How did Sana Jardin come about?
My life-long love of fragrance sparked the idea for Sana Jardin – that and using business as a vehicle for social change. I have long seen the need for financial opportunities for low-income women and the benefits this would bring their communities, thanks to my career in social work where I developed innovative economic solutions with philanthropic organisations. The traditional fragrance supply chain is wasteful, and women at the base of the supply chain have low standards of living. I realised that Sana Jardin could empower everyone, from the harvester to the consumer, through a circular economy and zero-waste supply chain. The opportunity was too powerful to ignore.
What makes Sana Jardin stand out from other fragrance brands?
Our objective is to fundamentally shift the way business is done and modernise it by embedding social impact initiatives and human-centric values into a business model. I believe that each of us can be an agent of change. With Sana Jardin I wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to offer a luxury product that also reflects a powerful consumer choice. I want to create a true flower revolution.
How important is sustainability to the brand?
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Our Beyond Sustainability business model promotes a circular economy through flower recycling. We take the waste product from perfume production and upcycle it into a line of products that the female flower harvesters in Morocco sell locally, becoming micro-entrepreneurs. In collaboration with the non-profit organisation Nest and Les Arômes du Maroc, we have developed a co-operative for the women and have upskilled them. Now the female harvesters can earn revenues all year round.
Describe Sana Jardin in three phrases
Socially conscious, luxury, pioneering
How does your typical day go?
My typical day is always very fast paced. I get up with my sons to make sure they go to school in an orderly (and almost late) way and then settle at my computer, enjoy a large decadent coffee and catch up on emails. I usually do kick boxing or pilates late morning and have conference calls and meetings all afternoon. My time is spent between Sana Jardin, my charitable commitments, my sons and close friends. My sons usually get home from school around 5pm and the next three to four hours are a whirl of dinner, homework, chatting, playing football and then bedtime. After they go to bed (which seems to be later and later by the day) I make calls to the US and catch up on the emails I missed during the evening hours. As an American I have lots of friends and family in the US and we also have business over there so I schedule these calls for after my sons are asleep and when the UK workday is done. I go to bed around midnight or 1am but suffer insomnia so usually don’t fall asleep until 2am, which makes me very tired when the alarm goes off at 6.30am. I often read books about spirituality or autobiographies when I am trying to fall asleep. I also have the horrible and time-draining habit of scrolling through Instagram before I sleep. A few nights a week I meet business or non-profit associates for a drink, often at the new Belmond Hotel in Knightsbridge, and then will have a social dinner with some champagne at 5 Hertford Street or Annabel’s, or enjoy sushi at Nobu.
What have been your bestselling fragrances so far?
Our bestsellers vary depending on the store and the market they’re sold in. We find that Berber Blonde, Sandalwood Temple, Tiger by her Side and Revolution de la Fleur consistently perform very well.
What are your five favourite things about London?
I have a love affair with London both as a mother and an entrepreneur; I think it is one of the most fantastic cities in the world to raise a family and be a business owner as it is so diverse and the proximity to other countries and cultures so convenient. I love that kindness, politeness and a strong sense of community are embedded in British culture. I think it makes it easier to start a business in London as everyone is willing to help and the community is so tight knit and small that it is easy to get in touch with people even if you only know them by name. I feel the schools in London are extraordinary and I feel grateful my children are blessed to receive a traditional British education. I love that although everyone thinks London is a large city, it really is a little village made up of people who I find to be some of the kindest in the world. It is the helpful, dynamic and cosmopolitan community that keeps me tied to London as both a mother and business owner.
What’s your most treasured Sana Jardin fragrance creation yet?
Berber Blonde is the scent and vibrancy of Morocco captured in a bottle. I created this scent as I couldn’t find a natural, glittering orange blossom fragrance on the market. It’s also a very special scent to me as it’s named after my two sons who are a quarter Berber (and very blond). There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t wear it.
Where do you get inspiration when creating new fragrances?
Our fragrance collection has been designed to transport and seduce the wearer. The scents have been inspired by numerous experiences and travels during my life: the golden shimmer of orange blossom in Morocco; the mystical, enveloping depth of sandalwood in India; the intoxicating aromas of jasmine and tuberose as they bloom at night. The list goes on …
How long does the process take to make a Sana Jardin?
We partner with an internationally acclaimed nose ‒ Carlos Benaïm is the creative behind 40 of the world’s leading scent successes for fragrance houses including Bulgari, Frédéric Malle, Yves Saint Laurent and Prada.
The process of making a fragrance takes about eight months. Carlos Benaïm and I have a unique understanding of how the other communicates so after I’ve given him the brief he usually perfects the submission and formulation in one to two months. Then there’s the stability testing and then maturation and creation of the juice which can take another six months.
Which natural ingredients do you love using?
My favourite natural ingredients are, of course, the ones that are harvested by the women in our co-operative in Morocco. They harvest the orange blossom, jasmine and rose that go into all of our scents. They chant as they collect the flowers and I would like to think that the magic of their energy and this ancient harvesting ritual is in every bottle.
What’s your most complex fragrance creation?
I love the complexity and depth of Tiger by her Side. It’s a seductive, exotic ‘floriental’ that marries a warm, sensual amber accord with the velvety depth of Moroccan rose and the aromatic intensity of Indonesian patchouli and Somalian incense. The fragrance was inspired by myths of ancient Egypt’s high priestesses, whose perfume-adorned powers enabled them walk with a tiger by their side and connect to their power and unleash their innate wildness.
What’s next for Sana Jardin?
Our vision is to take the Beyond Sustainability movement to countries around the world and empower women to build sustainable businesses for themselves in areas where female-focused economic opportunities are hard or impossible to come by. We’d love to pave the way in the luxury industry for not only fragrance but food, beauty and fashion going forward, proving that social change and luxury do not have to be mutually exclusive.