes that we adore. Furthermore, Winter Redwood is a Field Lab Wilderness Perfume. That means, unlike our standard harvests (Mojave, Big Sur, Siskiyou, Sierra Granite and Cascade Glacier), Winter Redwood is formulated 100% on the trail, in the van, or even on the road. Our Field Lab portfolio is made of Wilderness Perfumes that are hand-numbered because we are only able to make a tiny amount of them and want to highlight how special the moment was that we captured the wind and put it in a bottle.

The next brainy idea, was to try and capture the real smell of the ocean. We took Sea Grass, Kelp, and real ocean water and infused it in organic jojoba oil. The result was a strong note indeed! We took the infusion and squeezed it in our apple press. Yes, it is very technical equipment we use here, indeed. We are masters of improvisation.

You know the smell of the damp forest floor in the winter? You know that beautiful, living smell? You should. You should walk away from your computer, find your own private piece of forest, and explore your animal senses. Don’t be embarrassed; it is so rewarding and such a treasure to the Wilderness Perfumer. For the first time in four years that we’ve been producing Winter Redwood, we have incorporated actual leaf-litter into the formula. Armfuls of the living forest floor soaked in premium organic jojoba oil and processed in the apple press. The result sang with pure, green, earthen beauty.

One of the most fun techniques for extracting fragrant oils from plants was Campfire distillation. This is the process of actually melting aromatic wood in an oven of fire coals that we built on the beach. The melted wood turns into tar and carries with it the smell of campfire smoke, another one of our favorite notes. We cut up a hundred tiny sticks of Bay Laurel and placed them into a double chamber tin, buried them under sand on top of piping hot coals, then cracked beers while the magic happened.

One of the most fun techniques for extracting fragrant oils from plants was Campfire distillation. This is the process of actually melting aromatic wood in an oven of fire coals that we built on the beach. The melted wood turns into tar and carries with it the smell of campfire smoke, another one of our favorite notes. We cut up a hundred tiny sticks of Bay Laurel and placed them into a double chamber tin, buried them under sand on top of piping hot coals, then cracked beers while the magic happened.

Finally, most people think of medicinal applications or putting herbs in alcohol for therapeutic reasons we say that we make tinctures. Our reasons are purely aesthetic, like everything we do. Mushrooms, Scrub Oak, Douglas Iris, Yew, Madrone, and Coastal Live Oak Buds all have become part of our tincturing process.

We are having so much fun doing something no one has ever done before: cataloguing a new fragrance grammar. There are no European plants in any of our formulas. There are no farmed plants in our Wilderness Perfumes. There are no store bought fragrances in our workshop. There are no synthetic fragrances that could even touch these complex evocations. This is the way every perfume house in France used to make perfume, and now not a single one does! We hate perfume, but we live for Wilderness Perfume. We are interested in simply telling a wonderful story and delivering a pure expression of this place at this moment. Enjoy WINTER REDWOOD FIELD LAB WILDERNESS PERFUME by JUNIPER RIDGE.