Hall Newbegin.

When I started out, it broke my heart to see what passed for fragrance. All those fancy, tiny bottles filled with manipulated petroleum yuck. I wanted to make fragrances that smelled like the places I knew and loved as a lifelong backpacker and hiker. Nothing smells better than the sage-covered mountains of Big Sur, or wildflower meadows along Mt. Hood's Timberline Trail at the height of alpine summer that's real fragrance.

People think of fragrance as being a shallow experience that just happens in our nose. It's so much richer than that. Smell is the oldest of our senses. It by-passes reason and goes straight to the ancient parts of our brains right to our emotions. Until really very recently in our evolutionary history, we depended on our sense of smell (and on wild plants) for our day-to-day survival. So it's no surprise that we have deep faculties for interacting with nature through our noses, even if those faculties are laying dormant inside of us.

Real, place-based fragrance the kind that comes from plants, trees, moss, and bark rearranges your insides, it brings up emotions, transports you to the stillness of the outdoors. You can't buy our materials or ingredients anywhere because nobody else does what we do, no-one works with the plants we work with. I'd never substitute European sage oil for our local wild sages because they smell completely different. The only way to capture Big Sur in a bottle is to go there, put your hiking boots on, collect plants, and make it yourself. We wildcraft our ingredients, which means we travel to our favourite wilderness areas, harvest plants there and distill them into fragrances. Sometimes we even distill the fragrance on the road in our converted whiskey still. No-one else in the world is making fragrance this way and probably for good reason it's a questionable business model.

We're the world's only wild fragrance company. We are the only company in the world harvesting, distilling and formulating natural fragrances. A hundred years ago, every perfume house in Paris made perfume this way. But when cheap, petroleum-based synthetic scents appeared in the 1960s, the perfume industry abandoned the techniques and ingredients they'd used for thousands of years and stopped making real fragrance. Our materials are everything to us. They're not just important to our products, they are our products. We create our fragrances by spending months in the backcountry, drinking beer, crawling around like squirrels, smelling all the plants and dirt so we can bring you the real feel of the real place.

Juniper Ridge, founded by Hall Newbegin in 1998, makes 100% natural colognes and perfumes wildcrafted from real plants, bark, moss, mushrooms, tree pitch and other things found hiking the backcountry.

Buy Juniper Ridge soaps and colognes here.

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